Pine Grove News: Wy'east firefighters celebrate another year of service


Pine Grove correspondent

Hello! I am finally springing forward and trying to get things done!

The Wy’East Fire District (Pine Grove Fire Department and Odell Fire Department) Wives Appreciation and Awards dinner was held Feb. 15, at the Best Western Hood River Inn in the Gorge Room. It happened to fall on my birthday as it sometimes does, so I got to go to dinner with many friends and neighbors!

Thanks to John Stehlik and the entertainment committee for the great meal, and combining of our two fire departments for this awards dinner. As always a thank-you to Hood River Inn for the tasty prime rib; Tammy Hall Floral for the table decorations; and Ryan Willis for setting up the venue at the Gorge Room.

Chief Greg Borton began the evening with asking Fire Chaplain Rick Whittaker for an invocation before our meal. Our department president, John Stehlik, began with a welcome and introduction of the present officers for the department. Chief Borton introduced guests Tom Hatch (state arson investigator) and his wife, Denise, who happened to be in Hood River investigating the Diamond bin fire.

Present board members for Pine Grove are Eric Cederstram, with his guest, Tammy Hall; Dan Sheppard and his wife, Cindy; Leonard Wood and his wife, Janet; Rob Graves, Rod Hastings and Chuck Weseman. Greg spoke about two charter members, Arne Udelius and Cliff Whitten, for Odell.

We also took a moment to give honor to Ed Lage, who passed away last year, and we also remember Tony Medearis, and Pine Grove Charter fire department member Bill Laraway. Honorary members were Zella Laraway, Kent Lambert, Larry and Dianne Hayes, Jesse and Kathy Rice, Janet and Leonard Wood. It was also nice to see Maxine Long, as Everett Long was a longtime member of our department and passed away several years ago. Greg stated that the department has 310 service years of time for active members.

Greg introduced his officers for 2014 assistant chiefs: Jim Wells, Bill Baskins, Dwight Moe; captains: Lee Lage, Joe Long, Joey Sheirbon, safety Jon Laraway; lieutenants: John Stehlik, Tiffany Peterson, Randy Mix, Jeremy Cervantes.

Pine Grove Service Awards: five-year, Brent Goe; 15-year, Temo Rivera; 20-year, Dick Reed; 25-year, Lou Gehrig; 40-year, Steve Bickford; 45-year, Dale Byers.

Odell Service Awards: five-year, Shane Back; 10-year, Crystal Akin Bruce; 15-year, Randy Mix, Robert Riggleman; 25-year, Bill Baskins, Dean Kinne and Steve Smith; 30-year, Dwight Moe.

We as wives and community members and neighbors say thank you to all our fire department members for all their years of commitment to Hood River.

Always LAST and to keep things in perspective is the Pine Grove Hot Line Award and Odell’s Order of the Oar for 2014. Randy Mix spoke of Odell mishaps and Lou Gehrig of Pine Grove mishaps. A honorary mention goes to Steve Cushman for his fit test, Randy Mix for his driving, Dale Byers for the Hyster, Ryan Dethman and Kevin Long for Fir Mountain Road, with awards going to Shane Back for Odell Order of the Oar and Chief Greg Borton for the HotLine Award. Both winners gave a brief version of why they did not deserve the awards!

A special thank you to Brent Goe for his informative history video presentation of Wy’East Fire Department members on local fires and calls. A visual of what goes on at calls, training and membership. Also a special thank-you to Leta Riggleman and Crystal Akin Bruce for all of the wives and guests receiving the table decorations and local gift cards from area businesses. That was a pleasant surprise!

I also want to wish from all of us congratulations and much happiness to Pete Cushman and Sara Benton who were heading to Cancun, Mexico, for their wedding!

I have enjoyed the Hood River News’ past Slice of Life on people in their 80s so I thought I better get this photograph in the paper along with mention of our lovely and enduring health of the following ladies for their past and recent celebrations of their 90th birthdays and some are already onto the next year. Left to right in the photo are Ora Jane Cantrell, Dorothy Mellenthin, Marge Magnuson, Dot (Dorothy) Swyers, and Zella Laraway, who is 91 going on to 92 in August. They all look so good I hope to hold up as well! Here’s to more birthdays and future good health.

Next to last on my catch-up list is mention of Chuck and Kristi Thomsen’s daughter Mallory’s upcoming wedding on July 19. That will be a special day in many ways because it is also the date Chuck and Kristi got married 33 years ago, and the wedding ceremony will be held at the same location as their wedding, the front lawn of their house. Chuck’s grandmother Daisy Thomsen lived there when they were married.

Now Chuck will have many reminders of his anniversary date along with the future groom, Kevin.

Finally. thank-you all for your past 50 years of support and contributions to the Pine Grove Fire Department’s annual auction. The weather was not great but the turnout and support were.

Do you have news of the Pine Grove community? Call Debra Laraway at 541-386-3318.

Latest stories

Latest video:

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

Log in to comment

News from our Community Partners