The Executive Staff of the Fire Department would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the dedicated volunteers who gave their time and skills in protecting our community on Sunday night. DVF&R dispatched Lance Cornwall, Don Wallace and Kyle Davis on our own brush trucks to assist with the main attack on the wildfire. They were assigned to "hotshot" crews and were later deployed to help protect Gunlock from the advancing fire. They performed their duties safely, professionally and at the highest skill level.
In the Valley, Chief Barnes deployed our structural pumper at the end of Sand Cove Trail. An uninterrupted water supply was established and landlines were strategically deployed and manned ready to stop the threat and to provide structural fire protection to those homes closest to Lower Sand Cove Rd. Joel Burnham did and EXCELLENT job as the driver/operator of Engine 13 and was unflappable in his duties. We had four structural firefighters from the department on scene; Frank Cedeno (FFII/EMT), Candace Lin (FFII/EMT) and the Chief and Deputy Chief. Additionally, two of the newest members of the Department, David Salazar and Colby Gisseman were present and helped with the operation and clean up. After the direct threat to Dammeron Valley had been mitigated, the Chief officers of the department took Brush 1 and patrolled Lower Sand Cove for hotspots until released by Incident Commander at 8:30 the next morning. During the entire incident Rescue 13 was in reserve and available to treat any medical needs in the valley. Washington County UDF Fire Warden Adam Heyder was the overall Incident Commander and his experience and professionalism was a huge factor in the success of the operation. If you get a chance, let him know how much he is appreciated.
Many thanks to the dozens of residents who offered support and encouragement to the crews battling the fire. Several folks such as Joyce Gaufin, Brent Carlon and Leonard Mitchell brought drinks and snacks to the firefighters. And thank you to the anonymous folks who dropped off water and other items to the fire station. You do not know how much that means to us.
Dammeron Valley has been very fortunate this fire season to not have suffered any property losses. The Chief and Executive Staff continue to work on deployment models that will increase the safety of the community and provide highly trained individuals and consistent emergency responses. If you have ever thought that you might like to drive a fire truck, be a structural or wildland firefighter, or become an EMT inservice to your community, please contact Chief Barnes or stop by the station. The door is aways open to anyone who wants to be part of the team, or even to just have a chat with the Chief. Folks with administrative skills, program management experience and personnel training are encouraged to apply. There is truly a spot for everyone at DVF&R.
I also want to mention that Lisa Chauvin of Dammeron Valley Water Works for ensuring that there was a secure and reliable water supply in the hydrants in the proposed Wichum development. They would have been critical if the fire jumped the line at Sand Cove Rd.