Newspaper Archive of
Lovell Chronicle
Lovell , Wyoming
April 19, 2012     Lovell Chronicle
PAGE 3     (3 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 3     (3 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
April 19, 2012

Newspaper Archive of Lovell Chronicle produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2023. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

t l April 19, 2012 I The Lovell Chronicle I 3 ]i FIREMEN continued from page1 continued from page 1 IT TAKES A VILLAGE Local plants support the operation by allowing their employees to leave their jobs to respond to a fire, and some of them even continue paying the em- ployee while he is volun- teering on a fire. "The sugar factory and the bentonite plants espe- cially are good about letting the guys respond to fires," said Mangus. "If they didn't do that, we couldn't operate like we do. A lot of our vol- unteer workforce comes out of local plants, so it's a big deal. So, if they didn't let them go, we'd be hurting." "We also have a great fire board - Keith Grant, Chad Petrich and Mike Leonhardt - who support us all the way. That real- ly helps a lot," added Min- chow. Wives and other family members also make the sac- rifice when their loved ones are called away from family gatherings to respond to a page from the fire hall. "A lot of people say, 'you guys are crazy' because while everybody else is run- ning out of the fire we're running in," said Mangus. "I remember years ago we were in a riverbed fire that was just roaring and we were running in, while all of the animals, like pheasants and foxes, were running out of the fire," added Minchow. "It did seem crazy at the time." The all-volunteer team is currently at 29 members. Most have served as many as 30 years or more. The volunteers receive a nomi- nal stipend of $10 per fire. "If you're into this for the money, you're into it for the wrong reason," said Minchow. "People are here because they want to be. There's, of course, the adrenalin rush of jumping on a fire truck and going to a fire but there is also the feeling of teamwork and the satisfaction of helping the community." It's this type of gratifi- : cation, combined with an incredible sense of camara- derie, that makes positions on the team highly sought after. "We usually try to wait until we have about four openings because it takes a lot of time to train them," ~: said Minchow. "Last time we had openings we had nine applicants for fot{r po- sitions." Kevin Jones and Lynn Hitz act as training officers. The district sets up realis .... tic training exercises to pre- .... pare its men for very real situations. Two training ex- ercises took place ,this past week alone, including one at the high school and an- other where Mangus actu- ally set an old house on fire to give volunteers an op- portunity to practice their skills while putting it out. To apply, applicants must be healthy and at least 21 years of age. There's a minimum of 100 hours of training in the first year and rookies work un- der supervision. In the first year, rookies are sent to fire school in either Riverton or Cody. According to Mangus, it costs the district about $3,000 to outfit one volun- teer with special clothing and equipment. "If they say they are only planning on staying for about four or five years we won't even consider them," said Mangus. "It's just not worth all the training and expense." Although volunteers can't respond to every sin- gle page, it is expected that they will respond to most. "That's why we have 30 guys on the team, because we hope 20 of them can get here," said Mangus Volunteers carry pag- ers, and it's not uncommon for the first truck to hit the road within about a minute of the page. The district has secured $2 million to $3 million in grants to purchase equip- Bob Mangus and Mike Jameson set up fans to control the direction of the fire inside a burning house during a training session held on Monday night on the Emblem Highway. Annual operating cost of the district is somewhere from $160,000 to $200,000. The cost is much higher during years when equip- ment is purchased. The district pays from $3.6,000 to $38,000 to use dispatch services in the area. Only one employee is paid to do the bookkeeping, facilities and maintenance, and even that person volunteers to go on calls. In recent years, the dis- trict has expanded its ser- vices from 250 square miles to close to 600. THE GRATIFICATION OF HELPING OTHERS "It makes you feel good when you walk away after cutting somebody out of a car, or saving their life, or saving their home," said Minchow. "Whether it's saving a house or saving a life, it's all good." ment and to expand the fire hall facility. Minchow and Mangus have also taken ad- vantage of grant opportuni- ties to help pay for training its volunteers. "When we're select- ing these people (volun- teers) we're not just pick- ing the everyday person," said Mangus. "We want somebody who can actual- ly make a decision on their own, because we can't be there all the time and we can't be in the fire sitting on their back shoulder tell- ing them what to do. We can only train them well and hope they remember what we taught them." "In the last round of in- terviews, we were trying to select the best for the four positions that were avail- able," added Minchow. "The biggest thing we face is the amount of time it takes to attend meetings, ......... i~i~ii~i~ii!i:~:=i~?