Josephine County Historical Society's "Passport To History" - Grants Pass Fire Department
The Josephine County Historical Society's "Passport To History" program takes us to the Park Street Station for the Grants Pass Fire Department.
The most modern of our Grants Pass public service buildings, it houses our south side Fire Department and is also a Police Station annex.
It's nice to see a facility like this for those who do so much for our community.
This 1911 LaFrance fire engine was reportedly the first motorized fire engine in all of Oregon! It has wooden wheels; try to fit these tires today! The city retired this truck in the 1970s and it was purchased and restored by a California man. Later, the city tried to purchase it back, but the price of $90,000 was too high.
Years later, the owner gave it to a grateful Grants Pass, and he unfortunately passed away only three months later.
This is another LaFrance which came on board in 1927. We were given a tour by fireman Jeremy Nelson (pictured in this photo), who has two brothers with the fire department and his father is a fire captain in Medford.
Jeremy has a terrific attitude and expressed their department's pride in their new home.
While we were discussing some of their duties in responding to non-fire related calls, such as injuries, Jeremy stated that they are happy to respond, as their duty is to the taxpayers and there are no limitations on how far they will go to provide service! Grants Pass firemen are certified EMTs, and most often they are on the scene even before the ambulance arrives.
Notice that Caveman Bridge, spanning the Rogue River is prominently displayed in the Grants Pass city's logo.
We met several of the fire department people and they were all super-nice. While we were there a lady came in to have a child-seat properly installed in her car, and Jeremy told us, they are always happy to do that, and that they will also help you make sure smoke alarms are properly working in your home.
Another thing that impressed us was how much appreciation was shown for their accommodations.
There are sleeping quarters for six fire personnel, and a beautiful kitchen and eating area all on the second floor.
They have three refrigerators, one for each shift. It's really a huge step up from their last quarters. This way they can keep their individual food without feeling they are "packing a lunch" every time they pull the long shifts.
The firefighters take turns cooking. They even have a workout room. I asked Jeremy if everyone used the exercise equipment, and he said everyone does every day! Staying in shape is important for the firefighters, and I don't believe it is "optional."
The barbecue sits on the beautiful deck, which is more than just a great place to cook and relax. This building has "function" you can't believe!
The ladder, in the upper right-hand corner of this photo goes to another level above that is reinforced for training purposes.
Not long ago, this area was used as a simulated elevator shaft, and a team performed exercises in raising injured people on stretchers in an emergency evacuation.
The bell above is a "Blymer" made in 1884. Sometime back the bell cracked, similar to our "Liberty Bell," so it is no longer used, but deserves its' place of honor for years of service.
These people are so typical of the brave firefighters who serve throughout our country. They really seem to be a "cut above," and we feel better about paying our taxes to support such fine public servants.
Thanks for the great tour Jeremy!
Please visit the Josephine County Historical Society's website for more information on the Passport To History program.
Below are the links to my earlier Josephine County Historical Society's Passport To History blogs.