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Voters Asked to Approve to Levies

May 4, 2020

The Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District wants voters to pass a ve-year levy for 35 cents per $1,000 in assessed value to help sustain operations.

The fire district has a permanent tax rate of 35 cents per $1,000 — one of the lowest in the county. A permanent tax rate is set when a district is established, which leaves fire districts dependent on voters to approve levies and bonds for more funding as time goes on.

Voters have approved a ve-year levy to support the re chief’s position for 19 cents per $1,000 and a ve-year bond for a ladder truck at 9 cents per $1,000. If voters approve the new levy, the total tax burden will increase from 63 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to 98 cents, or about $141 a year for a home valued at $400,000.

To read the full article, click link below

Article written by the Daily Astorian

After 41 years, Firefighter Swendenborg is Retiring

May contain: apparel, helmet, clothing, human, person, and fireman
Assistant Fire Chief Frank Swedenborg

February 21, 2020

Frank Swedenborg became a volunteer firefighter for the Cannon Beach Fire District in 1978. His official retirement is this Saturday, after 41 years of service.

Swedenborg said he became a volunteer firefighter “because if you live in a community, especially a small community, you should participate in that community in some manner. And the way I could participate is through being a volunteer firefighter.”

Garry Smith, president of the Cannon Beach Rural Protection Fire District Board of Directors, was a fellow firefighter with Swedenborg for 31 years. He said Swedenborg started as a basic firefighter and ultimately became the assistant chief, also serving as a certified emergency medical technician.

“(Frank) was absolutely adamant that if he was in town, you could count on him to show up for a call,” Smith said. “People were amazed at the number of calls he came to. He spent untold hours helping the people in the community.

To read the full article, click link below

Article written by the Cannon beach Gazette

Cannon Beach Fire District to Ask Voters to Approve Tax Levy

February 12, 2020

CANNON BEACH — The Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District board has decided to ask voters to approve a new tax levy in May.

The fire district, which serves Cannon Beach, Arch Cape, Cove Beach and Falcon Cove, had nearly 440 calls last year — a record number that has steadily increased over the years. With greater demand , the fire district has struggled to find ways to sustain operations.

The fire district has one of the lowest permanent tax rates in the county at 35 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The permanent tax rate is set when a district is established, which leaves fire districts dependent on voters to approve levies and bonds for more funding.

To read the full article, click link below

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Cannon Beach Fire District Looking for Ways to Sustain Operations

Struggle is not uncommon for rural districts

Janurary 29, 2020

The Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District is exploring options to increase revenue to sustain operations.

The struggle is not uncommon for rural fire districts. Agencies throughout Clatsop County have reported steep increases in call volumes over the past decade, along with a dwindling number of volunteer firefighters.

Staff and volunteers are left stretched thin, which has contributed to the turnover of fire chiefs in Cannon Beach.

“The old adage has always been, ‘We’re going to do more with less.’ And I think the fire service has done that, but I think it’s gotten to a point in many districts, including ours, that we just can’t sustain. We really cannot sustain functions with what we have,” said Marc Reckmann, the interim Cannon Beach fire chief.

To read the full article, click link below

Article written by the Daily Astorian

New Fire Chief

May contain: plant, vegetation, apparel, clothing, nature, outdoors, land, tree, forest, woodland, jacket, coat, person, human, and grove
Division Chief Marc Reckmann 

December 10th, 2019

Marc Reckmann, the division chief at the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District, will take over as fire chief.

Reckmann, 40, of Forest Grove, will replace Matthew Benedict, who retires at the end of December.

To read the full article, click link below

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Cannon Beach Fire District Dedicates Communication Room to Aya

May contain: clothing, apparel, human, person, face, sailor suit, military, officer, and military uniform
Al Aya

November 12, 2019

The Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District has dedicated its communication room as a memorial for Alfred Aya.

Aya, who died last year, was the founding father of the community tsunami warning system. He came up with the distinctive “mooing” sound.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Seaside Signal

Fire Chief Announces Retirement

May contain: person, human, table, desk, furniture, computer, hardware, computer keyboard, computer hardware, electronics, and keyboard
Fire Chief Matt Benedict 

October 15, 2019

After three years as the Fire Chief for the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District, Matt Benedict annouced he will retire at the end of the year.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection to participate in Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters

Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters

Septembr 29, 2019

The Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection will host the annual Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters from Sunday, Sep. 26 at 6 p.m. to Sunday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m.

