Fire in a Small Town: How volunteers civilized the rural West, and how civilization betrayed them

by
ISBN: 9781489580849

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$18.90 Sale Price

Overview

"Any town that has a fire department, an engine to fight the demon flames with, and a band of sturdy volunteer fire laddies to manipulate the apparatus is on the high wave of prosperity."A newspaper editor wrote those words in 1913 to mark the birth of a fire department in More »

Description

ISBN: 9781489580849

"Any town that has a fire department, an engine to fight the demon flames with, and a band of sturdy volunteer fire laddies to manipulate the apparatus is on the high wave of prosperity."

A newspaper editor wrote those words in 1913 to mark the birth of a fire department in Gaston, Oregon, the dead end of the Oregon Trail. History proved him wrong about the prosperity part, but prescient about the critical role that everyday volunteers played in civilizing the Wild West, and in keeping it civilized today.

In fact, today rural areas are more dependent on volunteers than ever before, because in addition to dousing house fires, volunteers have become the primary emergency medical providers for a society increasingly dependent on such care. Yet in many ways, society is making the lives of volunteer firefighters and EMTs more difficult and less enjoyable than ever before.

The Bilderbacks, authors of the internationally acclaimed "Creek With No Name: How the West was Won (and Lost) in Gaston, Oregon," again use their hometown as the focal point for the triumphs, tragedies and travails of some of the bravest and least-appreciated heroes of the American West.

 

About the author:

Ken Bilderback grew up near Detroit, Michigan, and graduated from the University of Dayton. He spent 30 years as a journalist at newspapers across the country. His autobiographical novel, "Wheels on the Bus: Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n' roll and Life in 1974," chronicles the wild cross-country trips that eventually landed him in Oregon, which has been his home since 1980. Ken also served several stints at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University and the University of California. He is a National Fire Protection Association certified Public Information Officer and holds certificates in many aspects of emergency Incident Management and Command.

Kris is a graduate of the University of Washington and spent her career in administration at the UW, Bastyr University and at Pacific University. She spent thousands of hours researching newspaper and library archives in search of stories for this book.

Their first joint effort was "Creek With No Name: How the West was Won (and Lost) in Gaston, Oregon," which has won many awards, including First Place honors for Regional Literature at the New England and Southern California book festivals, and First Runner-up for the History Prize at the New York Book Festival. X

"Any town that has a fire department, an engine to fight the demon flames with, and a band of sturdy volunteer fire laddies to manipulate the apparatus is on the high wave of prosperity."

A newspaper editor wrote those words in 1913 to mark the birth of a fire department in Gaston, Oregon, the dead end of the Oregon Trail. History proved him wrong about the prosperity part, but prescient about the critical role that everyday volunteers played in civilizing the Wild West, and in keeping it civilized today.

In fact, today rural areas are more dependent on volunteers than ever before, because in addition to dousing house fires, volunteers have become the primary emergency medical providers for a society increasingly dependent on such care. Yet in many ways, society is making the lives of volunteer firefighters and EMTs more difficult and less enjoyable than ever before.

The Bilderbacks, authors of the internationally acclaimed "Creek With No Name: How the West was Won (and Lost) in Gaston, Oregon," again use their hometown as the focal point for the triumphs, tragedies and travails of some of the bravest and least-appreciated heroes of the American West.

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