Training aimed at boosting emergency response; Home and Garden Show features Kubota; Best Books of 2016; Heceta volunteers sought; Rifle Raffle to benefit VFW

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Training aimed at improving medical response

The number of trained volunteers with the Swisshome-Deadwood Fire Department and at the Mapleton Fire Department has been dwindling over recent years.  That’s meant fewer emergency medical “first responders”.

Paramedics with Western Lane Ambulance District rely on those volunteers as they often can get to patients several minutes quicker and thereby begin providing care earlier and that could save lives.

That’s why Western Lane and Siuslaw Valley Fire in Florence are teaming up to provide additional training to those rural responders.

Volunteers at both rural fire departments recently began a 40-hour course to enhance their capabilities.

Siuslaw Valley Fire Chief Jim Langborg said service is improved when agencies join together in partnership.  He also said the training… and the commitment to respond… demonstrates “how much dedication local volunteers put into becoming firefighters and serving their communities.”

Tractors on display at Home and Garden Show

Just inside the front door at this weekend’s Florence Home and Garden Show will be a brand new display.  Jeff Rossow (ROSS-oh) with Mid-Valley Tractor in Eugene will be here with a variety of shiny orange machines.

Jeff Rossow – “A compact tractor and then also more of a full size tractor and then we also have a zero-turn mower so, it’s a pretty good representation of what we have here.”

Rossow’s display is just part of what he’ll be bringing.  The other part is his experience.

Jeff Rossow – “A lot of people are… they want to know what size they need for their acreage or their application and everything.  We use them here personally so we’re really familiar with the product and how it’s used on the property so we can really help them a lot with that.”

The lawn and garden tractors are just one of more than three dozen exhibits at the Florence Events Center this weekend.  Doors are open from two to six today; ten to six Saturday and then 11 to three Sunday.

Best books of 2016

The 60-best books of 2016 will be rolled out in a fast-paced and entertaining presentation March 10th at Siuslaw Public Library.  Adult Services Librarian Kevin Mittge has made this an annual event that features a non-stop listing and brief… very brief… comments about nearly all of the volumes.

Kevin Mittge – “Well each review is very quick, let me tell you.  It’s very fast paced.  Usually there are certain books that are standouts each year and then after that it’s just selecting what other people like to get to about 60.”

The Best Books presentation is Friday, March 10th at one pm in the Bromley Room.

Lighthouse volunteers sought

Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. photo

The brightest lighthouse on the Oregon Coast gets thousands of visitors each year.  In order to help out those visitors and give them information and history, it takes dozens of volunteers.

The Heceta Head Lighthouse Interpretive Center is seeking volunteers for this season.  Those volunteers will greet visitors and “share the rich history of this special Oregon treasure” says Misty Anderson.  Anderson is the manager of the Heceta Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast, and also oversees the interpretive center.  In exchange for dedicating 50-hours of work, guides get a free night stay in the historic Keeper’s House.

Anderson said tours will be offered during Spring Break, and then beginning Memorial Day Weekend and through Labor Day.

Anyone interested in finding out about how to become a volunteer tour guide should contact Anderson directly at the Lighthouse Keeper’s house.

VFW post commander Paul Gargis (l.) hands over a vintage 1945 Garand M-1 rifle to Oregon Coast Military Museum Chief of Staff Geoff Cannon. The rifle will be on display at the museum until July 1st. (photo by Cal Applebee)

VFW Raffle rifle on display at Oregon Coast Militar Museum

A vintage World-War II M-1 rifle is being recycled again.  The 30-caliber weapon was manufactured in January 1945.  Cal Applebee with the Oregon Coast Military Museum says it was the “iconic weapon” carried by GI’s throughout that war, and the conflict in Korea.

The museum has one on display right now, courtesy of the Florence Post of the VFW.  That organization is selling raffle tickets for the rifle to help bolster their building fund.

VFW Post Commander Paul Gargis said this is the second time they’ve raffled the rifle… Last year’s winner donated it back to “do it all over again”.

Tickets are just ten-dollars each and can be purchased from any VFW member… or at the museum on Kingwood Street.  It’s open Thursday through Saturday each week from ten to four.

The winning ticket will be drawn Saturday, July 1st during the annual Wings and Wheels fly-in and car show at the airport.