Hellsgate Firefighters Praised For Helping Accident Victim


Hellsgate Fire Department was called out on Sunday afternoon about 4 p.m., Feb. 22, to the Ellison Creek area for a quad accident. Stations #22 and #23 responded to the call.

One of the part-time residents of the Ellison Creek Summer Homes was out riding quads with friends when the quad slipped on the mud and snow.

The quad tipped backwards, landing on top of Jim Novak. The area was in a very remote part of the quad trail, and it was very difficult to reach the site. Battalion Chief Blazer and Lieutenant Rick Washburn of Station #23 were the first to reach the scene, along with Jay Wagner, Lieutenant Nick Fitch, Chad Stluka, Trina Houdek and Stu Stewart.

The accident was in such a remote area that some of the firefighters had to go in on quads. The firefighters put Jim on the backboard after having to ford the fast-running creek to reach the D.P.S. Ranger helicopter.

It had to land in the creek to lift the injured victim into the helicopter. Jim was taken to John C. Lincoln Hospital.

It was later learned that Jim suffered a broken back, and the doctors performed surgery. It was determined then that he would not have any long-term disability. One of the residents of the area, Lonnie Smith, remarked that the firefighters acted so professionally and calmly that the accident scene was totally under control at all times.

She remarked that she “did not have enough praise for the crew and felt so very proud of all the firefighters on the scene.” Thank you to Hellsgate firefighting crew and to the D.P.S. Ranger helicopter crew for an outstanding job. You are all awesome!

A huge thank-you to Kendra and Jake Garrett for the new American flag that they donated to be hung outside the fire station. They also donated the outside light that will illuminate the flag at night. Thank you both for being so generous.


March birthdays already! Time is moving too fast! To start the month off, Joan Norem, from Tonto Village III and Mesa, will be celebrating her birthday on March 1.

Joan is very active in the village, being a ‘Firefly’ of Hellsgate Fire District Auxiliary, an avid domino player and has recently started playing ‘Hand and Foot’ with some of the gals from the village and Christopher Creek.

On March 6, Eric Kirkhoefer, also of Tonto Village III, will add another birthday candle to his cake. Eric is a very civic-minded person. He was on the fire board of the now defunct Tonto Village Fire District and he very gladly will help people in need.

Theresa Meeker, my fishing buddy (and the person who caught that whopper of a trout last year), will have her birthday on March 8.

The next day, March 9, is my husband Bill’s birthday. He won’t mind if I tell his age — he will be 74 years old.

On March 12, Pat Watson and Kent Mortenson have their big day. Kent loves to ride his quad around the neighborhood and he helps keep the village clean of trash, he goes around picking up the cans, etc. Thank you, Kent, for being a good neighbor.

Pat is one of the longest residing residents of the village and she has had a few health problems this year; we wish her well. Happy birthday to all of you!

Pool results

Last Tuesday evening, the nine-ball teams from the village and Christopher Creek played at the Double D. Margaret Stasney, Betty Koutz and Bambi Grimes were the top three winners.

On Sunday afternoon, the eight-ball gang took to the tables and, lo and behold, Cliff Landrum shot for first place!

It’s been a while, Cliff, we’re glad to see that you have your game plan together! Second- and third-place winners were Tim Ehrhardt and Jimmy ‘Rabbit’ Stephenson. Congratulations to all of you.

Congratulations to Sam Coe, who played a perfect game in bowling last week. Sam shot 300! Way to go, Sam!

This week is the start of Lent, and the religion I practice requires that you give up something for the 40 days until Easter. There are many people who practice this and sometimes it is not an easy thing to do.

Since I love chocolate, this is what I will give up for 40 days. How about you?


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