Every October, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) sponsors the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial weekend, the official national tribute to those firefighters who died in the line of duty during the previous year.

Join the Cannon Beach Fire Department (CBFD) as they light their department in red for the 119 fallen firefighters in the nation last year in support and comfort to the families whose loved ones gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be remembered.

For the full article, click the link below.

Written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Some text goes here

72nd annual Volunteer Firefighters Benefit Dinner

May contain: person and human
Volunteer firefighter Nathanael Wilkerson hands a plate over to a server at the last year's annual Ham Dinner. The event benefits Cannon Beach's Volunteer Firefighters

September 19, 2019

Over the past 72 years, the Cannon Beach Volunteer Firefighters (CBVF) have evolved into a modern emergency organization, providing emergency medical and rescue services as well as fighting structural and wild land fire. The volunteers are dedicated to providing the highest quality of emergency services to residents and guests in the District. It is through the support of the community that the CBVF are able to purchase the equipment that allows them to continue to provide services.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

CBRFD has grown like wildfire since the 1960s

Article written by Tillamook Headlights Herald

September 10, 2019

In this, the second of a two-part series on rescue services in Cannon Beach, I jump to the 1960s. This era saw a transition from the Mac McCoy period in the late 1950s to the late 1960s, when bona fide fire & rescue and lifeguard squads (volunteer and otherwise) worked for the city of Cannon Beach. Not long before this, Cannon Beach acquired its own fire hall, a small building located near the present-day chamber of commerce.

The early Cannon Beach Fire Hall had a refrigerator and woodstove and housed summer lifeguards. Allen Litweller-lifeguard in Cannon Beach from 1963 to 1966- recalls an incident early in his lifeguarding career, when a fire call came in to the station around 2 a.m. In those days, before radios and dispatchers, the Cannon Beach rescue communication center consisted of 1) a party-line that rang the station, fire chief, assistant chief and mayor, and 2) a blackboard and piece of chalk. Whoever answered the call at the station wrote the address of the call on a blackboard and sounded the rescue alarm-a rumbling, emergency siren reminiscent of WWII air raid sirens.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by Tillamook Headlight Herald

Crews Recover Dog That Died in Fall From Oregon Coast Cliff

May contain: sea, ocean, nature, water, outdoors, shoreline, coast, promontory, and beach
Photo taken from call

August 26, 2019

“Not every call has a happy ending.”

Crews recovered a dog Saturday after it had fallen off a cliff and into the Pacific Ocean at Ecola State Park.

For the full article, click link below.

Article written KATU and taken from Cannon Beach Fire District Facebooks Page.

Coast Guard Rescues Hiker Stranded by Rising Tide on Oregon Coast

June 13, 2019

CANNON BEACH, Ore. – U.S. Coast Guard crews had to airlift a man to safety Wednesday night after he ended up stranded on a rock piling in Ecola State Park.

Officials say the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River was called out about 9:20 p.m. on reports that a hiker was surrounded by the rising tide. He was not injured.

About an hour later, an air crew in an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter arrived and hoisted him up into the helicopter.

Officials say this is a good reminder for people to stay alert of their surroundings and to pay attention to the tides when heading out on the beaches.

Coast Guard crews had to rescue two other people from Ecola State Park just last month.

Article written by KATU

Abandoned Trailer Catches Fire at Oregon Coast Viewpoint, Volunteer Crew Puts Out Flames

May contain: person and human
Derelict camping trailer catches fire at Silver Point Scenic Area

May 26, 2019

An abandoned camping trailer was destroyed by fire Saturday night at a viewpoint on Highway 101 along the Oregon coast.

The Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection Department said their volunteer crew was returning to the station at about 11 p.m. when they received reports of a “motor home on fire” at the Silver Point Scenic Area.

The volunteer team got the fire under control without the flames spreading to nearby trees.

The “derelict” travel trailer had been left there weeks ago, officials said.

“Great job by our Volunteers, very professionally done!” Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection Department said in a Facebook post.

Article written by KATU

Coast Guard rescues couple stranded near Indian Beach

May 20, 2019

CANNON BEACH — The Coast Guard rescued two tourists stranded Sunday by a high tide on the south side of Indian Beach in Ecola State Park.

Seaside dispatchers called the Coast Guard, which launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Astoria. The crew hoisted a woman being hit by waves, and later her boyfriend, who had climbed up some rocks to attempt a rescue but became stranded himself.

The helicopter carried the couple to a parking lot. Emergency medical services reported no injuries.

