And help our rural friends win a desperately needed new fire truck without spending a penny of taxpayer money…
The economies of rural Oregon communities have been struggling for years, but the resourcefulness and resiliency of those communities keep them moving forward.
One example of resourcefulness is the volunteer fire department of Hines, Oregon. They have two fire engines with a combined age of 62 years. They desperately need to retire the 1973 fire engine they endearingly refer to as “Barney,” but they are simply unable to raise the $250,000 to replace it. Between the Hines and Burns volunteer fire departments, they cover the entire 10,000+ square miles of Harney County, so needless to say, they need a reliable vehicle to actually cover such a vast area.
They may have found a way to replace that fire engine without a single penny of tax dollars being spent. But they need the help of all Oregon citizens to be successful. Hines Fire Department entered an essay competition sponsored by E-One explaining why their community deserves a brand-new fire engine. They are one of seven finalists from around the country. Now, they need our participation to actually win the fire engine. The story that generates the most electronic votes will win, so please go and vote for their story by August 27.
This is a great example of how rural Oregonians take matters into their own hands instead of asking for government handouts. So please, take sixty seconds out of your busy schedule and vote for the Hines Fire Department. Then pass it along to all your friends and ask them to vote!
UPDATE: Please see Comment #2 below for clarification on qualification to vote. You do not need to be a member of a fire department to vote.
Karla Kay Edwards is Rural Policy Analyst at Cascade Policy Institute. Photo of Burns, Oregon by Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives.