PINE GROVE NEWS: John Stehlik named Wy’East Firefighter of the Year

AT THE Pine Grove Fire Department auction in March, John Stehlik shows his lighter side, playing up the charms of an orange easy chair newly up for bid. Stehlik was named Wy’east Fire District Firefighter of the Year.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
AT THE Pine Grove Fire Department auction in March, John Stehlik shows his lighter side, playing up the charms of an orange easy chair newly up for bid. Stehlik was named Wy’east Fire District Firefighter of the Year.



I am slow/late getting this information in the paper but felt it should still be reported. Unfortunately, with all the recent passing of neighbors and friends, I thought I should remind everyone that for interment arrangements at the Pine Grove Butte Cemetery, Jean Godfrey is the Secretary and can be reached on her cell at 541-490-7713. Randy Holmstrom is the Sexton (grounds keeper) and can be reached on his cell at 541-380-1130.

Now for the late reporting of the Wy ‘East Fire District Annual Appreciation dinner, which was held Saturday, Feb. 7 at the Hood River Inn Columbia Room. The room was decorated with a February theme and the meal was quite tasty. Our thanks to the Hood River Inn staff and chef for our delicious meal.

Officers of each fire station were introduced and then service awards were given out. Ten year pins went to Ryan Dethman, Kevin Long and Pepe Rivera. A 25 year pin went to Lee Lage, a 30 year pin to Joey Sheirbon, a 40 year pin to Jim Wells, and a 45 year pin to Butch Still. Those amount of years say a lot for the commitment of our volunteers and our thanks to you.

We have a new award this year and it will be called the “Firefighter of the Year.” .John Stehlik was chosen for this and the other new award is “EMS Provider of the Year 2014,” going to Chrystal Akin-Bruce. “Student Firefighter of the Year 2014” was Rafael Contrbras. All members are eligible for these awards and congratulations to these fire volunteers deserving of the recognition.

We then went into our different awards for mishaps or screw-ups within the fire departments. For Odell, the award went to Tony Guisto, whose name will be on the plaque forever as “Toast Em Tony.” The “Hot Line Award” for Pine Grove went to Steve Bickford for “Sittin.” Many try to avoid these awards, but those who win them are more than happy to tell you what to avoid to not win!

It has also always been customary within the departments to give silver baby cups to new parents. John and Merridy Stehlik for their son Luke, Peter and Sarah Cushman for their daughter Zella, Pepe and Maria Rivera for their daughter Vida, Jeremy and Kelsey Cervantes for their daughter Lydia, and Rafael Contreras and Cecilia Gandara for their daughter Allison. Welcome future fire volunteers and EMS! New members for the departments are David Rummel (wife Meagan) for Pine Grove and for Odell, Nora Contreras, Tom Furrow (Roberta), Diego Vaca, Jose Villegas, Chris Voyles. Welcome new members to each station and to Wy ‘East Fire District.

Chief Greg Borton also gave mention of past fire department members, honorary members and past Charter members, one of which Bill Laraway was one of our last. The night ended with a skit by Jon Laraway performing a ventriloquist act assisted by his “dummy” Dwight Moe and we enjoyed the light look at fire department procedures. Door prize tickets were drawn and table decorations given to all the winners (all of the gals) and we appreciate both departments for hosting this dinner. Special thanks to Ryan Willis and John Stehlik for choosing the venue and setting things up. It is a great night of fun and visiting and appreciating our volunteers and their families.

Call Debra Laraway at 541-386-3316 with your news of the Pine Grove community.



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