~ill: Michael Jameson and Lynn Hitz carry a dummy victim out of a burning house during the training exercise held at an abandoned house on the Emblem Highway on Monday night. trainings, etc.," said Man- gus. "It's not just about go- ing out on fires. There's a lot more to it." The amount of time a volunteer spends depends on the number of calls the district receives. Accord- ing to Mangus, one year the department received 145 calls, while another year they received 90. Last year at this time in April the district was up to 15 calls; this year the district has al- ready received more than 40. The average number of calls per year is about 100. EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS The district also pro- vides valuable training in local schools and even pre- schools that can p0tentiai- ly save lives because the children are informed and know how to respond. In one instance, a girl saved her family many years later as a result of the knowledge gained from one of those early school ses- sions right here in Lovell. The girl was the first in her family to detect a fire in the house. Using the infor- mation she learned from a program she attended as a Lovell Elementary School student, she was able to save her entire family by acting as a leader in their escape from their burning home. "This is what it's all about and I am really proud of this part of our work," said Minchow, who received calls from other fire dis- tricts in the state asking about the program the girl went through as a child. BARBEQUES, BREAKFAST AND FOOD BASKETS The Fire Hall facility is used by .many other orga- nizations for meetings and blood drives, and the volun- teers provide other services to the community. Most of the volunteers stick with the crew for many years, and there is very little turnover. It's not at all uncommon for sons and even grandsons to fol- low in the footsteps of their fathers and grandfathers. Most of the volunteers are close friends and the camaraderie of the crew is second to none. Jeremy Mangus is fol- lowing in the footsteps of his father Bob. Jeremy has been on the crew for about a year now. Part of the deci- sion to join was that his fa- ther inspired him, part of it was for the "pure adrenalin rush" and part of it was a genuine desire to serve his community. Greg Rael is a rookie fireman. He joined the crew a month ago at the encour- agement of friends who are also crew members. "I like the idea of serv- ing the community," said Rael. "I have a lot of friends on the crew and it's fun to be a part of this." Although he has gone out on quite a few fire calls already, Rael mostly ob- serves while he learns from the more experienced mere- bers. "I've learned a lot on every call," said Rael. " Every call has been like a cram session. Most of all, I've learned to follow direc- tions." Rael is learning to drive the trucks, to use the hos- es and other equipment. He will attend fire school in Cody in the near future. He loves it when he gets a call and is disappointed if he doesn't make it on a truck. "We try to get our new guys out to as many calls as we can, so they can learn by doing," said Mangus. "That's where you get your real training, when you're out on a fire." A single rookie is put on a truck with others who are very experienced. 'Tour older firemen, who have been on the crew for a while, tutor these young guys as they are going to the fire," explained Mangus. 'qWe depend on those guys not to put rookies in a situ- ation that they shouldn't be in. Someday those rookies will have enough experience to be the ones who teach other rookies." "The camaraderie, the ability to serve and to give back to the communi- ty is what it's all about for me," said Rael. "It's a great learning experience, too." Editor's note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series on volunteerism in the com- munity. Part 2 will feature volunteers from other orga- nizations in the community. Suggestions are welcome, contact Patti at lcnews@tc- twest.net or call the Chron- icle at 548-2217, if you would like to recommend a person or organization to be included in the article. runway; however, some additional land would be needed to be obtained from the BLM. The letter to Feick states that one of the focuses in updating the North Big Horn: County Airport Master Plan is to determine "additional fa- cilities needed to accommodate the increasing use by non- powered glider aircraft at the airport. These aircraft land: better on soft areas (turf or dirt). To accommodate this traffic the best alternative found will be to add a parallel runway on the northeast side of the existing paved run- way. FAA standards dictate that this parallel facility is lo-i cated at least 600 feet from centerline to centerline. With' the larger wingspans of the gliders, we would like to pos- sibly increase that separation further. "To accommodate the runway and meet the minimum FAA standards, the runway encroaches upon BLM land. To further complicate the issue, the runway will also re- quire the relocation of a dirt haul road also on the BLM tract." In addition, the county asked to discuss with the BLM acquiring a small tract of BLM land directly in the ap- proach path for the crosswind runway at the south of the airport. The letter was sent April 5. In other airport news, the new snowplow and broom has been delivered to the South Big Horn County Airport. He said the supplier was nine days late from the contract deadline. He said the contract agreement allows the coun- ty to assess liquidated damages of $200 per day. He said his recommendation and the recommendation of GDA is to waive those since there was no impact to the county. The commissioners waived the liquidated damages. The county also received several letters from Virgin- ia Lee, attorney for Harold Shepherd, a lessee for salvage operation at the south airport. He said one letter was in regarding proof of liability