Local student-run foundation helping small local fire stations get needed equipment | Top Stories

JACKSONVILLE, Ore– With the help of a student-run foundation, the Jacksonville Fire Station won’t have to worry about losing power again.

Earlier this year (2022), the Jacksonville Fire Station received $76,000 from the Josephine County Foundation to help purchase not only a compressor, extractor and exercise equipment, but also a new emergency generator back-up to help the station in the event of a power outage. breakdown.

In 2020, during the Almeda Fire, the Jacksonville Fire Station lost power for several hours. Meanwhile, firefighters and volunteers had to use flashlights and radios to operate, as hundreds of people poured into the city, trying to escape the flames.

But now, with a new backup generator on the way, expected to be installed in late November or early December, Jacksonville firefighters and Fire Chief Wayne Painter will never have to worry about losing power again.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Josephine County Foundation & Pacific Power, we will be able to provide service to our citizens even if we lose power,” said Chief Painter.

“It’s extremely important,” said Alan Meyer of Pacific Power.

Since 2014, local high school students who run the nonprofit Josephine County Foundation (JCF) have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase “life jaws” fire trucks, hoses, breathing apparatus and rescue tools. for 13 mainly volunteer fire departments in the forests. , Josephine and Jackson counties affected by wildfires.

For the past three years, Hannah Bennett, a recent graduate from Hidden Valley and student president of JCF, has worked to help some of these smaller stations.

Bennett, a Murphy resident, told NewsWatch 12 before joining the foundation that she realized how important it was to provide small fire stations with the equipment they needed to protect their local communities. This is one of the main reasons why she decided to join JCF more than three years ago.

“With this equipment, they keep my family, friends and our community safe,” Bennett said.

On May 16, 2022, JCF announced that Bennett and students like her had raised $100,000, through grants and fundraising, to donate to local fire stations in Jackson and Josephine counties. But thanks to an anonymous local donor, another $100,000 was donated to JCF to match the funds they raised.

Over the past few years, Bennett told NewsWatch 12 that her favorite part of being out of this problem has been meeting all the wonderful people at all the local fire stations they’ve helped.

“The number of people I’ve met through this foundation has helped me grow so I can help others in the community,” Bennett said.

Fire agencies that will receive funding through JCF’s 2022 Fire SAFE grants include Applegate Valley Fire #9, Greensprings Fire & Rescue, Jacksonville Fire, Prospect Rural Fire Protection District, Butte Falls Fire Department, and the Williams Rural Fire Protection District.

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