GREENSPRINGS — The donation of a 1980 Mac engine to the Greensprings Rural Fire District will provide backup for the all-volunteer department and may lead to lower insurance rates for some residents in the district.
Jackson County Fire District No. 5's board last week approved the donation once it receives two new Pierce Saber engines it recently purchased.
"With the addition of this engine "¦ we will have a backup to our Ford Pierce should it go down," said Greenspring's board President Bob Given. "It's a very important added asset."
A station on the Hyatt Prairie Road across Highway 66 from Green Springs Inn has three engine bays. Current district vehicles include the 1973 Pierce, a 3,000-gallon tanker the district got from Jackson County Fire District No. 3 last year, a 1,500-gallon tanker and a wildland rig donated by the Oregon Department of Forestry.
Greensprings' territory goes as far north as Dead Indian Memorial Road. It begins at the Greensprings Summit and extends east through Lincoln and Pinehurst to the Klamath County line on Highway 66. The district covers 200 square miles.
Areas within five miles of the current station receive an ISO 9 rating, resulting in a 25 percent reduction in insurance costs for property owners.
Locating the new engine either farther east on Highway 66 or in the Howard Prairie Lake area is under consideration to add to the amount of land that would have an ISO 9 rating.
Given cautioned that an ISO rating revision would probably take at least a year to obtain if a second station is established. The district has talked with two private landowners in the Howard Prairie area about having the vehicle located on their property.
Given said the district usually responds to 10 to 15 medical calls at the lake each year. The district has 15 active volunteers, eight of whom have emergency medical certifications. Medical personnel provide victim stabilization, but transport is handled by other area ambulance services.
The volunteer firefighters respond to 80 to 110 calls annually, said Given. Last year there were two structure fires.
Other calls were for wildland fires, medical emergencies, traffic accidents and public assistance.
Greensprings is the only fire district in Oregon that operates without a tax base, said Given. Donations, grants and events finance the operation. District fundraisers include a dance and auction at the Box R Ranch May 31 and a mountain music jam at the Howard Prairie Paddle Fest June 28.
District 5 board members were glad to give the old engine a good home, said Chief Dan Marshall. It currently serves as a second-out vehicle at the district's Phoenix station.
"We do have the option of donation, trade-in or to sell the vehicle," said Marshall. "Greensprings works with us on the southeast area of our district on a mutual-aide agreement and vice versa."
A second 1980 Mac, located at the district's Emigrant Lake Station, probably will be put up for consignment sale unless another organization is interested in a donation, said Marshall. Current prices suggest the rig might sell for about $5,000.
The new engines are expected to arrive next week but will need to be outfitted, a process that will take about 30 days. In addition, crews will need to train on the new rigs before they go into service.
Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at email@example.com.