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Rural etiquette question  RSS feed

 
Ann Torrence
steward
Posts: 1191
Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
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Let's just say that after someone burned an irrigation ditch that crosses my property, the volunteer fire department had to come out. Twice. Once at 4 am.

Apparently the burn (not done by me-it's a ditch easement) was supervised with a town employe and town fire truck spraying it down, on an unusually calm day. It should have been fine. It was not. Last night as I was putting up the hens around sunset I noticed a dead/dying poplar on the adjoining property (the ditch passes through it too) torching off like a Roman candle. I called the nearest neighbor, she got a hose on it, the FD came out, doused it good. Or so we thought. Then at 3:45 am I was up, happened to look out the window and 10' of trees along the ditch were in flames. I rushed over, started up the hose and called 911 just as the wind picked up. The fire siren is really loud at that time of day. They were there for over an hour. I heard this morning that it flared up again around 8 am, that the town owns the trees and the town maintenance guy told me they are going to pull it out because they think it is smoldering below the soil line. Maybe a couple more trees. I asked for the wood for the orchard.

Now if i still lived in Texas, I would go buy a case of beer at least and take it to the fire house. That's not going to work in this rural Utah town. What's the next right thing? A donation to the VFD at minimum. It's not really my bad, I just want to say thanks for being there.
 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
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A Thank You card is always appropriate. Tipping emergency services is not appropriate, although probably appreciated. If tipping emergency responders were the expectation, it may result in people not calling for help when it is needed. A non-monetary thank you gift would go over well: home baked cookies or a couple loaves of freshly baked bread dropped off at the station along with the card.
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
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I'd ditto on the fresh baked bread if you've got the baking talent. The Mormons I've known all love to mow down fresh baked bread (who doesn't?).
I knew a guy who while flame weeding a super peaty field lit the thing on fire. Thankfully it turned out to be a real knee slapper and not a huge disaster. Those underground fires can be serious business.
 
Dan Grubbs
Posts: 524
Location: northwest Missouri, USA
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Many rural fire departments do have some type of non-profit fund that people can make donations to, they often go to help outfit the crew or station. I also know of people who take out a small ad in the local paper to express thanks to the department. My father-in-law in rural South Dakota does both when the FD has been called out to one of his properties to quench something. These folks aren't motivated to repond by money, so I personally wouldn't worry about them not responding. Most are motivated to be an integral part of their rural community and serve in FDs as a means to do that. I think a small ad in the paper would be a nice gesture. I know it goes over well in South Dakota.
 
John Elliott
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Doesn't green Jell-O salad take the place of beer in Utah?
 
Ann Torrence
steward
Posts: 1191
Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
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John Elliott wrote:Doesn't green Jell-O salad take the place of beer in Utah?

Actually, it seems to be ice cream. I'm not sure anyone actually likes the green jello salad, it might be kind of like yams with marshmallows at our family's Thanksgiving. Gotta have it even though no one wants it. What is good are funeral potatoes.

Cookies or a banana bread sounds good. Everyone likes sugar. I'll find out when their next training is.

Dan Grubbs wrote:... take out a small ad in the local paper to express thanks to the department

For reasons that have nothing to do with me or the fire and everything to do with entirely too much gossip on Facebook, the usual ad is out. The FB fire is not one that can be fueled right now, normal small town drama I am staying out of. You are right, it would be another right thing to do here too.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5859
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
348
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Any and all of the above...here in our small community folks many times write a 'letter to the editor' for things like that and/or post in the classifieds a 'thankyou'. I like the 'letter to the editor' because it can be very public acknowledgement both of the kindness and the screw up that might have caused the situation.
 
Jeff Mathias
Posts: 125
Location: Westport, CA Zone 8-9; Off grid on 20 acres of redwood forest and floodplain with a seasonal creek.
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Hi,

If they are a volunteer fire department most likely they need the money, so a thank you card and any donation would be greatly appreciated, if their business meeting are open to the public that is a great place to present a card or certificate etc.
You might also consider joining, there is a lot more work to be done than just fire and rescue response at a VFD if being an EMT or firefighter is not for you, and in a rural area it is a great way to see and meet many of the neighbors you may not otherwise come into contact with.
There are some VFD's that are flush with money from donations and sometimes even property taxes but in general a VFD needs any help it can get. If money isn't possible see if there is any form of help they can use, maybe volunteer to help out at a local fund raiser, etc., there is always more work than people at such things. As a member of our local VFD we end up doing a lot more than just training and preparing for a response and any help from the public for things like building/equipment maintenance or staffing events is huge!

Thanks,

Jeff


 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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I've been a member of my local fire dept Emergency services for over 30 years and mostly act as a safety officer on scene, my wife had 25 years!

I remember that when she integrated the Dept. 3 members quit. But those days are 'mostly' behind us, I would like promote everyone who can to
give active time to their local Dept ! Big AL
 
Bill Bradbury
pollinator
Posts: 684
Location: Richmond, Utah
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I like to take people out to the local cafe. This builds community in multiple ways as well as saying thanks.
 
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