Vernonia Rural Fire Protection District News, Updates and More

Congratulations to our 2013 Award Winners!

Firefighter of the Year:  Jason Smith

Firefighter of the Year:
Jason Smith


Volunteer of the Year: Randy Carlton

Volunteer of the Year:
Randy Carlton


Officer of the Year: Loren Loomis

Officer of the Year:
Loren Loomis


Rookie of the Year: Jake Bringman

Rookie of the Year:
Jake Bringman









FF Bringman left Vernonia RFPD last summer for an internship program at Netarts Oceanside, where he also received their 2013 Rookie of the Year award. 


Special thanks to the following businesses for donating prizes for our banquet raffle:  Mini Mart, Napa, Cedar Side, True Value, LaCabana, Mariolino’s, Black Bear, Sentry, Subway, All In Pub, New Hong Kong and Vernonia Hardware

Buchan is Special Guest

VRFPD-AdamBuchan-web“I really want to take this opportunity to thank the first responders that were there that played such a major role in saving my life!” Adam Buchan 


It was an honor to have Adam join us at our banquet this year and have him share his miraculous story with us. Such a special privilege for our firefighters to meet the young man that was once barely clinging to life before their eyes. Now so strong, standing before them, expressing his gratitude for saving him. This is why we do what we do, for moments like this.

Each year we award our Vernonia Fire Commemorative Challenge Coin to a community member or volunteer who acquires great achievements. This year, we chose Adam to receive our coin, for his devotion to perseverance and determination.

Thank you Adam for coming back and spending time with us! You truly are an inspiration to us all!


To view the 2013 Slideshow and banquet videos, please visit our Facebook page @

February is American Heart Month

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but heart disease is preventable and controllable. Heart disease is a major problem. Every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. About 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year—that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, costs the United States $312.6 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity. These conditions also are leading causes of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities. The situation is alarming, but there is good news—heart disease is preventable and controllable. We can start by taking small steps every day to bring our loved ones and ourselves closer to heart health.

heart healthSome health conditions and lifestyle factors can put people at a higher risk for developing heart disease. You can help prevent heart disease by making healthy choices and managing any medical conditions you may have.

•  Eat a healthy diet. Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables—adults should have at least 5 servings each day. Eating foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt or sodium in your diet also can lower your blood pressure.

Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for heart disease. To determine whether your weight is in a healthy range, doctors often calculate a number called the body mass index (BMI). Doctors sometimes also use waist and hip measurements to measure a person’s body fat. Read More

Emergency Scene Security

In these days of electronic media, we find ourselves more and more in the spotlight. The public servants are constantly under the scrutiny of the masses. It seems that it is a race to see who can get the best or first picture/video of any event that happens. While everyone has the right to freedom of speech, where is the line drawn?

If the Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” was followed, we may not find ourselves in this situation. Patients may not want their picture taken or due to age should not have their picture taken. Would you like anyone to have pictures of you or your loved ones, in what are usually the most challenging of moments in life, or sometimes even death?

The emergency responders have tasks that need to be completed. Among them  are scene safety and security, patient care, and documenting the event. One problem lies within scene security and the protection of our patients. We have had an increasing issue lately with people wanting to “help” or just get through. Our fire district struggles to produce the number of personnel to properly mitigate most scenes.VRFPDFire Line Tape Pic-BW It has become logistically harder to control with bystanders trying to drive through or walk into the emergency scene just to see what is going on and who is involved. We understand that you might know who is involved, but the best thing you can do is keep clear so the first responders can do their jobs. Please understand when you do try to “help,” all you are really doing is “helping” to hinder the current level of care to a patient, or worse, create a safety hazard by distracting workers on scene. For every person that tries to insert themselves into a scene, one of the first responders cannot help the people that really need it. Read More

Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

Why pipe freezing is a problem

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the “strength” of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hoses, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Also, pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Before the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of these water supply lines and pipes by following these recommendations:

•  Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.

•  Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.

•  Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located and are in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated. A hot water supply line can freeze just as a cold water supply line can freeze if the water is not running through the pipe and the water temperature in the pipe is cold.

•  Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Many products are available at your local building supplies retailer. Pipes should be carefully wrapped, with ends butted tightly and joints wrapped with tape. Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for installing and using these products. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing. Read More

Toy and Joy Upcoming Dates

Nov. 22- Donation Barrels Out

Dec. 14- Application Deadline

Dec. 20- Toy Wrapping, 6-9pm

Dec. 21- Toy Wrapping, 9am-finished

Dec. 23- Toy Delivery 

Applications are available at Sentry, City Hall and the Library as well as online on the Toy & Joy Facebook page (, or our website (  Completed applications may be dropped off in the red mailbox in front of the Vernonia Fire Station. Community members are welcome and encouraged to help our elves on wrapping days. Contact Becky Carlton (503-791-3994) to volunteer your time or if you have any other Toy & Joy questions.

Happy Birthday!

VRFPDFirePupFriends-webWhat better place for a boy to celebrate his birthday than a fire station? We were happy to help make Stone’s party one he will always remember. Stone and his friends had a blast on fire truck rides from Lt. Loomis, dancing with Fire Pup and trying on the firefighter’s gear. Fire Pup is pictured with his new friends and helping the birthday boy blow out his candles. This party was made possible through a donation from the department to a local church as a raffle prize. VRFPDFirePupCandles-web


Salmon Festival

VRFPDSalmonFest WoodRaff-web

We were pleased to give out Salmon Chowder and Artisan Rolls to 120 visitors to our booth at Salmon Festival this year. We want to thank everyone that stopped by to support us and dropped donations in our boot for wildland gear. Mayor Josette Mitchell drew the firewood raffle ticket and the winners were Dave and Andrea Haney. Congratulations! 


Burn Permits

Backyard burning of yard debris is allowed with a valid permit. The $5 permit must be renewed annually. Office hours are 9:00 AM-4:00 PM, Monday-Thursday. If you are unable to stop by during business hours, please call the station at 503-429-8252 and leave us message. We will work out a way to get you a permit.