By Jan Rahn
On Saturday evening, April 5, firefighters, EMTs, spouses and special guests enjoyed the 2014 annual banquet of the Grant Fire Department and Perkins County Ambulance held at the American Legion Hall in Grant.
A 2013 year in review, presentation of awards, and video of the year’s emergency responses followed a meal prepared by the Little Country Kitchen of Madrid.
Those attending were then invited to return to the fire hall to visit and enjoy snacks.
Year in Review
Fire Chief Don Softley recapped 2013, which included a total of 193 calls—down from the previous year when 256 calls were made in 2012.
The department responded to 40 fire calls, the majority being grass/crop or building fires.
Members of the GVFD provided mutual aid six times to surrounding departments.
Total ambulance calls during 2013 came to 139, the yearly average being 131. Members responded to 22 medical calls, 25 trauma calls, 13 motor vehicle incidents, provided long distance transfer 43 times, and provided standby assistance nine times.
Softley said the average number of times that the Jaws of Life are used to extract a victim from a motor vehicle accident is 2.6 times a year. In 2013 the Jaws of Life were used 10 times. Cell phone usage was a factor in the number of motor vehicle accidents the department responded to, he said.
There were 10 civil defense calls and 10 Flight for Life calls.
June was the busiest month of the year with 22 calls.
The busiest time of the day was 10 a.m., when 22 of the calls occurred, and the busiest day of the week was Friday when 38 of the calls came in.
Grant’s Suburban Fire Board members include Rex Wilson, president; Cecil Hendricks, vice president; Randy Gengenbach, secretary; Tom Kosmicki, treasurer; and Robert Bounds, board member.
Bryon Kroeker, current fire captain and president, received a plaque for 25 years of service.
Harlan Rahn, whose most recent position was fire captain, was presented a fire axe retirement award for 21 years of service to the department.
Trent Mastre was recognized for five years and received a coat. Perfect attendance certificates for 2013 were presented to Rick Ochsner and Bob Hochstein.