Corbett Fire nets $11K donation
The Corbett Fire District has received approximately $11,000 in donations thanks to an outpouring of support from community members, local merchants and far-flung supporters throughout the nation.
Corbett first responders escaped the massive Eagle Creek Wildfire without any injuries — or damage to structures in their coverage area — and in the spirit of the season, say they want to show their appreciation to the community.
"Things could have been much, much worse, and we've just been super lucky," praised Fire Chief Dave Flood. "Bridal Veil was spared, miraculously."
The top donors to the fire station include a $2,600 check from the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce, plus $2,000 from restoration company SERVEPRO of Gresham.
Donations as small as $5 poured in from regular citizens, including one check for $200 from Buffalo, N.Y.
"They must have seen us on the national news," Flood speculated.
Flood says the department spent $2,500 buying new thin and lightweight woodland fire hoses used to fight outdoor blazes. They also equipped their squad car with a new thermal imaging camera that can help with search-and-rescue emergencies.
"(It's) for us to take on trail cases that are approaching dark, so we can look for patients," Flood explained. "Their initial purpose was to see through smoke."
Riverview Restaurant and the Corbett Arts Program with Spanish both hosted firefighters for banquets in their honor. Hot-shot crews with the U.S. Forest Service chowed down on porterhouse steaks with all the fixings during a BBQ put on by the Corbett Country Market.
Subway donated thousands of sandwiches served in the field, while Corbett School District cook Rodney Duncan prepared 250 gourmet meals for firefighters multiple times. Many other school employee donated their time while classes were cancelled.
Regular folks donated everything from eye drops to baby wipes and paper towels. One trucker dropped off eight pallets of sports drinks, while another man drove down from Scappoose with a car loaded with just-purchased supplies.
"With an abundance of items and a lack of room for storage, some items were donated to the Corbett School District," the Corbett Fire District wrote in a press announcement. "In this season of Thanksgiving, the Corbett Fire District is grateful for this needed support."