By: Meggan Holzer
Benjamin Franklin created the first volunteer fire department in Philadelphia in 1736. After witnessing devastating fires as a child in his hometown of Boston and then as an adult in Philadelphia, he wanted to create “organizations that would battle all fires, regardless of whose property was burning.” Volunteer firefighters still comprise 70% of all firefighters in the United States. All of the rural communities in Clark County are protected by these hard-working, dedicated volunteers.
The Volunteers of today follow in the footsteps of notable Americans such as Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Alexander Hamilton, James Buchanan and Millard Fillmore not only as volunteer firefighters, but also their commitment to serving their communities. On March 1st the Clark County Fire Department swore in 23 new Firefighters. This group included a record number of 6 volunteer firefighters from the rural division that persevered through the rigorous training to become paid Firefighters. They are, from left to right in the group photo, Tyler Teal (Cold Creek Stn. 82), Scott Brown (Sandy Valley Stn. 77), William Hsia (Blue Diamond Stn. 80), Thomas Newell (Indian Springs Stn. 83), Dylan Maderia (Blue Diamond Stn. 80), Cord Dinglasan (Cal-Nev-Ari Stn. 84) In February, former Sandy Valley VFD member and current Clark County Fire Fighter, Ray LeClair, was promoted from Firefighter to Engineer and Christian Aranaydo, current Sandy Valley VFD member, graduated from the most recent Metro academy.
Volunteer Fire Departments don’t just handle calls within their communities – they respond to emergencies in the surrounding area, too. For stations near major highways, this means that they deal with a wide variety of calls. That was the case when Goodsprings firefighters responded to a tractor trailer on fire at the Shell gas station in Jean on February 19. Assistant Chief Tom responded in the Squad and Chief Colleen and firefighter Trey responded in the Engine. Engine 78 provided water supply by laying 250’ of 5” hose from a nearby hydrant to Engine 65 while Squad 78 provided traffic control around the site. Great job to everyone that responded!