Fire Protection for Bayocean Spit


Public testimony at the January 8, 2015 meeting of the Tillamook County Planning Commission raised questions regarding fire protection on the Bayocean Spit and a response to any medical emergencies that may occur there.  This testimony, in turn, raised questions among Cape Meares residents regarding the accuracy of the testimony.

For the record, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has responsibility for fire protection for all Bayocean Spit properties.  However, should there be a fire, 911 should be called and the Tillamook Fire District will likely be the first responders to the fire and be available until personnel from ODF arrive.  Following the ODF arrival the two units will work together until the fire is controlled.

If there is an emergency on the Spit and 911 has been called our local Cape Meares volunteer firefighters will be the first to reach the site of the emergency.  These local firefighters train weekly and have had special emergency medical training.

Station 73 (Cape Meares) has Engine 14 which is designed for firefighting operations and carries 1000 gallons of water and Truck 16 carries 200 gallons of water.  Water may also be drawn from the ocean and from Lake Meares should there be a need for further water until fire engines from Tillamook arrive or equipment from ODF arrives.

Cape Meares is indeed fortunate to have a crew of five dedicated and well trained firefighters who are local residents.  Sally McGee lives above the fire station on 8th Street in Cape Meares and has a birds-eye view of the fire station activities and has shared the following observation.

“Living at the firehouse, I have a close up view of the many activities of the Cape Meares firefighters.  They are the on-call presence, the emergency responders, the men who will be here first in the event not only of fire but trauma, accident, or a health crisis.

“They give their time freely and are a great service and resource to our community.  They are the strongest among us and work hard to stay strong.

“We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.  Our thanks to Randy Klobas, Olli  Ollikainen, Kenny Moulis, Charles Saxon, and Mike Smith.  Charles, in addition to being a firefighter, is a highly trained medic, heading the Tillamook County Emergency Service.  We have two defibrillators in Cape Meares.  One is located in the Community Center on 4th Street and another at the Firehouse on 8th Street.  All local firefighters are trained to use these devices.”

If there is anyone more popular in Cape Meares than our first responders this will be news to me.  The entire community appreciates what you do on our behalf.  Three cheers!

Posted by Charles J. Ansorge