Station 51's ladder truck installs a new halyard

by: SHARON HUGHES/FOR THE REGAL COURIER - ALL IN A DAY'S WORK - A crew from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Station 51 in Tigard uses its ladder truck and bucket to install a new halyard on the flagpole outside the Summerfield Clubhouse.Firefighters can be counted on to come to the rescue, even if the call isn't a fire or medical incident.

The Summerfield Civic Association was in a jam when the American and Summerfield flags were found lying on the ground after a particularly violent late-winter windstorm.

The halyard was broken, which is the rope or cable used to raise and lower a flag on a flagpole, according to a flag terminology website.

"Apparently a passer-by saw them and put them on the bench outside the civic association office, where Edward Stern, Summerfield resident and vice-chairman of the Common Areas Landscape Committee, found them," said Sharon Hughes, who is chairwoman of the committee.

Stern notified the chairperson of the Clubhouse committee, and the flags were properly cleaned, folded and stored in the office of SCA Administrator Cari Froeber for safekeeping.

"Getting someone to re-hang the rope turned out to be rather expensive - and Cari wouldn't let anyone around shinny up the pole, even if there was someone who could have," Hughes said. "So Chris Allen, our custodian and maintenance man, talked to Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue about coming out to do it as a goodwill gesture, and they agreed."

A crew from TVF&R Station 51, which is located on Burnham Street in downtown Tigard, came to the rescue. Although King City Station 35 covers the majority of Summerfield, "it doesn't have a ladder truck," Hughes said.

The crew accomplished the task one day in early April, and early the following morning, Allen raised the flags, which are now once again flying over the Clubhouse.

Ironically, a couple of days later, a huge crane arrived to remove the huge air-conditioning units from on top of the Clubhouse in preparation for a new roof to be installed, so there was a lot of activity in the parking lot within a short period of time.

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