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Two Chinook firefighters move to reserve status


May 17, 2017

Steve Edwards Photo

Billie Haugen moved to reserve status with the Chinook Fire Department during the first part of 2017. She served as a local firefighter for 11 years.

By Steve Edwards

BCJ News

Two Chinook firefighters, with a quarter century of firefighting experience between them, moved to reserve status at the start of the new year. Firefighters on reserve status are still members of the organization, can perform some related duties to fighting fires and, in specific situations, can be called to fight a fire. Gary Anderson and Billie Haugen were both granted reserve status and recognized for their years of service. Dan Friede, the other Chinook firefighter on reserve status, went on reserve in the late 1990's.

Firefighters need a minimum of five years of service and be in good standing with their department when they elect reserve status. To maintain reserve status a firefighter must obtain at least six hours of training each year. Reserve firefighters are expected to respond to a second alarm, if called, or be on call when the department is short-handed. Reserve firefighters are used in support roles at a fire scene whenever possible.

Gary Anderson served with the fire department for 14 years. Since 2009 he has been doing training and working as the department's health and safety officer. He will continue in the latter role helping to assure, among other duties, the department maintains its ability to provide 'non-transport units'-fire equipment with specialized first aid supplies and firefighters, who are also registered Emergency Medical Technicians,

See Page B8: Reserve Status

to render first aid. These non-transport units, and firefighters/EMT's, are often the first to arrive at an emergency site. They can treat and prepare victims to be transported by regular ambulance. In very dire situations, the units can use the department's command vehicle to transport a victim.

Steve Edwards Photo

Fire Chief Kraig Hansen congratulates Gary Anderson who, after 14 years as a firefighter with the Chinook Fire Department, moved to reserve status. Anderson will continue to serve as the departments health and safety officer and will present safety topics during the monthly training sessions by the department.

Anderson, as health and safety officer, will continue to maintain records of medical treatment performed by fire fighters, track medical transports provided and monitor and record job related injuries to firefighters. Each month he will continue to organize and present safety topics as a part of the department's regular training. Over the years Anderson has written a number of successful grants for specialized equipment currently in use by the department.

Billie Haugen, who began her reserve status in early 2017, has 11 years of service with the department. She will continue as an active member of the Blaine I ambulance crew. She cited time constraints as her reason to seek reserve status as a firefighter.

Fire Chief Kraig Hansen, said, "I appreciate the years of service these two firefighters have given the department and their community. I look forward to their continued involvement with the department." Hansen added, "We are continually seeking new volunteers to serve as firefighters. Anyone interested in learning about serving as a firefighter should call me or contact a local firefighter." He explained the department now uses a new, more formal process to help volunteers become firefighters.

The "Journal" thanks Gary Anderson and Billie Haugen for their quarter century of service as firefighters to their community.


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