“This week Chief Bixler, Asst. Chief Wiggins, and the Commissioners of Pierce County Fire District 27 hosted a dinner to honor the volunteers of Anderson Island Fire & Rescue at the Lakeshore restaurant. It was a well-attended event and we were treated to two video slide presentations of past and present activities of our wonderful volunteers.
We citizens know that when we have any life threatening emergency and call 911 these brave and professional volunteers arrive swiftly, and expertly carry out whatever task is required to preserve life and limb. We know that when there is an island emergency like power outages, downed trees & lines, brush fires, etc. the volunteers again show up without fail no matter the time of day or night and help get us islanders back up and running.
What we don’t really know but perhaps can only guess about is that none of this “just happens”. It is not an accident that we are so blessed. The amount of time and dedication we see in emergencies is dwarfed by the amount of training and practice time and dedication these dedicated public servants put in to be so prepared when they are needed.
By attending only an occasional drill night I have observed first-hand how professional and dedicated our volunteers are. The Chiefs have developed systems that allow the volunteers themselves to do the lion’s share of the training. Our officers attend classes to learn how to train and what to train. And on drill nights it is the officers and in house trainers that bring their knowledge and experience to the volunteers, who are deadly serious about learning and practicing.
Every single Tuesday night and many, many weekends you can find our volunteers laboring to increase their professionalism and knowledge. All of them do this “in addition” to their full time jobs that pay their rent. But I dare say that their hearts are always with Anderson Island Fire and Rescue!
One more thing… What us citizens also may not realize is that since 2008, each year the revenue base available from the levies has dropped due to the drops in property values. The Chief and his entire team have “made do” with a little less each year, and yet have managed never to miss a beat.
I am proud to be associated with these fine people. It is a great team. Thank you Jim, Jay, Julie, Amy, and volunteers!”
Dave Albertson, Commissioner, position 2