Ceremony Honors P/S Firefighters

In a ceremony at the P/S Fire Department, Station 41, Oct. 17, Chief David Straub (right) recognized the promotions of, from right, Paul Voakes, Billy Chester and Phil Paine and the retirement of Captain Harris Scott.

Photo by Joy Hafford. |

In a ceremony at the P/S Fire Department, Station 41, Oct. 17, Chief David Straub (right) recognized the promotions of, from right, Paul Voakes, Billy Chester and Phil Paine and the retirement of Captain Harris Scott.


The Pine/Strawberry Fire Department held a ceremony on Oct. 17 at Station 41 in Pine recognizing the retirement of Captain Harris Scott, the promotion of a new captain and other promotions within the department. Presented for promotion were Paul Voakes, Phil Paine and Billy Chester.

Paul Voakes joined the P/S Fire Department in 2002 as a reserve and became a career member in 2004. Voakes was promoted from firefighter to engineer prior to his promotion to captain. He also holds a paramedic certification with the department.

Phil Paine joined the department in August 1997 as a volunteer member and then was promoted to reserve. He became a career member in December 2006 and served as firefighter until his October promotion to engineer. He also holds a paramedic certification with the department.

Billy Chester joined the department in May 2010 as a reserve and was promoted to a career member last month.

In addition to the promotions, the retirement of Captain Harris Scott was recognized. Scott retired Sept. 30, 2012 after completing more than 30 years with the P/S Fire Department.

He joined the department in 1979 and became a career member in 1987. He worked as a firefighter and then was promoted to engineer, lieutenant and captain. He held many positions while working for the department, serving as lead person on the rope rescue team, confined space/HazMat team and swift water rescue team. He was also the district’s water supply officer. The P/S Fire Department and the community commend Capt. Scott for his dedicated service and wish him well in his retirement.

The P/S Fire Department has served the residents of Pine and Strawberry since 1969. The service has evolved from all volunteer members to 18 full-time personnel ranging from captain to firefighters with paramedics and EMTs. Initially, the firefighters doubled as janitors and mechanics and had just one engine and one water tender. They were not staffed 24/7. Today the department has two engines, two water tenders, three ambulances, two brush trucks, and three staff vehicles.

The department has two office staff and a fuels pickup program overseen by a captain and staffed by three personnel.

The department’s medical response area is large, beginning a few miles south of Pine and north down Control Road approximately eight miles. They cover all of Pine and Strawberry along with Hardscrabble Road. North of Strawberry they cover everything on Highway 87 almost to the Blue Ridge Ranger Station. Within this area they respond to calls on all the dirt (Forest Service) roads. They also respond east on Highway 260 approximately 10 miles and along the Lake Mary Road to the Lake Mary Ranger Station. They also respond to the Fossil Creek area for medical assistance and provide mutual aid with other departments for medical and fire emergencies.

The P/S Fire Department encourages residents and area homeowners to be aware of actions they can take to protect their families, homes and property in the event of a catastrophic wildfire. They also recommend that residents place a Medical Information for Emergency Responders Card in an accessible place in their home such as on the refrigerator.

To obtain an ER card or vital safety information, stop by the fire station at 6198 W. Hardscrabble Road in Pine or 8543 W. Fossil Creek Road in Strawberry.

Artists/Crafters Christmas Boutique

The big red candy canes outside the Pine Community Center on Highway 87 in Pine signify the arrival of the annual P/S Arts and Crafts Guild Christmas Boutique.

The annual boutique features quality and unique holiday ornaments, decorations and gifts handcrafted by talented local artists and crafters. You’ll love the beautiful paintings and holiday greeting cards of acclaimed artist, Ruthellen Mason, colorful hand-woven baskets created by Bob Gleason, intricate-crafted wooden bowls by Curt Harp and so much more.

Boutique hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, 10 and 17, and on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 23 and 24.

For the best in holiday accessories, decorations and gifts that are handcrafted and from the heart, visit the Arts and Crafts Guild Christmas Boutique at the Pine Community Center every weekend in November.

For more information on the P/S Arts and Crafts Guild, please visit their Web site at http://pinestrawberryartscrafts.com.

Welcome Quilters!

The Rim Country Quilt Roundup welcomes quilters and quilt enthusiasts to Payson, Friday, Nov. 9 to Sunday, Nov. 11 for the eighth annual quilting extravaganza taking place at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino Event Center.

Highlights of the show include fascinating classes, lectures, make-and-take projects and a vendor mall.

Award-winning and nationally recognized teachers offer classes and lectures. You can learn some new skills or enhance already acquired skills.

This is also a unique opportunity to see the Arizona Centennial Quilt and the work of Strawberry’s own Hall of Fame recipient, Willene Smith, who had a part in this historical and important project.

For further information on the upcoming quilt show, go to http://quiltroundup.com.

Got Christmas spirit?

Would you like to experience the spirit of the season and help others this Christmas? The Salvation Army will hold a potluck for volunteer bell ringers at the Nazarene Church at 200 E. Tyler Parkway in Payson from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 7.

Interested bell ringers can sign up for two-hour shifts at Walmart, Walgreens, Bashas’ and Safeway starting the Friday after Thanksgiving.

All donations stay in Payson to help those in need in our area. Please bring a dish to the potluck.

If you can’t make it, but are interested in being a bell ringer, please contact John Morgan at (928) 474-8454.

Thank you for reading the column. Keep it right here on Fridays for all the upcoming events and holiday happenings in Pine and Strawberry. Stay safe and please e-mail events to haffordjoy1@gmail.com.


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