Beautiful In Winter, But Ice Can Be Deadly

P/S Fire Department routinely train personnel and practice rescue maneuvers enabling them to be prepared for the many emergencies that they encounter.

Photo by Joy Hafford. |

P/S Fire Department routinely train personnel and practice rescue maneuvers enabling them to be prepared for the many emergencies that they encounter.


Pine and Strawberry, in the Arizona Rim Country, are a winter playground of outstanding natural beauty. Residents and visitors lace up their trail shoes and skis or take their mountain bikes, Jeeps and ATVs to amazing places and moments in time. As you hit the icy trails you are rewarded with various deer and bird species and other wildlife or tracks in the snow, beautiful snow-covered mountains and awesome views. As winter descends on our mountains and forest, the theme is snow, ice and more ice!

Motorists know as they take to the roadways to beware of ice and slick conditions, but the glass-like ice also poses a perilous risk to residents and hikers in our woods. Walking without slipping can pose a problem, let alone hiking, running, mountain biking and other winter sports. Vehicle tracks and footprints compress the snow and with the slight daytime thaw can make many areas even more icy and rutted. After the beautiful snow begins to melt, our yards and trails undergo many cycles of freeze-thaw and can become treacherous. Although I have not fallen on the ice so far, I have often slipped, lost my footing, and jarred my back having to hobble around for a few days.


P/S Fire Department routinely train personnel and practice rescue maneuvers enabling them to be prepared for the many emergencies that they encounter.

Unfortunately, my husband, Richard, was not so lucky. On Jan. 21, almost one month ago to the day, he slipped on a frozen patch of ice in our yard and fell, sustaining a broken hip. At 63 years of age and a disabled veteran with compromised immune system due to other health issues, the resulting complications from a broken hip nearly cost him his life.

The P/S Fire Department personnel were here within minutes and acted quickly and professionally, transporting him to Payson Region Medical Center, who several hours later transported him by ambulance to the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Phoenix. We are so grateful for all of the firefighters and EMTs and medical staff for their care and assistance to Richard that day.

After almost 3 weeks in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit at the VA Hospital and an amazing team of pulmonary doctors and specialists who have worked day and night with unwavering commitment in fighting an “unidentified” pneumonia, their efforts and treatments are producing a positive outcome!

With Richard’s combat Marine fighting spirit, and friends, family, community and medical team who will not give up, he is now cautiously moving in the right direction — out of the woods and the ICU. Richard had hip surgery on Jan. 31, and once he regains his strength should be on his way to a long and challenging but full recovery.

I am grateful to the P/S community and Roundup readers for all of your prayers, encouragement and support during this crisis.

For those who have asked, cards for Richard may be sent to: Richard Hafford/8704, Phoenix VA Health Care System, 650 E. Indian School Rd., Ward 4D, Room 427, Phoenix, AZ 85012-1892.

Pine and Strawberry and the Payson community are a friendly, close-knit and incredibly beautiful area with year-round outdoor recreation and events. There are wonderful antique and specialty shops, restaurants and saloons, historical sights, arts and crafts, festivals and more.

We hope that you will visit soon and often, but please take great care in the winter time and watch out for the ice.

For information on events, follow this column each Friday in the Payson Roundup or visit the following informational websites:, www.pinestrawberry, www.psbusinesscommunity or

Upcoming Events in 2013

May 11 and 12, May Day Festival. May 25 and 26 Memorial Day Arts and Crafts Festival. June 15 and 16, 23rd annual Strawberry Festival and Blues Festival. July 6 and 7, 4th of July Arts and Crafts Festival. Aug. 10 and 11, Mountain Daze Festival. Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, Labor Day Arts and Crafts Festival. Oct. 5 and 6, 5th annual Fall Apple Festival and 2nd annual Antique Show. Nov. 30, Festival of Lights and P/S Arts and Crafts Guild Holiday Boutique held each holiday season.

Also coming in 2013, Arizona Trails Day, Fire on the Rim Mountain Bike Race, Mogollon Monster 100 Foot Race, and Tellabration.

Stay tuned for all the details on these upcoming events, P/S School, Library, Senior Citizens Affairs Foundation, local not for profit groups and more.

P/S 4th Annual Easter Egg Hunt

This year’s fun event for children will take place at the Cabins on Strawberry Hill on March 30 at 10 a.m. The event is FREE and open to all children, including teens.

There will be craft activities, special golden eggs, prize baskets, cash prizes, and the Easter Bunny will be present for picture taking.

Parking will be limited, so please carpool with a friend if possible or contact Shara Weiss if you do not have a ride at (928) 978-6293.

Wishing you all a happy, safe and accident-free year. Please send your events to


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