Station 77 in the News

READY TO ROLL ON THE FIRE LINE

At 4:30 a.m. on Friday, August 31, the fire siren sounded at Station 77 in Port Costa. A grass fire, fanned by light winds, was advancing rapidly toward town. Within minutes, Port Costa Engine 77's firefighters, shouldering heavy hose packs, were scrambling up a steep hill to meet the oncoming flames. At the same time, two firefighting crews from Crockett accessed fire roads to fight the blaze, now throwing sparks into the air as it consumed dead trees and debris.Within 15 minutes, the flames were contained and under control. Firefighters completed the job by extinguishing hot spots and potential flare-ups. It was one of 14 callouts in August for the Port Costa volunteer fire crew. The Crockett-Carquinez Fire Department conducts training exercises once a week to prepare firefighters not only for fires but also medical emergencies, car and motorcycle accidents and non-emergency public assistance calls. At times, volunteers are sought to combat major fires in the state. In October of 2003, Monica Greene and John MacKenzie of Port Costa joined more than 4,000 firefighters to battle the Old fire in the San Bernardino National Forest, an arson-created inferno that raced through 91,281 acres and destroyed 940 homes."Being a firefighter is more than just jumping on the back of the fire engine," said Monica. "You have to know a lot of things. It can be scary when it's a burning building or somebody with a heart attack. The Crockett-Carquinez Fire Department has a great training program. We get comprehensive medical and rescue training, auto extrication, ladder raising and wild land fire training. Once we even got to rappel off the San Mateo Bridge."Tom List has served six years as a Station 77 firefighter. "You can be doing something completely unrelated during the day or sleeping in the middle of the night and - boom! - the siren blows and everybody's at the firehouse working together," said Tom. He singles out lead firefighter John MacKenzie for his ability to see the big picture in an emergency incident, and praises Terry Parker, a longtime firefighter now retired, for his volunteer work as Engine 77's maintenance engineer. "Every week Terry pulls our fire engine out and takes care of any mechanical issues that need fixing or replacing," said Tom. "It is an absolute pleasure to work with this crew." Persons wishing to make donations to the firefighters for the purchase of safety gear and emergency supplies may do so by sending a check to Crockett-Carquinez Firefighters Association, 746 Loring Avenue, Crockett, CA 94525.
Reprinted with permission from the September 2007, Port Costa Conservation Society Newsletter


Port Costa's Station 77 volunteer firefighters (September 2007)
Port Costa's Station 77 volunteer firefighters (September 2007)
Left to right: Jeffrey Gray, John MacKenzie, Scott Drummond, Nick Arnold, Tom List, Monica Greene and Aaron Greene. Not shown: Terry Parker and Mark English.
Photo (c) 2007 L W Stewart, reprinted with permission from the Port Costa Conservation Society