Commendation Letters Issued to Firefighters Involved in Recent Conflagration Activation

Last week, during the monthly Board of Directors meetings for both Marion County Fire District #1 (MCFD#1) and Turner Fire District (TFD), Chief Henson delivered letters of commendation to personnel involved in our recent response to the High Cascades Complex Warm Springs Reservation conflagration activation. Captain Riley also provided a short presentation with vivid photos of our firefighting efforts.

The conflagration activation and call for help came in from Marion County Fire Defense Board Chief Jack Carriger on the afternoon of Saturday, August 27th. In under an hour, all personnel were packed and fully prepared to respond with the Marion County task force. They likely did not know then that they would be gone for the next seven days.

Thanks to the efforts of the Marion County task form team members, multiple structures were saved and no lives were lost.The Oregon State Fire Marshal Task Force/Strike Team Performance Evaluation was glowing with praise and stated: “…Safety of the task force members was always foremost in their minds, while actively fighting fire aggressively.” “…During a very busy operational period (Monday, August 29th), with aggressive fire behavior and numerous structures threatened, crews kept focused, used their training, and saved homes while staying safe. For those and many other reasons, they should be commended…”

On behalf of both TFD and MCFD#1, Chief Henson recognized our appreciation and commitment to firefighter safety during the conflagration activation.

Specifically recognized were:
• Captain Terry Riley, MCFD#1 Task Force Leader
• Firefighter Engineer Keith Storms, MCFD#1 Engine Boss, Grass 348
• Firefighter Nate Hemenway, MCFD#1 Grass 348
• Firefighter Steve Wiesner, MCFD#1 Grass 348
• Captain Dave Lawton, Apparatus Operator TFD Tender 959
• Firefighter Kathy Puckett, TFD Tender 959

The calm, cool and collected performance of the Marion County task force was noticed by many, and appreciated by all. Our personnel represented our organization with pride and honor, and that is exactly the type of dedication that the fire service is all about.