Roughly two dozen dedicated drivers decorated their ATVs, bundled up and paraded through Pine during a snowstorm Saturday morning for the 4th Annual St. Paddy’s Fest and Fundraiser put on by Old County Inn. Sister restaurant, Pinewood Tavern, took on the colder customers, as bands had to move indoors.

The event raised about $1,600 for the local Humane Society despite the cold, wintry weather that greeted revelers. Old County Inn thanks everyone who turned out to help make the event successful.

Let’s hope for a sunny St. Patrick’s Day next year.

New fire chief

big on grantsHe’s been here 4.4 months, but Pine-Strawberry Fire (PSFD) Chief John Wisner is already living up to one of the commitments he made to the fire board, actively seeking grant money. He has brought in just over $25,000 to date.

PSFD has been awarded $10,740 from the 100 Club of Arizona. Called the Safety Enhancement Stipend Award (SES), it was created in 2004 by the 100 Club specifically to help public safety agencies buy equipment to enhance the safety of officers and firefighters. The award was used to purchase vehicle stabilization equipment for engine 411 in Pine and for engine 421 in Strawberry. Firefighters use this equipment to stabilize vehicles that rest in awkward and dangerous positions after a vehicle collision. By stabilizing the vehicles, firefighters can safely work to rescue victims without the danger of being crushed by the vehicle.

“Our firefighter can be put in some very dangerous situations with vehicles that are unstable on accident scenes. These new tools will help keep them, as well as the victims, safer at accident scenes,” said Wisner.

Next up was an award of $15,000 from the Tonto Apache Tribe gaming revenue.

“They awarded it to us because they want to support public safety,” said Wisner. “They have always been supportive of local causes and public services.

This grant money will go to hoses and other equipment for both stations.

Wisner became chief of PSFD on Nov. 1. He spent his corona downtime at home writing grants.

“I told the board I believe that it is part of my job to aggressively seek funding for the department,” he said.

There are several more grants on his desk, waiting for approval.

“If we don’t ask, we don’t get it and I am always going to ask.”

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