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Fire District President a Hands-on Volunteer posted on 07/27/2023
By Ty Walker
The Mountain Times
Nora Gambee may have retired 16 years ago but she shows no signs of slowing down. The 77-year-old Welches woman is a hands-on volunteer committed to her community.
“You’re only as old as you feel,” Gambee said.
The Hoodland Fire District Board elected her board president at its July meeting. A past Hoodland Community Planning Organization (CPO) president, she began volunteering for the local fire district 14 years ago as a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member. She also started helping with the Trauma Intervention Program (TIP).
“This is a very close and comfortable community to live in. I wanted to devote my time to helping the fire department be the best it can be.”
She said CERT members go on emergency calls to support the local firefighters. They do things like check firefighters’ vitals and make sure they are well hydrated at the scene. They also help educate the public on fire safety.
TIP volunteers give emotional and practical support to bereaved family members immediately following a traumatic incident.  
Gambee grew up mainly in Southern CalifornIa, but her family bounced around from Chicago to New Orleans and back. Gambee said the Hoodland Fire District Board represents the mountain community to the district. The fire chief makes a district activity report monthly to the board.
“We represent the public to the fire department,” she said. “We are the chief’s boss. The chief answers to the board. We work on the budget.”
Gambee has high praise for fire district personnel, namely Fire Chief Jim Price, calling him “very knowledgeable and sensible. We’re very happy to have him.”
“There’s a lot to do up here and a lot of really good people,” she said. “We need to get behind the fire department. It’s endless what they do. The calls they go on are incredible. If you’re having a medical issue, they’re the first there.”
Gambee shares her life in Welches with her husband, George Gambee, a retired truck driver. Nora’s sister lives two doors down from them, and the Gambees have a daughter in Southern California.
In her spare time, Nora likes to cook and stitches personalized fleece blankets for friends and family. George writes programs for computer games.
She said the Hoodland Fire District is in need of volunteers, in particular, for the CERT and TIP programs. For more information, phone 503-622-3256, or go online to www.hoodlandfire.us.growing up in La Grande.



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