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Govy fire station ready for responders and visitors posted on 03/01/2020

For years, a remodeled fire station in Government Camp has been on the wishlist of the Hoodland Fire District (HFD). Now, with work complete, the station is ready to serve as the base for three student residents, who will help reduce response time and provide greater coverage in the community.

“The ability for Hoodland Fire District to project staffing and emergency response to the Eastern most environs of the District has a dramatic impact on the Citizens and visitors we protect,” wrote HFD Chief John Ingrao in an email to the Mountain Times. “The staffing of the station may at times reduce current response times by 20 (minutes) and provide a faster level of service for medical emergencies, traffic accidents and fires. Currently all District responses come from the Welches Main Station and the response times are dependent on weather and road conditions as to arrival times.”

“In addition, staffing of the Government Camp station allows the District to ‘have a presence’ in the Community that has been lacking for many years,” Ingrao added. “The goal is to provide the same level of service throughout the entire District providing Public Safety as the District’s Prime Goal.”

The remodeled station, located at 87600 E. Government Camp Loop, will be opened to the public at an open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 7, featuring self-guided tours, a chance to meet HFD staff and volunteers, information on volunteer opportunities and refreshments.

Matthew Garcia has volunteered in the district since 2019 and joined the student resident program in 2019. He will serve as the station’s Building Manager and noted that the program now includes three students who work 48-hour shifts alongside the district’s paid staff.

“We are essentially the fourth body on a shift,” Garcia said, adding that each shift includes one student resident at the Welches fire station.

The remodel at the station primarily consisted of interior portions of the living quarters, including the living room, kitchen and bathroom. The work included gutting the walls to the studs due to a water incident a few years ago that created mold behind the drywall, Garcia noted.

“It needed some love and care,” said Garcia, who is enrolled in the College of Emergency Services in Clackamas. “I think this remodel is really what’s going to make it comfortable for the students living there.”

The students will be at the Government Camp station when they are not on shift or at school, where they will be available for calls. Two vehicles will be housed at the station: a brush rig with advanced life support (the residents will be able to help prep patients before more help arrives on the scene) and an engine for structure fires and motor vehicle accidents.

Garcia added that the resident program helps solve one of the difficulties with Government Camp: the challenge of finding volunteers, largely due to the numbers of seasonal residents.

“Because there’s not volunteers in the area, there’s no response in the area,” he said. “The big picture is to get this ball rolling so we can start to add on to the students.”

Garcia added that he hopes community members will stop by during the Open House and will also feel comfortable dropping by at other times with questions or just to say hi.

“We just really want to be a resource for them when we are available,” he said.

For more information, visit www.hoodlandfire.us.

By Garth Guibord/MT




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