April’s Fire Response History

Personally, there have been many times in life where I have needed a local emergency response. I am thankful that today we have a chance to bring this change to our community. From my experience, local emergency response can and does save lives!

When I was around 9 years old our neighbor’s home burnt down. My sisters and I were riding bikes at the grange behind our home. I saw flames in a window, and we raced back home to call 911. I remember hearing the sirens and knowing help was coming. The fire still spread quickly and by the time help arrived, the fire was big enough to send a power line crashing to the ground. The house was lost, but the firefighter’s quick response kept the flames from spreading to our home and kept us safe from the live power line lying across our front yard. 

When I was about 13, I saw my younger sister get hit by a truck while trying to cross the street. We were living on Prairie Road and my 8-year-old sister decided to walk alone across the street to the little market to buy candy. There was a semi parked in the center lane. I saw her crossing behind the semi, and she couldn’t see the truck traveling towards her coming from the old Rubenstein’s Warehouse. I yelled at her to stop and then watched helplessly as the truck’s impact sent her flying back into the center lane. I thought she was dead when I made the 911 call. Without quick EMS services she would have certainly died.

When my daughter was 2 months old, she stopped breathing. 911 helped me perform CPR while waiting for EMS to arrive. EMS was able to revive her, they lost her pulse and at the hospital they got her back and then she passed. That was 29 years ago now. No one is to blame, but over the years I have wondered if she’d be here with us today, had the response been quicker. April and her daughter.

Then, when I was in my early-twenties and one of my younger sisters was 15, she was given permission to go to a friend’s party under the condition that they took my 5-year-old niece (she was a reliable tattletale). Well, the friend and my sister did drink and then the friend drove drunk with my sister in the front and niece in the back. She lost control of the car and crashed, ejecting both my sister and niece, who were unbuckled. My niece died at the scene. My sister was life-flighted to Sacred Heart. She lived ONLY because that rural area had a volunteer fire department.

These life events are not unique to me or my family; they happen to those around us every day. I believe everyone in this valley deserves to have local emergency protections, timely quality of care, and a quick response that only a local agency can provide. Minutes and seconds matter in an emergency.

I believe our community deserves the ability to trust that help will be there when they need it. I vote yes for the critical resource of a Fire District for our community.