As a 30-year resident of Pine, I have been very interested in the letters from residents who are critical of the Pine/Strawberry Fire Department.
While I am not cognizant of the details concerning legal matters, or problems with the board, I am very knowledgeable about the quality of services provided to us by the personnel.
I have my scanner tuned 24 hours a day to the department's channel, and I can testify that the services we receive by these fantastic young men and women are superb. I listen intently while they hike down Fossil Creek Trail to first help an injured hiker and then carry him/her up the rugged trail, take the injured to PRMC and then fill out their various reports.
Too many times I hear them called to assist a motorcyclist or motorist in trouble and I hear the sadness in their voices than the news is bad, or when they come to the aid of our older citizens who need their care. They are there every hour of every day for us.
There are many incidents too numerous here to relate that lead me to say these people are awesome; for with all of the medical emergencies they respond to, they are also responsible for fighting fires in the area, educating the residents on fire prevention, picking up duff and cuttings (even directing traffic!) and increasing their skills in classes, all the while acting in a kind and professional manner.
Personally, they have come to my aid several times -- once in the middle of the night. These young people were so professional, so sweet and supportive that they made my trip to PRMC free of fear. I will never forget them!
Most of all, living in the dangerous Pine Creek Canyon, always packed to evacuate if necessary and always fearing the worst, I know that whatever happens, wildfire or medical, that I can count on the Pine/ Strawberry fire personnel to help me and the rest of the community with courage, skill and persistence; and I thank God for them every day.
Lastly, I encourage the people who are unhappy to carefully and methodically review all that they have to be thankful for, and to behave in a reasoned and kindly manner.
Merri H. Schall, Ed.D., Professor Emerita, Pine