Tag Archives: Vernonia Rural Fire Protection District

School Back in Session: Be Prepared and Aware

school is open pictureThe 2014-15 school year is underway! With the start of school comes extra foot, car and bus traffic. Be prepared to leave earlier and slow your commute in the morning and afternoon hours. Be aware of children waiting at bus stops, walking along roadways and at crosswalks. Be extra cautious at the crosswalk in front of the fire department, where children are crossing and traffic is turning in/out to access the school. SLOW DOWN when entering this area! If you are approaching or following a school bus, pay attention! School bus drivers will turn on flashing amber lights 100 – 300 feet in advance, to warn traffic that the bus is preparing to stop on the road to load or unload children. Drivers should get ready to stop. Remember that you cannot pass a school bus when the red lights are flashing! Let’s keep our children safe this year! All it takes is awareness and patience!


VRFPD Calls Responded to July 1-31

Fire  2

Emergency Medical Service 25

Hazardous Condition  2

Service Call  6

Good Intent  6

No Emergency Found  0

False Alarm  0

Total 41

Vernonia RFPD Monthly Update

Station and Grounds:
• Several of our volunteers rebuilt and installed the new Fire Danger sign next to the station.
• The district is working on bids to upgrade and install more efficient lighting inside, as well as add some exterior lighting for safety of our responders.
• The red Suburban (previously C450) has been re-numbered U458 and is being used to transport students to class and for response by our duty shift officers.
• The new C450 is a few steps closer to being finished. All the lights have been installed and the wiring is in progress. Construction of a tool mounting system is underway for the rear storage tray.
• Repairs to Water Tender 452 last month included some light bulbs and a transmission filter seal kit. The district is looking to update the filter assembly to ease maintenance and prevent further fluid leak issues.
•  41 total calls for July.
• Volunteer totals are nine active firefighters, three Officers, two Officers in training, two emergency logistics, and one non-emergency logistics.
• Crews attended a day out at Echoing Evergreens Day Camp.
• Crews worked with Metro West personnel through Jamboree.
• The volunteer association held its annual golf benefit at the Vernonia Golf Club.
• The station hosted National Night Out.

VRFPDNightOut2-webDistrict Duties:
• WT452 was one of several Columbia County apparatus’ called in to duty at the Rowena conflagration fire from early August 6th to late August 9th. The task force performed duties from structural triage and burn preparation to front line defense of the advancing flames.

Major Scenes

It doesn’t happen very often, but occasionally we do have major events such as fire, emergency rescue and EMS calls in our area. The problem that we seem to have when one of these events occur is an adequate number of personnel to respond.

On August 9th there was a significant motor vehicle crash on Stoney Pt. Road. This day happened to be one of those days where the only volunteer immediately available for VRFPD was the duty officer. The training kicked in and the officer radioed in for assistance from both Scappoose Fire and Mist-Birkenfeld Fire. A few of our volunteers were able make it to the call with a delay due to their immediate availability, and we also had an off duty Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue Firefighter assist as well.
The extrication, although lengthy, was a success and the patient was transported by Life Flight in stable condition. Given the circumstances, the outcome was a positive one.

VRFPD pays one person to make sure that the trucks can roll, that at least one rescue personnel will respond to the call and to organize the scene. Unavailability is becoming more common among the few fire volunteers that we do have. They are busy working two jobs, attending their children’s activities, taking care of household chores, and spending what little time that they have left over with family.  Their demanding schedules make it difficult, and at times impossible, to stop what they are doing and provide service for another in need. During the week, the majority of the volunteers are out of town. Some have a condensed work week and may have availability to respond some days, if they are not already overwhelmed with the list of things they need to get done when they are home.  But like the majority of the working population in Vernonia, our volunteers don’t return back into town until the evening.

The nine active volunteer firefighters that currently provide service to the community within the Vernonia Rural Fire Protection District, work tirelessly to keep up to date on training, respond to calls and community events, all while trying to maintain a personal life.  Currently, five volunteer duty officers take turns working shifts each weeknight and weekends. With summer in full swing and school rapidly approaching, time for these volunteers gets stretched pretty thin.

The fact is your fire district needs help filling the gaps in response time. With the volunteer’s overflowing schedules, it is evident that there is a need for more personnel. This will better the odds that more than one responder will be available for your emergencies. The time to discuss the importance of the fire department in the community, and how responders can better serve you is now.

2014 Annual Pancake Breakfast

VRFPDPancakeFiretruck-Color-web  This year’s annual volunteer pancake feed has come and gone. We served 159 hungry patrons, who were pleasantly surprised to find out that we were not charging them for their breakfast. We decided to treat our supportive community members as a thank you.

In every aspect, this year’s event was different, from location, to menu, and arrangement. For those that did not make it in to see us, we held the event within our own station. The menu lost a few items from previous years, but gained a new spin with eggs made to order. The buffet line was gone as well. Once inside the apparatus bay, your food order was taken, and you were seated. Food and drinks were served to your table by our fire volunteers and family members. We understand that with change, comes and few kinks to be worked out, but we hope with some minor tweaks in the system we can make an enjoyable experience for all.

While we did not have enough personnel to ensure Firepup was there, we did have fire truck rides, as well as blood pressure checks. Money donated for the firewood raffle will go towards updated wildland firefighting emergency fire shelters. These shelters are required for our personnel when we work on wildland type fires. We currently have two and need to have a total of seven.

At this time, we would like to thank all those that attended, stopped by and dropped off donations. Your continued support and extremely generous donations are greatly appreciated.

Please let us know either by mail, email, phone or even our Facebook page, how you liked the new venue and event as a whole. We will take this information into consideration for next year’s pancake feed.


Harness Buckle Recall Manufacturer: Graco Children’s Products Inc.

Graco Children’s Products, Inc. (Graco) is recalling model year 2009 through 2013 toddler and booster child restraints. Models affected: Toddler Convertible Car Seats: Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride 70, My Ride 65 with Safety Surround, Size4Me 70, My Size 70, Head Wise 70, Smart Seat. Harnessed Booster Seats: Nautilus 3-in-1, Nautilus Elite and Argos.

The alleged defect involves difficulty in unlatching the harness buckle. In some cases, the buckle becomes stuck in a latched condition so that it cannot be opened by depressing the buckle’s release button. It may be difficult to remove the child from the restraint, increasing the risk of injury in the event of a vehicle crash, fire, or other emergency, in which a prompt exit from the vehicle is required.
Graco offers a new and improved replacement harness buckle to affected consumers at no cost. Contact Graco customer service team at 800-345-4109 (Monday through Friday from 9 :00 AM until 5:00 PM) or consumerservices@gracobaby.com.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

The 1.8 million additional seats the safety agency wants recalled are rear-facing models used for infants. They are the Snugride, Snugride 30, Snugride 32, Infant Safe Seat-Step 1, Snugride 35, Tuetonia 35 and Snugride Click Connect 40.

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 @ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vernonia-Rural-Fire-Protection-District.

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