DETROIT, Ore. — Bret Putnam describes it as a feeling of brotherhood.
When the Idanha-Detroit Rural Fire Protection District lost its station and one of its fire engines in the massive Beachie Creek Fire, Putnam, the fire chief in Dayton, wanted to know how they could support their partners in need.
The Dayton Fire District had a surplus 1979 Ford pumper it was planning to put out for bid. Instead, the board decided to donate it to the Detroit-Idanha district as the communities rebuild.
The McMinnville, Amity, Yamhill and Carlton fire districts also stepped up to outfit the truck with donated hoses, nozzles and other equipment. Pacific Reflex Signs, a business in McMinnville, emblazoned the rig with the Detroit-Idanha district’s name and logo.
“That’s kind of the fire service mentality,” Putnam said. “We might be in that spot someday, and hopefully somebody will help us.”
The truck and equipment were delivered to Detroit on Sept. 22.
“When we got it there, it was ready to roll,” Putnam said. “You could put it in service right then.”
The Aurora Fire District also donated one of its surplus fire engines to Detroit-Idanha that was actually used on the Beachie Creek fire line as crews scrambled to contain the nearly 200,000-acre blaze.
Firefighters from Aurora signed the hood of the truck, including the message “volunteer strong” from the district’s operations chief, Greg Dyke.
“We drove up there, we found them, and we dropped the engine off,” Dyke said. “They used it on the line later that day.”
In a Facebook post, the Detroit-Idanha fire district said firefighters were overjoyed by the support, “many of us succumbing to tears of gratitude.”