Thurston County Fire Protection District 17, Bald Hills
* Fire Commissioner Bill Owen retires after 19 years of distinguished public service.
* Olympic Ambulance withdraws from being stationed in SE Thurston County.
* How this will affect emergency responses.
* Volunteers needed.
– To Blog Readers from Host Steve Klein
Bald Hills Fire Protection District 17 Commissioner Bill Owen retired last month after 19 years of dedicated service, under which he has seen the department grow, acquire new equipment for the team, and provide for ever-increasing service calls. I congratulate and appreciate Bill for his ever-present smile, up-beat attitude, passion for the Fire District’s volunteers and staff, and his accessibility and commitment to the public he served. Best wishes in your future endeavors Bill!
– From Retired Fire Commissioner Bill Owen:
“After many years of serving the Bald Hills well, Olympic Ambulance is pulling out of the southeast part of the County.
The Yelm Fire Department (Southeast Thurston FD 2) is doing their own transport now, and Olympic Ambulance hasn’t been carrying enough customers to support stationing an ambulance in Yelm. This is going to have a huge impact on our community. In the past we could count on Olympic Ambulance to be a few minutes behind our responders on medical calls. They would take patients to the hospital, enabling our responders to be ready for the next call. Now they will be responding from Olympia or Lacey, almost an hour away. Our responders are not able to leave a scene without another agency present to hand the patient off to. This will limit our ability to respond to successive calls rapidly. In some cases we will need do the patient transport. Transport will take about three hours to complete. This is more than we can reasonably ask of volunteers, so there will be some payment to those doing this. We will also be charging a fee for transport similar to what patients would be charged by Olympic Ambulance to cover our cost for this additional service. When we do transport we still need responders to cover the District, so we are asking everyone in the community to consider helping by joining the Department to drive our ambulance or becoming an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). This is going to be a very challenging time for our Fire District. We have great leaders and about 30 volunteer members. Helping your neighbors in an emergency is a profoundly rewarding experience. Now we need more of the community to pitch in.
Application packets are available at the fire station. I would be glad to talk to anyone interested in joining.”
If anyone is interested in being a Commissioner, please contact Commissioners Roger McMaster or Harry Miller at the Dept.
Thurston County Fire Protection District 17
Mark Gregory, Fire Chief
16306 Bald Hill Rd. SE
P. O. Box 783
Yelm, WA. 98597
Office Phone (360) 894-2517 – Not for emergency calls.
Website – www.baldhillsfire.org