Hellsgate Fire Department In The News


Where has the month gone?! This column is the last one for the month.

There have been many events this month and that may be part of the reason; Valentine’s Day, Statehood Day, President’s Day and last but not least, Pacemaker Day for my hubby. He is doing very well, as a matter of fact.

The weather has also played its hand in the news with about 1-1/4 inches of rainfall this past weekend and then about 6 inches of snow on top of that in Tonto Village.

In Bear Flat, the total precipitation was 2.42 inches. Total snowfall was 4 inches. In Mead Ranch, the snowfall hit a whopping 10 inches with total precipitation at 2.23 inches, which includes 1.82 inches of rain.

In Bear Flat, the Gila County Maintenance Crew made short work of plowing the road on Sunday afternoon for the residents. They have done a wonderful job of making the road passable for the residents. The phone service went out in Bear Flat on Saturday, and I was told that it would not be repaired until the following Tuesday. They were surprised when a fellow named Tim from Qwest showed up on Monday to repair their phones. Everyone in the area wishes to thank the road crew for their promptness and a huge thank-you to the repairman from Qwest for the speedy service.

Hellsgate Fire Department

Kudos to Fire Chief Gary Hatch for the honor of being one of three top firefighters within the Payson area for the second year in a row, according to the Payson Roundup’s Best of Payson readers’ poll.

The next Hellsgate Fire Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 9 at the Star Valley fire station. The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited since the meetings are always open to the public and comments are welcome.

Another chance to voice your opinion will be at the Strategic Planning Session that will be held on Monday, Feb. 28 at the Star Valley station. The session will begin at 5:30 p.m. The board will be reviewing and discussing where the fire department will be headed in the next five years.

Applications are still being accepted for reserve firefighters until Monday, Feb. 28. If you have ever thought that you would like to become a firefighter, here’s your chance. Applications can be picked up at the administration office at the Star Valley fire station.

Every year, the National Fire Academy in Maryland holds its session sponsored by FEMA for accepted applicants. This year, firefighters Rick Heron, Rick Washburn and Jay Wagner have been selected to attend. They will leave at the end of May for this special training.

Hellsgate anniversaries for years of service this month go to business manager Angie Lecher for 13 years, and firefighter Jon Jackson for 2 years. Congratulations to the both of you.


Joan Norem, of Tonto Village III and Mesa, will start off March birthdays on March 1. Joan has been a vital part of the Hellsgate Fireflies Auxiliary for many years, and Joan is our top fund-raiser for donations from the community.

The Fireflies wish to thank you, Joan, for your many years of dedication to the Hellsgate Fire Department and to the Fireflies Auxiliary. Happy birthday!

Eric Kirchhoefer of Tonto Village III will add another candle to his birthday cake on March 6. For many years, Eric served on the Tonto Village Fire Department fire board and has since retired. Thank you, Eric, for your years of service to the community.

March 8 will be Theresa Meeker’s big day. As you already know, Theresa is my fishing buddy but she also is a member of the Fireflies Auxiliary. Theresa is a part-timer to our community, but helps out when she is in Tonto Village.

On March 9, my hubby of 53 years will celebrate his 76th birthday. Is the cake even visible? Stand by, Hellsgate, with a fire extinguisher!

Hellsgate firefighters Dale Hays will share a birthday on March 4 with Martha Bartlett.

An interesting statistic arose that I had not thought of: There are a total of four female firefighters on the Hellsgate Fire Department — along with Martha Bartlett — Trina Houdek, Breannon Miller and Janelle Garrison. Great going, gals, we are all proud of your success.

Double D Doings

The nine ball competition on Tuesday evening got under way about 6:30 p.m. The top winners were Kara Shaw, Bobbette ‘Bobbie’ Davis and Patti Boeschling of Christopher Creek.

The newly formed men’s league on Thursday evenings showed that Kevin Janssen, Michael Bryan and Harvey Poyner were the top shooters of the evening. Okay, Cliff, it’s about time you chalk up that pool stick and win!


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