Fire district celebrates service


Last updated 4/18/2023 at 6:16pm

Photo by Jerry Baldock

The Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District honored its personnel for outstanding service in the annual awards banquet held at FivePine Lodge and Conference Center last week.

Every year, members, staff, and partners of the Sisters-Camp Sherman Rural Fire Protection District (SCSFD) spend an evening gathered together at FivePine Lodge and Conference Center for an awards banquet honoring those who serve others.

From recognizing board members to presenting lifesaving awards, the evening gives the SCSFD an opportunity to honor their own in service to our community.

Fire Chief Roger Johnson hosted the event from the podium with guest speaker, new Board President Krisite Miller, and presentations from Deputy Chief Tim Craig. Chief Johnson honored members of the Fire Corps, who work on outreach programs, provide community education, and support the firefighting and medical staff.

"They put on programs that we wouldn't have the staffing for, and we couldn't do it without them," said Johnson.

Johnson talked about various education and volunteer programs the SCSFD offers, including their volunteer resident firefighter program. That program is for those interested in the fire service, and those students typically stay one to four years and go to college to receive their paramedic and EMT certifications.

"Those volunteer resident firefighters really bring energy and excitement to the organization," said Johnson.

Deputy Chief Craig presented the Special Projects Award, which recognizes individuals who did exemplary work on a special project for the District in the last year. The SCSFD has recently enhanced its live fire training with the ability to train with live fire in shipping containers. Retired Captain Thornton Brown and Retired-from-the-Service Gary Lovegren worked as engineers on the project, making the shipping containers conducive to training purposes.

Dave Moyer was awarded a special plaque for his 50 years of service as a volunteer fire captain.

"Moyer epitomizes what it means to put the community first and serve," said Johnson.

Moyer's career was in the U.S. Forest Service, and he still serves on incident management teams in the summer. All of Moyer's sons also went into volunteer service in their careers as well. Moyer worked for many years as a training driver and served the Fire District and community as a volunteer for over half his life.

The Lifesaving Award is awarded every year to a member who acted within their training to perform an act in saving another's life. Last April, a daughter drove her mother to the fire station with her mother presenting symptoms of being in cardiac arrest. Captain Jeremy Ast and firefighter Jake Van Lieu jumped into action outside the fire station and began performing CPR, and within four minutes the patient was alert and communicating, and has no disability from her incident today.

The Distinguished Service Cross is awarded to someone who performs an act of exemplary service, in recognition of that service and devotion to duty. In December 2022, Matt Millar was on scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident on Highway 20. The second patient in the car was in critical condition and only Spanish-speaking. Millar is fluent in Spanish. Millar was able to communicate with the patient in transport to the hospital. Millar also went to the family of the patients and was able to communicate to them what happened that night and stayed with them for over four hours that evening.

Millar was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for providing advanced life care and notifying the family after the incident.

Damon Frutos was awarded Career Firefighter of the Year as well as the Chief's Award for Excellence. The Chief's Award goes to an individual or group that exemplifies what public service means. With Frutos' work on grants, the Fire District was awarded an outstanding grant for an additional $395,000 in 2023 to help secure a fully equipped Type 3 interface engine to fight fire. This will be the first of its kind at the local Fire District, assisting in wildfire fighting efforts.

This year's EMT of the Year Award honored Rachel Ulm, who also received the Outstanding Fire Fitness Award.

The Volunteer Firefighter of the Year Award honored Jake Van Lieu, a rookie firefighter, after completing the probationary year.

The Fire District has a new award this year, for Distinguished Volunteer Service. It is the first time honoring volunteers of more than 25 years of service. Those names, and blank spaces for future awardees, will be presented on a bronze plaque outside the fire station. This year, they honored four people who will be the first four names on the plaque that will forever be on the fire station for families and friends to recognize the service of their loved ones.

The honorees this year were Chuck Newport, Dave Moyer, Tom Haynes, and Rita Hodge.

"The intent is to recognize dedicated service, and we recommend those to be honored to the Board of Directors. This plaque will honor the program and recognize service to their families," said Chief Johnson.

The evening concluded with a dedication to Chuck Newport, who served in the Fire District for 48 years and will be retiring from the Board of Directors in a couple months. Newport served as a volunteer, helped assist in the merger between Camp Sherman and Sisters, and assisted in construction of the fire station. Newport served as president of the Fire Board for many years, and dedicated much of his life to fire service.


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