Gear up! Bayside Fire Dept. looking for new volunteers. Calls for assistance are up 13 percent.

 

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If you live in Monashka and have ever had to call 911 for a fire or medical emergency, you likely were met by a group of highly trained volunteers from the Bayside Fire Department.

Bayside begins training new volunteer firefighters Mon. Feb. 11. KMXT’s Maggie Wall has the details.

Bayside Fire Department responds to call in August 2018. Photo Source: Bayside Facebook page.

 

Click on MP3 Above to listen to the story.

 

The Bayside Department handled 172 emergency calls last year. That’s up 13 percent over last year. Chief Howard Rue says the majority of those calls are for Emergency Medical Services.

Rue is the only paid staff member, so the area depends on volunteers to operate the station and respond to calls for help. A new training program is set to begin this week to train more volunteers.

There are four fire stations on the road system. Bayside, the City of Kodiak, the Coast Guard base, and Bells Flats.

Bayside handles a unique mix of operations. Some areas are on City Water and have hydrants to plug into, some areas have only wells, so water must be hauled out to respond to fire calls.

Paul VanDyke is the Chair of the Fire Protection Board. He says the fire district runs all the way out to the end of the road at White Sands Beach and Termination Point. It includes the landfill, VFW and the hatchery.

 

“ About two-thirds of the value of the property is inside Service Area 1, and one third of the value of the property, according to the Borough tax rolls, is outside that. So we have to be prepared for urban firefighting, and you might have a fire hydrant nearby that we can connect up to and supply water. And then we also have to be prepared for a more rural area, more rural setting.”

 

Bayside first responders also are called out for any vehicle accidents and medical emergency calls in those areas outside city limits to the end of the road.

If you are looking to get more involved locally, in a situation where you can really feel that you make a difference, volunteer fire fighting offers that, according to Jason Waggoner.

Waggoner says he likes the physicality of being a volunteer firefighter.  He describes himself as just a Kodiak guy who wanted to do something to give back to the community.

With six years under his belt as a volunteer firefighter for Bayside, Waggoner says he works with the new volunteers.

Waggoner loves what he does. Volunteering at Bayside fills many niches in his life and he highly recommends it to others.

 

“I’m an IT person by trade so I sit in front of a computer all day.  So I need something to balance that out. I needed something to give me physical activity. And so the fire department gives you the excitement you don’t get.”

 

Another big benefit of being a volunteer is the sense of team spirit and the tight knit group that develops through the training.

 

“ One of the best parts about Bayside is the comradery. In this day and age a lot of us are isolated. You know, we have our Netflix account and that’s about it to keep us company. You join a volunteer department and you join a family.”

 

                That’s Jason Waggoner a volunteer at the Bayside Fire Station. He was speaking during last week’s Talk of the Rock program here on KMXT.

 

I’m Maggie Wall.

 

        A new round of training for volunteers begins today. Stop by the fire house or call 486-4536 for more information.

 

CLICK HERE for the full half-hour audio of Talk of the Rock with the Bayside Fire Department.

 

 

 

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