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Colton Fire Department thanks new local store for donations of PPE, funds and more

COURTESY PHOTO: COLTON FIRE - First responders from CRFPD No. 70 present an award to Molalla Tractor Supply Company. Pictured from left are Brad Kuhn, Chris Cohoon, Justine Walker, Endora Mitchell, Tom Judd, Mike Decristoforo and Matt Rodriguez.Last March, right after the COVID-19 lockdown, new directives were given to fire departments on the personal protective equipment needed for each call.

Colton Rural Fire Protection District No. 70 was aware that it could quickly use up inventory of PPE and started looking for more. But there was a shortage nationwide.

Lt. Brad Kuhn of CRFPD said he knew the shelves at Tractor Supply Co. in Molalla had been stocked, although the doors had not yet opened to the public. He called the store's corporate office and asked if they had any supplies that first responders could use during the pandemic crisis.

"They called me back and said I could 'raid' the store," Kuhn said. "I was met by the Molalla store manager who had a shopping cart ready. We went through the store for PPE equipment and loaded the cart with disinfectant, masks, face shields and more. When I went up to pay, they donated everything and told us to 'stay safe.' It was amazing and so generous."

On Jan. 31 this year, the Colton volunteer emergency responders presented the Molalla Tractor Supply store with a Community Service Recognition Award for their outstanding support of the Colton Fire Department.

The plaque reads: "In recognition to Tractor Supply Company for providing protective equipment allowing us to deliver safe and continuous medical care at a time when protective equipment was difficult to impossible to acquire throughout the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

The story doesn't end there. The crew from CRFPD who delivered the plaque was met at the store by manager Justine Walker and assistant manager Endora Mitchell, who had a utility cart filled with snacks, a chainsaw, a $2,000 gift card and more. Mitchell said Tractor Supply Co. wanted to donate to thank those who stayed behind and let them know how grateful they are for their service.

COURTESY PHOTO: COLTON FIRE - Thank-you gifts from Tractor Supply Co. to Colton volunteer firefighters.

"Tractor Supply Co. was instrumental in helping us equip our crews with PPE during the COVID response," Kuhn said. "Their willingness to open their doors and offer anything we needed was extraordinary.? They have continued to support us including during the recent wildfire events, and we are so appreciative to have them as a ?partner in the community."

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