Dear Editor:

Volunteerism. What is it? Looking at our community, it survives on it. We had a large fire go up Whitetail Drive last week. Without volunteers, the whole subdivision would have gone up in flames, literally. At 1:45 PM my husband and I were driving down Cavendish Hwy when we passed the Sunnyside Rural Fire District Fire House. The doors were open, lights on and folks were gearing up to fight a fire. As we drove down Cavendish we came around a corner, and BAM! we saw a large grass fire crawling up the mountain just above us.

We knew Sunnyside Volunteer Fire Department, and many others were on their way to do their best for a bad situation. Although some structures were lost, everyone was safely evacuated and there were no deaths. Joined by the Orofino Fire Department, and later, teams from north Idaho fire departments, and C-PTPA, this wildland fire was contained and stopped from devastating the town of Ahsaka. We in the community applaud the efforts of these valiant men and women who willingly go into harm’s way as VOLUNTEERS.

Another aspect of volunteerism related to this incident are the folks who help out behind the scenes. Pam White, President of the recently created Clearwater Valley Fire Districts Auxiliary has asked people in the community to join this group to support the fire fighter volunteers. How would joining this group benefit the community and you? Simply put, without you as volunteer support personnel, the fire fighters have to seek help individually. The goal of the auxiliary is to assist the fire departments with food and water during the fires.

Could you buy a case of water or make sandwiches for delivery up to the fire line? That’s one way to help. Another is to help organize fundraisers throughout the year to upgrade or buy equipment. Do you know how to write grants? Would you willingly volunteer to write one grant to get much-needed equipment? Are you willing to hand out flyers or man a booth for a few hours to give out information? If so, the auxiliary is looking for you.

Think of it this way: we are volunteers within our own community helping volunteers save our community from fires. We assist, educate, and take care of our neighbors all year round so that when fires hit, we have the support and finances to provide food, water, equipment and a safe haven for the VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS within our community.

Want to be part of the solution? Come to our next meeting on Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. at the Orofino Fire House. Be part of the solution. Volunteer.

Barbara-Lee Jordan

New member, CVFDA


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