Make the McKenzie Connection!

New fire station is up and running

Community turned out to celebrate building’s official opening

BLUE RIVER: People gathered at the Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Protection District for a day of recognition on Sunday. On the list was the woman for whom the department’s rebuilt building was dedicated as the Patricia “Pat” Stanley Memorial Fire Station.

“She was Blue River’s community champion and a one-woman booster club for the Blue River Fire Department,” was the way her daughter Melanie explained her involvement. “She kept it running and instilled in us a dedication to the community and ways of giving back.”

The original building had been destroyed in the Holiday Farm Fire but the district’s board of directors chairman Mike Godfrey said that was unlikely to reoccur. “It’s a beautiful building,” Godfrey said, “not just aesthetically but functionally. It will be very difficult to burn down.”

Part of that reasoning, he said, included constructing the building out of steel and concrete, deleting rain gutters that could collect debris, and adding fire sprinklers inside. In addition, he noted, the structure had also been designed to “withstand almost any seismic event.”

Fire Chief Rainbow Plew recently announced her retirement to coincide with the completion of the new station. During her talk at the gathering, she used her time to extend her personal feelings by introducing and thanking every firefighter and board member in the room.

New Chief Joel Zenni said Plews’ example would continue “to be an inspiration to us all” adding volunteers recently agreed they “wanted the community to be proud of us by serving with the highest expectations we can.”


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