insurance. The proof that was provided was for a trucking company, not for the salvage operation at the airport. "So currently we still don't have an insurance poll: cy that meets the requirements of the lease agreement," Bridges said. Another correspondence was a request from Lee for a list of fees, business partnership agreement with B&G, among other documents. He said they are putting together the information except the asset agreement between Great American and Hawkins and Powers. A letter dated Monday, Bridges said, has 13 items that Shepherd through his attorney wants addressed. Commis- sioner Keith Grant said he was concerned about the mill- ings request, stating, "We never promised millings for the entire area." Bridges agreed that millings would be pro- vided for only a few spots. He said another request is to extend the reduced lease: rate for another two years starting in November. He said the lease is due in April. The county provided the initial reduced rate for two years to allow Shepherd time to make improvements to his lease area. Grant said the county did not charge a lease fee until the access road was complete but that Shepherd had ac- cess to the area to begin improvements. "I don't see any- thing in here that shows we should grant an extension." Bridges asked about the timeline to transition to the new airport manager Carl Meyer and Grant said he un- derstood Meyer wason vacation this week so it would still be a while. "We appreciate him taking this on and getting us out of a bind," Grant said. Bridges said, "I don't-~tnind workAng on the airports, but there are still some things that need work that we don't have the time for and having a full-time manager will help move those things along." continued from page I approximately 40 years and that it must be retained, as no more dam construction is being allowed. As well, allowing silt into the reservoir could result in the endof the fish- cry. The topsoil could be used by the area bentonite mining concerns, which are interested in the project because they are required by law to restore the areas they mine. During the Lovell meeting, Rep. Elaine Harvey (R-Dis- trict 26) said that she is intensely interested in formulat- ing solutions to the sediment problem. She stressed that with all the interagency partners in the interest group, in- cluding the Corps of Engineers, it should be relatively easy to move toward realization of the project. Harvey also not- ed that the bentonite miners need to be included as part- ners and that BLM definitely should be heavily involved, as reclaimed sediment would go onto its land. "Everybody has something to gain by working togeth- er," observed Harvey. Besides the BoR, Corp of Engineers, BLM and bentonite miners, the interest group is com- prised of, but not limited to, the Montana and Wyoming fish and game agencies, National Park Service, Western Area Power Administration, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Crow Tribe. Regarding the Crow, Duberstein updated the group in Lovell that roughly $460 million has been indicated by Congress as forthcoming allocations under the Crow Wa- ter Settlement Act of 2010 to benefit the tribe during the next few years. Funds would be used to design and build a new water system, rehabilitate and operate the reser- vation's dilapidated irrigation system and develop hydro- electric projects at the Yellowtail Afferbay Dam. The set- tlement includes the 1999 Crow Tribe's "Montana Water Right Compact" that gives the Crow Reservation rights to 500,000 acre-feet of water per year from the Big Horn Riv- er and 300,000 acre-feet per year from Big Horn Lake. It was noted that the Big Horn River System Issues Group meets twice annually, alternating between Lovelt in April and Billings in October. Additionally, representa- tives of the agencies and others, known as stakeholders, conduct monthly conference calls during winter months, and weekly or twice monthly from April through Septem- ber. The overall intent is to ensure that all involved are aware of problems and plans for solutions, all aimed at the Big Horn economic and recreational aspects. It was noted that the diverse group strives for communication and joint respect including openness to public comment. For addi- tional information, one source is usbr.gov/gp/mtao/yellow, tail/bighorn_longterm.cfm. i: i t i, 1 't i (i t' t t CONCERNED ABOUT MONEY ISSUES AND YOUR CHILD'S FUTURE? I Attend FREE noon webinars, every first Thursday. www.uwyo.edu/ceslmoney ~I~UNIVERSITy o~ '~V'OM i NG EXTENSION TRUCK DRIVERS WANTED: This is an opportunity for local truck drivers to have a long term career without leaving the community. Hours: 65-70 hours per week. Day and Night Shifts available. Excellent benefit package is available after probation period. LOOKING FOR: Water Haulers, Winch Truck Drivers, Hot Oiler Drivers. MUST BE 21 YEARS OF AGE DUE TO COMPANY INSURANCE, HAVE A VALID CDL CLASS A and CLEAN DRIVING RECORD. MUST HAVE AT LEAST 12 MONTHS VERIFIABLE DRIVING EXPERIENCE WITHIN THE LAST 3 YEARS OF WORK. MUST BE ABLE TO PASS DRUG, ALCOHOL and BACKGROUND SCREENING. Call 307-358-5239 or Apply at: www.awwaterservice.com TOP QUALITY EQUIPMENT - VEHICLES - GUNS - COLLEcTABLES FRIDAY, MAY 4 10A.M. DOUGLAS, WYo Selling "like new" case 580 backhoe & JD 5095 MFWD Tractor/Loader; D3 Cat 6-way Dozer; Harley Fat Boy and Street Glide; 7 JD restored tractors; '29 Plymouth, 2 dr. restored; 7 stationary engines; truck; '08 Dodge Dually & other pickups; trailers; 16 guns; industrial tools; antiques; more! All excellent, A-1 conditionl See listing/photos on www.bradeenauedon.c0m Call 605-673-2629, Online bidding at www.proxibid:com t