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The two departments met to talk about Monitor Fire Department's need for support

In keeping with the fire department norm of helping each other out, Molalla Fire may be helping Monitor Fire in the future.

Molalla Fire Chief Vince Stafford attended a Monitor Fire board meeting on Monday, Nov. 19 to find out exactly what Monitor Fire needs help with.

Stafford has been in communication with Molalla Fire's board members, who he said wholeheartedly support the idea of helping another department.

"They were like, 'Yeah, go meet with them. Anything we can do to help. We want to help out our neighbors if we can,' " Stafford said.

Monitor Fire is a volunteer-only department. At the meeting, they expressed the need for help with recruitment and retention of volunteers, potentially some help with grant-writing and annual reports.

Nothing has been made official or even put in writing, but Stafford and Monitor Fire agreed to continue conversations.

"I think basically we just need to keep meeting and feel out what they really need or want help with," Stafford said, "or how we can help each other."

Stafford noted that it's common for fire departments to team up and to share resources. The departments from Molalla, Monitor, Canby, Aurora, Colton, Woodburn and Hubbard share a volunteer fire academy to save money and to streamline training across different departments.

"It's just sharing back and forth without really any cost," Stafford said. "There are ways of doing stuff together that actually saves money, like the fire academy. Everybody shares instructors, contributes one, and that cuts down on it."

He also said volunteer numbers are down nationally, so not just Monitor Fire, but all departments have to keep on top of recruitment and retention.

"Nobody can do it all by themselves," Stafford said. "Even the big departments need help from mutual aid companies. We're here to serve the communities, and if one is a little stronger in one area like writing grants and the other one isn't, can we help them do that?"

Kristen Wohlers
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