Article written by the Daily Astorian 

Seaside Water Rescue Helps Save Two

May contain: human, person, transportation, and vehicle
Seaside Water rescue Team members bring in two after they were stranded near Hug Point

May 13, 2019

Members of Seaside Fire Department’s water rescue team played a key role in the rescue of two people stranded on the rocks near Hug Point on Saturday night.

Seaside Fire Chief Joey Daniels said Monday water rescue training “really worked out” in saving a mother and her 7-year-old child.

For the full article, click link below,

Article written by the Seaside Signal

Cannon Beach Fire Volunteers Retire after 63 of Combined Service

May contain: human, person, apparel, footwear, shoe, clothing, truck, transportation, vehicle, and pants
Photo taken from Cannon Beach Gazette

March 24, 2019

Volunteer Firefighter JoAnne retires after 35 years of service.

Volunteer Firefighter  Steve retires after 28 years of service.   

To read full article, click link below.

Article from Gazette

Operations Levy Rejected for New Fire Truck

May contain: person and human
Team in front of nearly 30-year-old fire engine. Brian Smith, Cannon Beach Fire Fighters Association; Mark Mekenas, fire district board; Shaunna White, training officer; and Chief Matt Benedict.

March 15, 2019

Fire Chief Matt Benedict wants the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District to be one of the premier districts on the Oregon Coast. To that end, a major roof repair, replacing unsafe response trucks and the 25-year-old fire engine are all on the district’s wish list.

One way to bring those to Cannon Beach, Benedict said at the Monday, March 11, fire district board of directors meeting, could be an operations levy.

To read full article, click link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Seaside Shed Fire Draws Three-Alarm Response

May contain: person, human, and fireman
Photo by City of Seaside

February 7, 2019

Numerous agencies coordinated to battle a shed fire on Spruce Drive in Seaside.

Seaside Fire and Rescue responded to the three-alarm structure fire in the 1100 block of Spruce Drive shortly before noon on Thursday, Feb. 7. A single-level, metal pole shed sitting adjacent to a single-family residence and the Salmonberry Knoll apartment complex was billowing smoke when fire and emergency crews arrived.

According to a statement from City of Seaside, the property resident and shed owner advised firefighters and responders that the shed contained "many hazardous materials" throughout the building, making containment "a slow and arduous process."

For the full article, click link below.

Article written by the Tillamook Headlight Herald

Helicopter rescues 2 surfers near Cannon Beach

January 13, 2019

Two surfers pushed into a cliffside cove just north of Cannon Beach were rescued Saturday by a U.S. Coast Guard crew using a helicopter and a 150-foot-long hoist.

The surfers declined medical care and were released.

The incident began just before noon when the Columbia River Command Center received a distress notification. The helicopter was launched, and the rescue took about 30 minutes.

Article written by the Oregonian

Cannon Beach Celebrates Holiday Season With Lamp Lighting Ceremony

May contain: person, human, face, and fireman

December 10, 2018

Hundreds gathered in Sandpiper Square for carols and the annual lamp lighting ceremony to mark the beginning of the holiday season in Cannon Beach Saturday, Dec. 1.

The lamplighting tradition began in 1973 amid an oil crisis that drove down the number of vacationers who were coming to visit Cannon Beach. To get back visitors, the town banded together to create a holiday celebration with a Charles Dickens theme. The Coaster Theatre put on productions of “A Christmas Carol” and shop owners dressed in Victorian style.

Since then, many of the traditions remain and others have evolved. Bill Steidel and Paul Dueber again performed the town’s official song “Christmas in Our Hometown,” which Steidel composed for the Dueber family when Paul Dueber Sr. died on Christmas Day 1967.

“This ceremony is a symbol of light, and love, and hope,” event organizer Margo Dueber said. “We hope you feel that today.”

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Rising From the Ashes

May contain: human, person, apparel, footwear, clothing, and shoe
Firefighters who responded to the fire at Ecola Seafoods Resturant and Market came to visit during the business'  soft opening Nov. 21. From left to right, Ecola Seasfoods manager Shawna Beckman, Lt. Mike Johnson, firefighter Jordan Spencer, Recruit Nate Wilkerson, Ecola Seafoods owner Cindy Beckman, Lt. T.J White and firefighter Silvia Avila.

November 29, 2018

Four months ago, Shawna Beckman and her family were awakened to a startling phone call.

