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NF Fire Dept. Auxiliary Ponies Up $80,000 For New Engine

MADERA COUNTY — Members of the North Fork Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary handed over a hefty check to the County this morning for the purchase of a new Type 6 fire engine to be put into service at Station 11.

The citizens of the North Fork, Wishon, O’Neals and Bass Lake area have always been extremely generous in their support of the volunteer firefighters at Station 11. Their donations, along with a $20,000 gift from the Larry L. Hillblom Foundation, made this massive contribution possible.

The County will match their $80,000, and those funds will go toward the purchase of a Type 6 engine, which is much smaller than the Type 3s we generally see responding to fires, wrecks and medical emergencies.

The Type 6 can be driven by any of the firefighters, solving one of the major issues of not having a Paid Call Firefighter (PCF) available who is licensed to drive the larger units.

With more than two-thirds of the calls for service at Station 11 being medical aids, the new engine will be better suited to maneuvering the often steep, winding roads and sometimes tight-access driveways in our area.

Example of a Type 6 engine, this one owned by the Kern Co. Fire Dept.

It carries 300 gallons of water, and the smaller Jaws of Life purchased by the Auxiliary last year will also fit nicely on the engine, making it the perfect piece of equipment for this area.

The unit is expected to be put into service on Mar. 28, and dedicated at the North Fork Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary BBQ at the North Fork School on Apr. 28.

This purchase was made possible by the Auxiliary working in partnership with Battalion Chief Mike Surber, and a commitment by the Madera County Board of Supervisors to put up matching funds. Chief Surber will be retiring this year, and those of us on the Auxiliary will be very sad to see him go.

“The community, through the Auxiliary, has been raising money for the past several years and is delighted to be able to provide a new, updated engine for our firefighters,” said NFVFDA President Sandy Chaille, who presented the check at today’s regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors.

Someone said they needed the biggest check ever because it was the biggest donation of it kind ever!

(Pictured in photo: Supervisor Max Rodriguez, Battalion Chief Mike Surber, Supervisor Brett Frazier, Supervisor Tom Wheeler; Auxiliary members Ginger Foust, Norm Burbank, Kit Teater, Sandy Chaille, Barb Colliander Matt Markle and Susan Pressnell; Supervisor David Rogers and Supervisor Rob Poythress. Auxiliary members not able to attend: Gina Clugston, Gay Abarbanel, Nita Burbank, Linda Gott-Maddox, Sandie Raymond, Barb Novak, Elaine Morris and Lynne Wells)

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