Thanks to a partnership with the city and county and businesses in the local enterprise zone, Crook County Fire and Rescue was able to secure enough funding to staff all three of their fire stations consistently for the first time

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Crook County Fire and Rescue personnel want to help people and respond to fires as quickly as possible.

Crook County Fire and Rescue, originally chartered as the Prineville Volunteer Fire Company, has been protecting and supporting the citizens of Crook County since 1882.

The oldest fire district in Central Oregon, Crook County Fire and Rescue serves an area of 450 square miles, which consists of three geographically distinct response areas. The three stations include the main station in Prineville-- Station 1201, Powell Butte—Station 1202 and Juniper Canyon, Station 1203.

The fire district also provides Emergency Medical Services (EMS) response to an ambulance service area of 3,000 square miles. CCFR has reached a new milestone this year in staffing the substations consistently since they were built in 2003. August 2019 marked the first time since stations 1202 and 1203 were built that they had consistent staffing.

"Since then, the majority of the time--except when they are on another call -- there is a career lieutenant and part-time firefighters and volunteers," commented CCFR Division Chief and Fire Marshal Russ Deboodt.

At the substations, staffing consists of the career lieutenant/ paramedic. They are partnered with at least one other person -- whether that be a part-time firefighter EMT or a volunteer EMT.

"It depends on the day and who is available," Deboodt said.

He indicated that they have three shifts between Stations 1202 and 1203, and those lieutenants on each shift rotate stations every so often.

"It's not the same career lieutenant/paramedic at every station all the time," he added.

Station 1201 in Prineville covers the majority of the service area, with Juniper Canyon and Powell Butte substations both approximately 10 miles from the main station in Prineville.

"Each station does kind of take on an identity of its own, and that certainly has to do with the area that surrounds it," Deboodt pointed out.

The main station in Prineville was built in 1977 and is located at 500 Northeast Belknap Street. It covers most of the industrial and commercial occupancies, which are within the district, as well as the higher-density and residential areas.

The Juniper Canyon substation was built in 2003and is located on southeast Juniper Canyon Road. It has a large residential component, as there are many Crook County residents who live up Juniper Canyon. In the summertime, it has many recreational aspects as well — since it is the primary access point for Prineville Reservoir.

The Powell Butte substation was also built in 2003 and is located on Reif Road in Powell Butte. It has a large agricultural component to the response area. It takes in Brasada Ranch, a popular destination resort in the response area, adding a unique residential component.

"Each response area has an identity of its own," pointed out Deboodt. "Our scheduled staffing certainly is a huge increase in capability. It allows our members to get to folks who need assistance as quickly as possible."

Deboodt explained that as incidents come and go throughout the district, and their staffing flows to meet the demand. "We want to make sure we are getting to folks as quickly as we can.

"It is a milestone for Crook County Fire and Rescue to be able to have scheduled staffing at all three stations, and we are proud of the work that all of our employees and volunteers do to make that happen," commented Deboodt. "It is a big win for the community, and it could not have been done without our partnerships with Crook County and the City of Prineville and the businesses that are located here in the enterprise zone."

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