Cascade Locks hears good news on 'growing' fire department

February 29, 2012

CASCADE LOCKS - City Council will interview applicants for a vacant council position in a special meeting Feb. 29 at 7 p.m.

At press time, one person had submitted an application at City Hall for the post formerly held by Eva Zerfing, who resigned earlier this month.

Council met Monday, and authorized a job description for the future city administrator. The council last month adopted a timeline for hiring a permanent administrator by July. Interim administrator Paul Koch's contract expires in August, by which time he will have served Cascade Locks for about one year.

The job is now being advertised, and applications are due in May. Citizens will have the chance to meet applicants in community meetings set for June.

The city has authorized up to $7,500 for hiring a new administrator, including $1,000 for advertisement, $3,000 in expenses for bringing applicants to Cascade Locks and $2,800 in travel expenses for two Cascade Locks representatives to do background checks and research in the applicants current towns.

Interim fire chief Devon Wells gave a positive report on progress in reorganizing the city fire and emergency services department. In November, Wells, the fire chief for the City of Hood River, was hired to oversee the department until a formal command structure can be put in place.

"Cohesiveness is one of his big issues, and there's been a lot of progress on that," Mayor Lance Masters said. "They've had social events and are having a good time together."

Four new applicants have signed up, and when they are processed that will bring to 21 the number of volunteers in the department.

"It's really good news that the department is growing," Masters said. Seven of the recruits who joined since December are now undergoing a fire academy on weekends at the fire hall, and two of them have committed to undergo EMT school, which will require more training on weeknights and weekends.

Masters said that Wells reported that he has had discussions with the volunteers about moving to a command structure with a main officer for fire companies; with five firefighters to each company.

In other business, the council received a clean audit report, from auditor Ken Onstett. Masters said that the recommended changes in the city bookkeeping are already in progress.

Council also talked about the future role of the Tourism Committee.

"We had a discussion about where we see that committee and how it fits into our efforts to bring economic development to Cascade Locks," Masters said.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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