White Rock Fire De­part­ment Cel­e­brates

McDonald County Press - - PROTECT & SERVE - Sally Car­roll

From a newly ac­ti­vated he­li­pad to a grant for new uni­forms and a new Res­cue 1 truck, the White Rock Fire De­part­ment stands ready to serve.

Staff mem­bers cel­e­brated the first an­niver­sary of the he­li­pad this sum­mer. The he­li­pad, lo­cated near the fire sta­tion off High­way 90, was put into use when a Mercy crew flew in to pick up a pa­tient who needed emer­gency care.

The all-vol­un­teer White Rock Fire De­part­ment works hard to cover an area of 90 square miles. Fire­fight­ers uti­lize two sta­tions — one in Jane and one off High­way 90 — to cover a num­ber of in­ci­dents.

Hav­ing an as­set such as the he­li­pad is ex­cep­tional for the fire de­part­ment, which serves folks in some ar­eas that are re­mote for am­bu­lances to reach, said White Rock Fire De­part­ment as­sis­tant fire chief Fred Parker.

The de­part­ment has ex­pe­ri­enced a series of suc­cesses this year, in­clud­ing the ac­qui­si­tion of Res­cue 1 truck, which was re­cently added to the fleet.

Other suc­cesses in­clude re­ceiv­ing a grant to pur­chase 15 new sets of turnout gear, from head to toe.

“The turnout gear that we pur­chased should ar­rive, at the lat­est, in early Novem­ber,” Parker said.

The de­part­ment has had other firsts, in­clud­ing adding patches for the first time.

Parker said the changes — small and large — en­able more than 20 vol­un­teers to reach out to the com­mu­nity in an im­proved, ef­fi­cient way.

In 1962, a lo­cal fire prompted a group of peo­ple to gather to­gether to help the com­mu­nity. From there, vol­un­teers have helped build an op­er­a­tion to serve their neigh­bors. To­day, Chief Joe Lahr heads up a staff of ac­tive vol­un­teers who aid the com­mu­nity, with two to three peo­ple in re­serves and two who per­form ad­min­is­tra­tive du­ties.

All op­er­a­tional funds are de­rived from money that comes from fundrais­ers sup­ported by the com­mu­nity.

“We want to say a huge thank you to our com­mu­nity for its con­tin­ued sup­port over the years as we work hard to con­tin­u­ally im­prove,” Parker said.

Fire­fight­ers work very hard to give of their time to learn more, grow as a group and work to­gether to ac­com­plish such goals as the com­ple­tion of the he­li­pad, Parker said.

RACHEL DICKERSON/MCDON­ALD COUNTY PRESS

With a new res­cue truck, uni­forms and a re­cent grant from the Mis­souri Con­ser­va­tion De­part­ment, the White Rock Fire De­part­ment is ready to serve the com­mu­nity. Right, Terry Cook of the Mis­souri Con­ser­va­tion De­part­ment gives a grant check to Fire Chief Joe Lahr. Pic­tured from the left are Gene Grainger, Ray Brat­tin, Coleen Moore, board chair­man Dan Moore, Bradley Sam­marco, Tony Fisher, Noah Fisher, Fred Parker and Joe Sanders. Not pic­tured: David Arm­strong, Michael Mar­ler and Malachi Lo­gan.

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