Photo by Trisha Walker
Members of the Wy’east Fire District salute as the flag is raised during Sunday’s annual Memorial in downtown Odell. Behind them stand two new fire trucks — yellow for Odell, red for Pine Grove — that have been in service since July 1.
As of Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Two new fire trucks — one the traditional Odell yellow, the other the traditional Pine Grove red — were dedicated at the 12th annual Wy’east Fire District Memorial at the station in downtown Odell Sunday afternoon.
The fire trucks are “state of the art,” Wy’east Fire District chief Greg Borton told the assembled crowd, and were put into service July 1. In a surprise presentation, the fire district committee dedicated each of the trucks to deceased members: Engine 67 to Eddie Lage Jr., and Engine 33 to Sho Endow.
“Very few people knew about that,” Borton said afterwards. “(The families) only knew there’d be a special dedication, but not what it was.”
Plaques will be mounted on both sides of each engine. Eddie Lage Jr.’s wife, Joan, received the plaque in his honor; the Endows were unable to attend.
New this year was a ceremony inducting four firefighters into the Wy’east district: Tony Guisto, Chris Spengler, Jonathan Enos and Jesus Grajeda.
The main focus, however, was to honor all fire district members who have passed away, including two who died in the line of duty: John Hazlett and Louis “Bud” Mohr.
“Thank you for helping us not forget these people,” said Dean Kenny, former Wy’east EMS captain and current firefighter and EMT with the district. “It means the world to not forget you are loved.”
Kenny read the roll call of deceased members; fire district Chaplain Ricky Walker gave the invocation and eulogy. Captain Ryan Willis and student firefighter Austyn Whitaker raised the flag. Afterwards, Randy and Joann Franz served barbecued chicken and hamburgers to the hungry crowd; fire district members brought sides.
Although the Memorial honored those in the Wy’east Fire District, members of Parkdale Fire Department, Westside Fire Department, and the Oregon Department of Forestry were also in attendance.
“I think it was well attended by the community and everyone was pleased how it went, especially with the dedication,” Borton said.