As Flames Burn, Small Fire Department Discovers Truck Has Busted Pump; HAF’s Rapid Response Grant Provides Help
It was late July and the full scale of the Carr Fire was just becoming clear as flames closed Highway 299 near Redding and citizens in the surrounding area prepared to evacuate. In the small town of Trinity Center, on the shore of Trinity Lake, the volunteer fire department was preparing to defend their town and offer ground support to relief efforts. It was sheer coincidence that led a vacationing firefighter from Roseville to stop by the station and examine the department’s two trucks. The firefighter was staying at nearby KOA and, stranded by the highway’s closure, decided to see if he could lend a hand.
“We told him the truck had a little leak,” says firefighter Carol Fall. “He said, ‘No, that’s not a little leak, the pump’s busted.’ That’s when we were panicking.”
Fall, who had attended a grantmaking workshop facilitated by the Humboldt Area Foundation, almost immediately called Cassandra Wagner, Program Manager for Grants and Scholarships at HAF, to see if a Rapid Response grant could help cover the $6500 needed to replace equipment on the engine. In the meantime, the Carr Fire had leapt the Sacramento River, forcing thousands of people to evacuate and razing entire neighborhoods in Redding and Shasta.
“They told me, ‘We see the fire and we need our fire truck to save our community, can you help?’” says Wagner. “We were able to respond in less than 24 hours.”
With the check from HAF in the mail, the TCVFD was able to order the parts needed and repair Engine 1134 so it could go where it was needed most: Staging as crash response for CALFIRE helicopters and the Forest Service, and preparing to defend homes in their community should the fire come closer.
“The Carr Fire kept coming up our way,” says Fall of the tense days in late July and early August as the crew worked to restore the pump. “You could see it coming up the ridges on the other side [of Trinity Lake], burning down to the lake, but we never had the wind bring it down into our community.”
While Trinity Center escaped devastation, fire season is far from over in Trinity County. Engine 1134 was recently deployed for crash response on the Delta Fire, which filled the sky above Trinity Center with smoke for much of September. Hard working volunteers such as Fall will be on alert until the first rains come, and the Humboldt Area Foundation will be behind them every step of the way. Thank you to all of the generous community members who contribute to the Humboldt Area Foundation’s Opportunity Fund, which make it possible for us to quickly respond to evolving needs in Humboldt, Del Norte, Curry and Trinity counties. If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved, please contact us at 707-442-2993 or visit www.hafoundation.org.
About Humboldt Area Foundation:
Vera Vietor established the Humboldt Area Foundation in 1972. Since then, more than $70 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded in Humboldt, Del Norte, Curry and Trinity Counties. Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership and inclusion to strengthen our communities.
For more information on services provided by the Foundation please visit the Humboldt Area Foundation website at hafoundation.org or call (707) 442-2993.
Photos: Engine 1134 on crash response for Delta Fire, Trinity Center Volunteer Fire Department volunteers pose next to restored Engine 1134. PHOTO CREDIT: Carol Fall