WOLF CREEK, Ore. -- When rural fire departments are in need, bigger departments like Myrtle Creek and Riddle help them out.
That's what has happened over the last year, with the two fire departments donating anywhere from $65,000 to $70,000 worth of equipment to the Wolf Creek Fire District.
That equipment includes 19 tanks, packs and masks for Wolf Creek firefighters to use.
Myrtle Creek also donated an ambulance for them to use.
This donation supplements the one from the Riddle Fire Department, which donated 12 of each piece of equipment in 2017.
Riddle and Myrtle Creek recently got new equipment, and instead of throwing the old gear out, Wolf Creek Fire Chief Steve Scruggs said they wanted to take it.
“What they have is still useful,” Scruggs said. “For us, if it benefits our department and saves our taxpayers dollars that we don’t have to spend, then we take it, utilize it and put into service in our district.”
The new equipment is lighter than their old equipment by about seven to 10 pounds. It allows them to move around more easily.
“They’re a lot less bulky, overall, and these don’t ride up on our backs as much as our other units did, which would push our helmets up over the top when we would utilize them," Scruggs said. "So these actually provide a little less stress on our necks if we’re crawling around on the ground looking for people inside a structure.”
With these recent donations, every firefighter will be able to have a pack to use no matter which truck or engine they take.
“We’ll be able to put them on all of our engines that we have now, with a few to spare," Scruggs said. "So, if we needed parts or something, we would even have spare packs that we could utilize for that purpose.”
This equipment still has to go through some federal testing to make sure that it’s operating properly, and they hope to get them onto their engines and trucks sometime within the next 30 days.