Letters to the Editor

Buckley firefighters wouldn’t ask for new station if it wasn’t necessary

Twenty-plus years ago we had just moved into Buckley. I looked out the window and saw the neighbor’s chimney was on fire. Within a minute or two of calling 911, the fire station’s siren went off and this man came flying around the corner on his bicycle, dropped the bike, ran up to the door and identified himself as a member of the fire department. Shortly thereafter, the fire engine came in the driveway, loaded with more firefighters in gear. The problem was quickly taken care of and they went on their way with a wave and a nod.

The station siren doesn’t go off anymore, some people miss it. It would probably annoy people now, because 20 years ago it only sounded a couple times a week. There have been eight calls so far today; it’s not quite 3 pm. People don’t hear the station siren anymore and maybe don’t realize their small town fire department is on pace for over 1,200 calls this year.

I think about that man dropping everything he was doing and riding his bike to help his neighbor. I have gotten to know him pretty well since joining the Buckley Fire Department some years ago. He’s just one of the many amazing men and women who serve the citizens of Buckley. The personal sacrifice to serve the community is never ending. Running calls is just a small part of the hundreds of hours put in each month by these dedicated volunteers.

Another thing I know about the men and women who serve our community is they are always trying to do more with less. Less money, less space, less equipment. When leaving for a fire, someone has to remember to grab the Thermal Imaging Camera off the second engine. There is only one. When washing protective gear, they make a quick phone call to see if someone your size is going to be at work so you can use theirs until yours dries.

The Fire Department leases a house across the street for four volunteer residents because even after taking away the classroom upstairs, there is only enough room for two. No expansion is available for the on-shift medic and the night-time sleeper quarters, they’re still tucked in the tiny corner rooms.

My grandma always told me “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” Your fire department has made this old quote a mantra for many years. However, there comes a time in everyone’s life when we must actually replace something. Now is the time to replace the fire station. It’s been used up, there’s no space left. Making do has been done. Can’t say it’s worn out, but definitely outgrown. Doing without, well, even a new fire station won’t change some things.

I could give you many facts on why this is the best time to invest for the future. But I just keep thinking about the dedication of one volunteer who was willing to drop everything and go to the aid of his neighbor. No gear. No engine. Just a bike.

These are the caliber of people who serve our community. They are asking you to support getting our community a new fire station. They wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t necessary. Please vote “yes” for a new fire station for Buckley.

Angie Riggsby


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