From time to time, I read in the Roundup, letters and articles about the Christopher-Kohl's Fire Department. and our leader, Kent Courtney. I know Kent well, and the man who has so far been described in the Roundup is not the man I know.
I didn't get involved with the board recall, and I don't go to the meetings, but I want people to know the man I know as chief.
When first getting to know the chief, he immediately took me under his wing. He encouraged me to explore ways to mend some fallen relationships with other local people. He explained to me that it was the Christian thing to do.
One time, my work truck broke down and I couldn't work to support my family. Chief came over and spent hours of his own time working on my truck -- all the time discussing the philosophy of fire departments. I realized his teaching ability was excellent.
Since that day, Chief has helped me start my own business removing bark beetle trees, and taught me how to do it better. He has helped me buy a place for my family to live. He has helped me make sense of things that made no sense to me at all.
It's not just me Chief has befriended. He is a mentor to many people who are new to fire and EMS, and a darn fine mentor he is.
People have to understand that the demands on the CKFD are constantly growing, what with the new highway and the drastic fire danger that is increasing in the forest that surrounds us. We need a leader with vision, and one with the skill and knowledge to take this fire department into the 21st century.
I've been in the Christopher Creek area off and on since 1969. I'm a fairly educated man, and choose not to play the role of an "ignorant hick." We need a stronger, more capable, better trained fire department. We would be hard-pressed to find another chief with the leadership skills and mentoring philosophies, along with the knowledge of fire science and EMS. There are such people in the fire profession, but I doubt that they would be willing to be the community dart board.
Chief Courtney is a friend, mentor, teacher, and leader. I think that the people who know him the way I do should speak up.
Denny Harger, Christopher Creek