By Tom Hubka
Pilot staff writer
Regional fire departments recently received a significant donation from the area's main emergency transport service.
Cal-Ore Life Flight donated more than $4,700 total to eight fire departments as part its "ongoing effort to assist local volunteer agencies," according to a press release.
"Our community is so fortunate to have such a dedicated group of professional and well-trained volunteers," Cal-Ore President Dan Brattain wrote. "These local community members greatly assist our service in providing the highest quality emergency medical services."
Departments receiving the donation were Harbor Fire and Rescue, Brookings Fire and Rescue, Cape Ferrelo Rural Fire Protection District, Pistol River Fire District, Winchuck Fire Protection District, Gold Beach Fire Department, Agness Fire and Ophir Rural Fire Protection District.
"Many times these volunteers are taken for granted," Cal-Ore General Manager Joe Gregorio wrote in the release. "They leave their jobs, homes, kids' birthday parties and other important functions to respond whenever asked."
The donations only reinforce the close relationship Cal-Ore already shares with the eight fire departments.
"Cal-Ore provides Harbor Fire reimbursement for our expenses when we respond to assistance for Cal-Ore," Harbor Fire Deputy Chief John Brazil said. "They also provide us with some additional training, and it makes a great community service that much better."
Cal-Ore and Brookings Fire and Rescue also have a mutual aid agreement.
"We provide them with manpower assistance, and in exchange they provide us with equipment that we may need to use," Brookings Fire Chief Bill Sharp said.
Past donations to Brookings Fire led to the joint purchase of a stair chair, a device that helps people up and down flights of stairs. Brookings Fire carries the stair chair, but any emergency service can use it when Brookings Fire responds to a scene.
"(The donation) is a thank you for your help," Sharp said. "This is based on them wanting to give back to us."