The Illinois Valley Fire District Chief John Holmes accepted the District of the Year Award by the Oregon Fire District Director Association Nov. 2. The award was in recognition of the district’s contributions to its local community through several grants and assistance from the Oregon Fire Marshal’s Office.
The award was due in part to Chief Holmes’ grant writing which has been successful in obtaining funding for projects needed for the fire district.
According to a public release/letter from the chief in 2023 the district received the following grants:
*OSFM-Capacity Grant: Illinois Valley Fire District was approved for $729,851 from the Oregon State Fire Marshal for the additional staffing of two firefighters for three years. This enhances the current tax levy by adding an additional firefighter for a 48 hour schedule. This benefits the communities with more manpower on the scene of fires, traffic accidents, medical-aid, hazardous materials, lift assistance and any other incidents.
*OSFM-Community Wildland Staffing Grant: Illinois Valley Fire District was approved for $35,000 from the Oregon State Fire Marshal, which will assist in hiring three firefighters as part of a seasonal position at the outlying fire stations for coverage during the fire season. This allows the district to have a better response time to areas that are not usually staffed and a greater distance to respond from.
*OSFM-Community Risk Reduction Grant: Being approved for $86,951 from the Oregon State Fire Marshal for a wood chipper, dump trailer and personnel.
The wood chipper, dump trailer, and prevention personnel will be directly used for fire prevention and community risk reduction projects in the communities Illinois Valley Fire District serves.
With the award approved, the fire district would hold multiple wildland fuel collection events for the communities. A wood chipper, dump trailer and personnel will be available at the event and would be able to collect materials and provide an efficient way to dispose of the material.
*Josephine County Community Benefit Funding Grant: Being approved for $22,105 from the Josephine County Commissioners to purchase and install an emergency standby generator for the Illinois Valley Fire District, Station 3, in O’Brien. This assists in the event of power failure, to keep the engines plugged in and running, garage doors to open and close and heaters in the bays to keep running and keep the communications in ready response, mainly in those winter months or in power outages.
*Oregon Legislative Assembly – House Bill 2588: Illinois Valley Fire District submitted a request for $984,500, for the distribution of water supply and treatment of sewage to the district. Where the fire station is located, there are no fire hydrants or sewers, which is a must for fire apparatus, and training events at the station and surrounding area. With this approved money, the district will work with the city of Cave Junction which will aid the surrounding neighbors if they choose to annex into city sewer and water and to better our needs at the fire station. The submission was brought to light by Representative Lily Morgan.