Tag: Lorane Rural Fire Department

Sweet Lorane Community News, September 24, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
September 24, 2020
By Pat Edwards

Lorane firefightere, Pete Kersgaard, viewing the aftermath of the wildfire that burned between Carpenter’s-By-Pass and Territorial Roads. Photo by Shane Kronberger


Our community dodged another wildfire bullet again this week. At about 4:00 p.m. last Wednesday, September 23, high winds developed in our area. Apparently, a tree, located on private property situated between south Territorial and Carpenter’s By-Pass roads fell on some power lines which ignited a fire that quickly began to spread. Many of us were glued to the Lorane Facebook page and the various fire alert websites to get updated information as it happened. Neighbors close to the fire began loading their horses and livestock into trailers in case they needed to quickly move out of the way of the blaze which the winds were blowing towards Territorial. The fear was palpable, but soon, fire vehicles and Bruce McDonald’s big CAT which has already seen a lot of use in local fires, were seen heading for the site. Shortly afterwards, reports and photos of helicopters with buckets of water were seen flying over the community and we all rejoiced. Prayers went out on-line for rain which was already showing up as sprinkles coming from the west. Within minutes, reports began showing up that the rain had hit the area as a steady downpour. Although the fear was still present, we all began to feel that this was one battle that we were not going to lose.

Helicopter with bucket of water heading for the Lorane wildfire on September 23, 2020. Photo by Jessica Betts

During the duration of the fire, the administrators of the Lorane, Oregon Facebook page were busily manning the page in order to give family members of area residents and neighboring communities permission to join the page so that they could follow the progression.

The next day, the Lorane Rural Fire Protection District fire department released the following statement:

“With the help of North Douglas, Lane Fire Authority, ODF, air support and good ole Oregon rain, we were able to get a good knock down. (The) last unofficial estimate is around 10-15 acres in size. ODF will stay on scene mopping up hot spots overnight and possibly into tomorrow. We also have a dozer on site to create a fire line around the perimeter. Thank you to all of our supporting agencies for the quick response.”

The community was especially vocal in posting thanks to all who worked so hard to protect us. These thanks included in the many posts the following morning can be summed up by Karen Pidgeon.

“Heartfelt thanks to all who helped get the fire out, and everyone for their communications. After the weeks of fires and smoke and worry, this was a huge fear for everyone out here… so thankful for such a great community!”

Thank you, LRFPD and all those who helped with the fire, for taking such good care of us! It was a pretty scary time and we are so thankful that so many were prepared and able to get this fire out before it got started. Mother Nature was definitely on our side last night, too, but you are all our heroes.

The Lorane Rural Fire Protection District: Keeping Our Community Safe and Solvent

The Lorane Rural Fire Protection District (RFPD) has recently announced the purchase of two new vehicles that will be serving the residents of Lorane and the surrounding area in emergencies. What’s even better is the fact that both trucks were purchased using capital reserves that were built up by prudent management. Despite overseeing a small district, Fire Chief, Tom Soward, Assistant Fire Chief, Jim Bailor, and the Board of Directors—President Berneda McDonald, Gary Lutman, Bob Drullinger, Jeri Porter, and Martin McClure—take pride in understanding their tax base—the wishes of their patrons—and were able to make the purchase of the trucks and cover the cost of outfitting them without asking for more monies from taxes.

#2518, the Wildland Ford F-350 Rescue rig

The new vehicles include a Wildland 2020 Ford F-350 rescue vehicle and a Wildland 2020 Ford F-450 brush rig with a cab chassis.

Number 2518, the F-350 rescue vehicle, with its club cab, can seat four responders comfortably, or five, if necessary, whereas its predecessor could only transport two. It is equipped with a canopy that holds medical supplies for the EMTs and other equipment that might be needed for car wrecks and medical responses.

#2513: The Wildland Ford F-450 Brush rig

Number 2513, the F-450 brush rig, is designed to be used for brush fires and has a hose reel that can be used for fires close to the road. It carries hoses, pumping equipment and a 300-gallon water tank on board.

Asst. Chief Jim Bailor has done most of the research, design and purchase work for the trucks, and the company that put together the rigs is going to name the designs of each “the Lorane Model” and will share them with other fire districts.

Besides the two new trucks, the Lorane RFPD bought a brand new, state-of-the-art vehicle extraction tool that can be used with motor vehicle accidents. According to board member, Martin McClure, it cuts vehicles up “super quick and quietly” compared to the tools they have used in the past. This vehicle extraction tool is battery-operated, so it can be grabbed off the truck and immediately put to work. There is no longer a need to hook it up and get it operational. It’s ready to go when someone needs to be extracted from a crushed vehicle.

With the addition of the new trucks, the Lorane RFPD fleet now includes seven vehicles—2 structure fire engines; 1 tender with a 3,000 gallon water tank; 1 command vehicle; and a second rescue rig. Of the two fire engines used for structure fires, the oldest is their dependable 20-year-old truck that was bought new. It carries a 1,000 gallon water tank to supplement the tender; the other was obtained from the Sheldon fire station in Eugene. Although used, it still had low mileage on it and will serve the district for many more years with its 500 gallon water tank.

The Lorane RFPD Board of Directors admiring their new rescue rig. (from left to right) Fire Cheif Tom Soward; Asst. Fire Chief Jim Bailor; President Berneda McDonald; Board Members, Bob Drullinger and Jeri Porter. Board Member Martin McClure took the photo and Gary Lutman was not on site.

