HR firefighters right at home in new digs

March 14, 2012

The fire pole is back.

Hood River Fire Department is home again, after nine months in temporary quarters.

Firefighters have nearly completed moving into the new Ty Taylor Fire Station.

Last month, Corp Inc. Construction of Salem completed the $4.1 million project, made possible by construction bonds approved by citizens in 2008. A grant from Oregon Emergency Management for $291,000 paid for seismic construction measures.

The new fire hall features larger vehicle and apparatus bays and storage areas, improved training, storage and office areas, expanded quarters for duty crews and a large meeting room for community use.

Oh, and the traditional fire pole is back, after a 26-year hiatus.

The two-story, 21,000-square-foot building is nearly double the size of its 12,000-square-foot predecessor, which was built in 1976 and torn down last May. (Since April 2011 the department has been based across 18th Street at the public works complex, with temporary trailers for offices, and some equipment stored under tents and inside county structures.)

"Operations are fully moved in, and things are going really well," said Fire Chief Devon Wells. "We're still getting some of the systems of the building worked out, but all the firefighters are enjoying this new facility; the spaciousness of it. We're already making use of the space for training and meetings. It's good to be able to sit down together in a room with chairs and space for large groups.

"We really appreciate the support of the community in the transition over the past 10 months, and for the support of the bond measure," Wells said.

The new station includes a kitchen and sleeping quarters for personnel on duty, as well as more room for volunteers to work and train together.

Wells said the city plans a rededication and open house event on April 7.

The fence to the north of the fire hall property has been removed, allowing pedestrian access to and from the neighboring Hood River Aquatic Center, part of the new fire hall's updated role as a facility for the community to use, according to Wells.

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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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