Fire volunteers across Grant County have had their skills put to the test lately, and their performance should garner an A-plus on the county’s report card.

In some small communities, two major structure fires in just a week might overwhelm emergency responders. That wasn’t the case this month in Grant County, as crews turned out first for the Mt. Vernon Motel fire and a week later for the ESD building fire in John Day.

The ready response was a demonstration of cooperation and coordination. As Fire Chief Ron Smith noted, “Everybody did an excellent job – All of the departments in the county have gotten so good at working together.”

“Everybody” meant firefighters and police from John Day, Canyon City, Mt. Vernon, Prairie City – the volunteer and professional folks who come from right next door, or from miles away, when the alarm sounds.

Earlier in the summer, local volunteers did their part in more remote areas of the county as wildland fires pushed toward homes, cabins and ranches. Rural firefighters from Monument, Long Creek, Dayville and their city counterparts didn’t hesitate to turn out, bolstering the wildland crews in an effort to protect lives and property.

Volunteer firefighting is a proud tradition in Grant County, one that continues to serve our communities well. To those who volunteer countless hours for drills and training, who step up time and again to answer the calls, we salute you. – SC

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