The Lorane Fire Department averages about 100 fire and medical calls per year. Bailor estimated that 80% to 85% are for medical reasons; 10% are for motor vehicle accidents; and 5% to 10% are for fire calls. The department also provides mutual aid support to the South Lane Fire District (which includes Cottage Grove and Creswell) and the Lane Fire Authority which is currently made up of 16 fire stations that cover a service area of 282 square miles west, northwest, and southwest of Eugene, including the Fern Ridge area.

Lorane RFPD frequently joins with the Crow, Lorane Highway and the South Lane stations to train together in search and rescue, fire-fighting techniques and water shuttle exercises, among others. The water shuttle exercises take place at a pond on King Estate Winery property, north of Lorane, which supplies much of the water needed for emergency use.
The South Lane Fire District provides ambulance service for the Lorane area south of King Estate Winery. Any paramedic needs north of King Estate are handled by the Lane Fire Authority.

The Lorane RFPD currently has 2 paid staff members and 16 volunteers. As with most fire districts, volunteer recruits are always needed. They receive training and, once certified, they are put on call to respond to emergency situations, 24 hours a day. Lorane has had a long and rich history of volunteers dating from when the Lorane Volunteer Fire and Emergency Group was founded in June 1973.

In my book, From Sawdust and Cider to Wine (2006), I included a history of the Lorane Fire Department and the following is the portion dealing with the volunteers:

“The majority of Lorane Fire Department’s firefighters are volunteers. The only paid positions are the Fire Chief, the Assistant Chief and the accountant. Over half of the volunteers have emergency medical training as first responders, EMT or higher. The district tries to maintain between 15 to 20 volunteers, but the number fluctuates frequently due to people moving or conflicts with school, jobs or lifestyles. One of the programs that the Lorane department offers to pique the interest of future volunteers is a cadet program for 15-year olds. The cadets do not fight fires or respond to calls, but they do train with the firefighters. They learn the skills for fighting fires and rescues and once they turn 16, they can then begin participating officially.

“Lorane’s firefighters hold regular jobs or are students in high school or college. The reasons they volunteer cover a lot of territory. Most do it out of their desire to contribute to the community. In doing so, they know that they are helping others. Fighting fires and responding to medical or accident calls can also provide some with a needed “adventure-quotient.” These volunteers not only give to others, but gain much for themselves, as well, in the form of self-respect.

“Working alongside others with the same skills and objectives can also forge lifelong friendships. The volunteers’ dedication is evident by the many hours that each person spends in training and honing their skills.

Firefighters generally train two hours a week, and many train 150 hours a year. Trying to keep a full staff of volunteers from a rural community is a challenging task, so new volunteers are constantly being sought.”

Besides the cadet program for 15-year-olds, mentioned above, various larger fire districts in mostly urban areas, offer a residence program for certified volunteer firefighters and EMTs who are attending LCC’s paramedic program. They are offered free residence in dormitories that are set up at the station while they attend class and volunteer in the fire district. Lorane RFPD does not have a resident program, but it encourages high school students who are interested in a career as a paramedic or fire-fighter to enter the cadet program and serve their communities as many have done before them.

“In 1982, the Lorane community approved the establishment of a fire district by a vote of 125 to 56. The Lorane Rural Fire Department at that time covered 12-square miles and approximately 650 people in 218 dwellings. Shortly after the levy was approved, the Fire Board installed Joe Brewer as Chief and Bruce McDonald as Asst. Chief.

“At the time the district was established, it lowered the fire insurance rates in the district considerably. With the acquisition of more and better equipment, the insurance rate fell even more in 1985.

“The original fire hall was built entirely from volunteer help and donated materials, using no tax monies whatsoever. Bohemia and other local lumber companies donated the materials and cash, and the equipment was donated by Western Lane Forestry and Weyerhaeuser Co. The new building even housed a training center.”

We—the residents of Lorane—have much to be proud of in our fire department, its staff and volunteers. They are friends and neighbors, who care enough about our community to dedicate time and energy to our safety.

We owe them a debt of thanks and recognition for all that they do.

Sweet Lorane Community News – January 26, 2017

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
January 26, 2017
By Pat Edwards

“Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows…” Well, maybe our days have not quite reached those particular sentiments expressed by Lesley Gore so many years ago, but this past week has certainly been an improvement over what we’ve been experiencing, weatherwise.

The Ukulele Club, sponsored by the Rural Art Center has resumed its lessons on Thursdays in the Crow Middle/High School music room. Age groups, 4th grade through adult, are invited to join them. Beginners meet from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. and the class for those who have already had some lessons is at 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. each Thursday afternoon. If you’re interested, plan on joining them. From what I understand, it’s a fun group.

With all the dissension over politics on a national level these days, many people are feeling helpless about not really having a say in what is happening in our country. Individuals frequently cannot see how their efforts leave any major impact. But one way that you can see result of your caring is by serving your community in some way. By doing so, you can feel a rewarding sense of pride and accomplishment. Here are some great opportunities for area residents to make a real difference in our community.

Three positions are opening on the Lorane Fire Board and they are asking for applications from local residents who are interested in having a say in how our Lorane Rural Fire Department is run. Please contact a member of the Lorane RFPD for more information. The Fire Chief is Tom Soward and the Assistant Fire Chief is Jim Bailor. Go to their website at https://loraneorfd.samariteam.com to send a message or call and/or leave a message by phone at 541-942-1233.

In addition, the Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District #66 is seeking volunteer patrons to serve on the Budget Committee this year. They will hold 2-3 meetings in May and a meeting in June with the school board and administration. If you are interested, contact Lee Ann in the district office at 541-935-2100.

I hope that these positions fill rapidly. Help is needed and the time you spend in service to your community will bring rewards, not only to Lorane or Crow, but to yourself, as well.