Spotlight: Beavercreek Fire Department

IMG_1673.JPGThis month’s spotlight is on our local Clackamas Fire District #1 Station 10 in Beavercreek. We spoke with Battalion Chief Brian Burke and Capt. Robert Rector who shared the history of the station, as well as key things residents should know that could help them in the event of an emergency situation.

BC Burke took us back to the early 1940s to explain the origins of the station. He said, “The Beavercreek Fire District was started at a threat from the incendiary bombs that the Japanese were releasing over here during World War II, so a bunch of farmers got together and formed a fire district.” Beavercreek was its own fire district until around 1995 when it merged with Clackamas Fire District #1. If you were in Beavercreek in the 1960s, you may remember the original fire station being in the building that is currently occupied by Brooks Motor Company. In 2000, its permanent home was built just a mile down the road at 22310 S. Beavercreek Road.

Today Station 10 is staffed 24 hours a day, year-round, with at least one paramedic on duty and four paid personnel at all times. It is supplemented by volunteers from the Clarkes Fire Station and supported by surrounding Fire Stations including Oregon City and Redland. Station 10 protects the Beavercreek, Carus and Leland communities, and is also part of the South Battalion. The station has a brush rig and two water tenders (10 and 13). Tenders are essentially special water tankers and are a very significant and unique part of the Beavercreek station. Because we do not have fire hydrants, the tenders allow the crew to transport large amounts of water (up to 3,000 gallons) to remote sites throughout Beavercreek. The Beavercreek Fire Station is also unique in that it is responsible for maintaining annual testing on the specialty equipment in and around our area.

We asked BC Burke what types of calls the station received most frequently. He said the number one calls are medical emergencies, followed by calls for assistance that come in during weather-related events – from brush fires in the summertime to ice-related problems in winter. BC Burke pointed out that “there’s not really a rhyme or reason to when we get fire-related calls” as they tend to happen throughout the entire year.

The station has a Community Room that is available at no cost. Several non-profit organizations in the area utilize it on a pretty regular basis, including the Hamlet of Beavercreek Board of Directors, the Beavercreek Committee for Community Planning, and Back Country Horsemen Territorial Riders Chapter, to name a few. When the regular crew at Station 10 is able, they often participate in community events throughout the year and have visited both Beavercreek Elementary and Carus Schools to let the students and staff see the fire trucks up close and learn about fire safety. While Station 10 doesn’t host any events or classes, they are happy to give tours of the facility. If you’re interested in safety seminars, events and CPR classes, check the Station 1 calendar at https://sites.google.com/ a/chealthcare.com/cfd1/ along with numerous other ways to stay connected to the Clackamas Fire District and our own Station 10.

BC Burke and Captain Rector were eager to relay to Beavercreek residents the importance of evaluating your property for emergency response:

  • Proximity of landscaping to buildings. How close are trees to your residence? Did you know that in certain instances, if trees are too close to your home the fire department may not be able to assist? There are some guidelines that may help you in assessing what is near your home when it comes to safety and “save-ability” if there is a home fire. This is important to understand and they encourage you to do your due diligence for your own safety. More information can be found at http://www.clackamasfire.com.
  • Accessibility is also extremely important. How accessible are your buildings (homes, barns, shops, etc.) from the main road? Are the entrances to your property tall enough for the fire apparatus to fit under or between? It is 10.5 feet tall and 9.5 feet wide, and if it doesn’t safely fit they cannot and will not enter. Also if there is not an engineered bridge to maintain the weight of the fire truck or water tender to cross over to get to you, again they won’t be able to help for safety reasons.

Captain Rector also strongly suggests that residents check to ensure their house number is visible from the road. He said, “The house numbers are not as easily found out in these rural areas like they are when they are painted on sidewalks in the city. If the numbers are hard for you to see (especially at night) it will be hard for us to see too. If there is a fork in the road and it may be confusing to quickly locate your house number, it is helpful if someone can meet any crew member at that fork in the road or at the end of a driveway to give direction.”

As you can tell, fire departments have safety guidelines for both the crew and the fire trucks to adhere to. These are just a few tips on what Hamlet residents can do to ensure safe passage to your residences, but there are numerous links on the main website and they welcome your phone call to answer any questions you may have.

Beavercreek residents can stay connected via their website or by calling Station 10’s general line at 503-742-2600.

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