Volunteers with the Elsie-Vinemaple Rural Fire Protection District celebrated the acquisition of a donated generator with the help of Sen. Betsy Johnson in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday at the district's station on U.S. Highway 26 at the Highway 103 intersection.
The 40-kilowatt diesel generator was acquired last year by Clatsop County's Emergency Management Division from the Oregon Military Department. The county in turn delivered the piece of equipment to Elsie-Vinemaple.
The generator will provide a critical source of back-up power to the all-volunteer district, which covers approximately 300 square miles, including 25 miles of Highway 26, in southeastern Clatsop County. In the aftermath of the December 2007 gale, the Jewell/Elsie area was without electricity for almost two weeks, and continues to experience frequent wintertime power outages.
The generator was one of several pieces of equipment acquired by Clatsop County from the Umatilla Chemical Depot in eastern Oregon. Following the completion of a seven-year program to incinerate stockpiled chemical agents, equipment used as part of the public warning system was made available by the state military department to local jurisdictions free of charge.
According to Clatsop County Emergency Management Director Dean Perez, the generator was originally earmarked for another jurisdiction, but the support of Sen. Johnson and Commissioner Debra Birkby, and the diligent work of Elsie-Vinemaple Assistant Chief Hans Mulder and Emergency Services Coordinator Tom Manning, secured it for the fire district.