Newport and Depoe Bay Fire Departments have just come into some grant money aimed at getting fire trucks and rescue units to emergency scenes faster, day and night. Newport and Depoe Bay won a joint Homeland Security/FEMA grant for nearly $800,000 over four years to pay volunteer firefighters to be available at their respective stations for either a 12 hour or 24 hour shift. During those hours they would be ready to respond instantly with the regularly paid staff on their way to fires, traffic crashes, beach or ocean rescues, medical calls and other emergencies.
Currently, just a single paid firefighter often mans a fire truck until volunteers show up “on scene” a few minutes later. Until they do, there is only so much one person can do (although history proves they can do more than you think). But with the added revenue to pay volunteers to spend time at the station, there will be more firefighters on scene translating into greater safety through teamwork for the firefighters and victims of accidents or other emergencies.
Newport Fire Chief Phil Paige and Chief Joshua Williams of Depoe Bay say that no local taxpayer match money is involved which will help both communities during these tough economic times. They add the program should help both departments in their constant need to recruit new volunteers. In fact they invite any man or woman who have ever considered learning more about volunteer firefighting to stop by either fire department and check out the new “stipend” program.
Newport Fire is located at 245 NW 10th (one block west of 101), and Depoe Bay Fire is located just south of the Depoe Bay Bridge, on the ocean side of 101.