“My sister’s husband is a volunteer firefighter and got the call,” Beckman said. “She got up and told us ‘208 North Spruce is on fire.’”

It was the address of Ecola Seafoods Restaurant and Market — the business her family had owned for 25 years. The small electrical fire caused an incredible amount of smoke damage, to where everything from equipment to the baby photos stored upstairs were destroyed. The fire closed down the shop for the majority of the busy tourist season where most businesses make most of their money.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian.

Cannon Beach Clarifies New Policy on Fire Calls

May contain: person, human, plant, vegetation, and nature
Fire Chief Benedict and Firefighte White on Eagle Creek Fire 2017

November 19, 2018

The new mobilization policy adopted by the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District is intended to limit the time the fire chief spends away from the district rather than individual volunteers, the fire board president said.

The clarification comes after the fire board decided in a 3-2 vote on Nov. 12 that personnel will only be able to be out on outside calls 15 days out of any 30-day period from June through October.

“I would like to clarify the policy was not intended to deny the chief or volunteers from doing any conflagration work except outside the borders of the state of Oregon,” Garry Smith, the board president, said. “And that could be overridden by specific circumstances if need arises. I support our district going out to help. The intent of the policy is to control the amount of time the fire chief, who is paid by the taxpayers, spends out of the district.”

For full article, click link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Cannon Beach Limits Outside Fire Calls

May contain: clothing, apparel, human, person, and fireman
The Cannon Beach fire district wants to restrict how often firefighter are deployed elsewhere during the summer. 

November 13, 2018

As Clatsop County firefighters help battle the deadly Camp Fire in Northern California, the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District narrowly passed a new policy on Monday limiting how often firefighters can be sent to fight fires in other places.

In a 3-2 vote, the fire district’s board decided that from June through October, the fire chief or other firefighters will only be able to be out on other calls 15 days out of any 30-day period, and can only be deployed within Oregon.

For full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian

No Injuries After Tolovana Inn Fire

October 15, 2018

A small electrical fire in a hotel bathroom prompted evacuations at Tolovana Inn Sunday evening.

At around 6:15 p.m., Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District responded to reports of a structure fire at the hotel. All residents were evacuated from building and none reported injuries. A quick response kept the fire contained to a bathroom in a single unit, Fire Chief Matt Benedict said.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Cannon Beach Fire Levy Fails

May contain: human, person, transportation, vehicle, truck, and fire truck
Cannon Beach Fire Chief Matt Benedict makes the rounds of the garage doing routine maintenance and checking gear. 

September 21, 2018

A local option fire chief levy for the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District failed Tuesday night.

If this were a regular election, the five-year levy, which pays for the chief’s salary, vehicles, administrative costs and supplies, would have passed 67 percent to 32 percent. But during a special election, a measure can only pass if there is at least 50 percent voter turnout.

Only 38 percent — 498 out of the district’s 1,300 voters — cast ballots, according to unofficial county results.

The levy would have raised the tax rate to $0.19 per thousand of assessed property value, up from an average $0.14 voted in five years ago. At the new rate, a homeowner would pay $95 a year on a $500,000 house.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian 

Trash Cans Catch Fire in Cannon Beach

May contain: human, person, fireman, automobile, car, transportation, and vehicle
Firefighters responded to a small blaze in Cannon Beach Sunday.

July 16, 2018

Cannon Beach firefighters responded to large trash can fire by Sweet Basil’s Cafe Sunday morning.

A neighbor heard popping sounds at the business on Hemlock Street at around 2:45 a.m. The neighbor called 911, Fire Chief Matt Benedict said, but knocked out the fire with a garden hose until firefighters could arrive.

The fire appears to be accidental, but the cause is undetermined, Benedict said.

The two trash cans and the structure enclosing them were completely destroyed. There was heat damage to a nearby vehicle and the pots on the restaurant’s porch, but otherwise no damage to the building, Benedict said.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Reflections of the Past: The Hug Point House

May contain: nature, outdoors, water, painting, and art
The Hug Point House was an Attraction for Visistors and Locals Alike.

June 15, 2018

The house that once sat atop the fall at Hug Point has become something of a legend. As someone who enjoys finding fact from fiction, I have spent the last several months researching this home. Articles from the 1960s and 1980s indicate that Hug Point caught the eye of a theater magnate in the 1800s. Who this theater magnate was, escaped my research.

During the late 1800s and early 1900s Hug Point was a popular portrait and sunbathing spot. It was also part of the Oregon Highway.

The road wasn’t dynamited until sometime in the 1910s. Prior to this, the road was only accessible at low tide. In the 1930s, a family by the name of Fashers purchased the land and constructed their family home.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Eyes in the Sky

May contain: human and person
Cannon Beach Fire Chief Matt Benedict holds up the department's new drone for search-and-rescue operations. 

Feburary 22, 2018

Two months after a drone from a neighboring fire department aided in a dramatic rescue of a dog off a cliff at Ecola State Park, the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District has a drone of its own.

Last month, the fire district voted to adopt a drone program that would assist in a variety of fire calls, a growing trend among both small and large fire departments.

The drone, which acts as a remote-controlled video camera, could aid in search-and-rescue calls, survey house fire damage and provide aerial footage of car accidents, Fire Chief Matt Benedict said.

Cannon Beach will join Hamlet and Knappa as among the first fire departments in Clatsop County to have drone capabilities.

“We want to keep up with technology. We don’t want to become stagnant as a district with the same tactics,” Benedict said. “This is just another tool in our toolbox.”

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Drone Program in the Works for Cannon Beach After Dramatic Ecola State Park Dog Rescue

May contain: light
psflight.org

February 13, 2018

Two months after a drone from a neighboring fire department aided in a dramatic rescue of a dog off a cliff at Ecola State Park, the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District has a drone of its own.

Last month, the fire district voted to adopt a drone program that would assist in a variety of fire calls, a growing trend among both small and large fire departments.

The drone, which acts as a remote-controlled video camera, could aid in search-and-rescue calls, survey house fire damage and provide aerial footage of car accidents, Fire Chief Matt Benedict said.

Cannon Beach will join Hamlet and Knappa as among the first fire departments in Clatsop County to have drone capabilities.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by PSflight

Hiker Rescued From High Tide Near Cannon Beach

A man trapped by high tide while hiking at Hug Point, south of Cannon Beach, is home safe thanks to a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew.

January 15, 2018

A man trapped by high tide while hiking at Hug Point, south of Cannon Beach, is home safe thanks to a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew.

“The high tide was in and he was about thigh-high in the water,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read with the Coast Guard. The man called 911 around 11:50 a.m. on Sunday after getting stuck.

A Cannon Beach Fire and Rescue spokesman said the man, who was not identified, had hiked to the beach but was unable to hike out for unknown reasons.

For the full article, click link below.

Article written by wfmynews2

Dog Rescued From Cliff by Indian Beach

May contain: person and human
Felix the dog is reunited with his owner, Sarah Stremming, after he was rescued Tuesday at Ecola State by members of the Seaside rope and rescue team. 

December 26, 2017

In a dramatic rescue, a dog stranded overnight on a cliff north of Indian Beach was brought to safety Tuesday morning.

Felix, a 2-year-old border collie, was rescued unharmed from a precipice 60 feet from the crest of the Clatsop Loop trail by the Seaside rope and rescue team.

He had gone missing around 3 p.m. Monday during a Christmas day hike.

“He doesn’t just leave, it’s not like how he is,” said Sarah Stremming, Felix’s owner. “He does like water, so I figured he went over the cliff. He would have come back to me when I called if he hadn’t.”

For the rest of the evening, Seattle resident Stremming and a group of friends searched the cliffside to no avail.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian 

Two Alarm fire Displaces Family of Three

May contain: person and human

December 15, 2017

Seaside, Ore. — December 13, 2017 — At approximately 1:33 p.m. on Wednesday, December 13, Seaside Fire and Rescue responded to a two-alarm structure fire at 719 Avenue S in Seaside. The two-story, single family structure was fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived on scene.

A mother and her young son were present at the time of the fire and escaped unharmed. Prior to evacuating the home, the mother noticed smoke coming from the main floor. After attempting to contain the initial flames, the fire moved to a nearby wall and the occupants exited the premises immediately.

While the cause is still under investigation, the fast-burning fire moved quickly to the second floor where fire crews required aerial apparatus to manage the flames. As of 5:30 p.m. the fire had been contained and crews were beginning to clear and clean the scene. The American Red Cross responded to the scene and is providing resources to the displaced family.

Seaside Fire and Rescue was supported by crews from Cannon Beach Fire & Rescue, Gearhart Volunteer Fire Department, Warrenton Fire Department and the Hamlet Rural Fire Protection District. Additional Clatsop County resources were also utilized for coverage in the county. Updates on the cause of the fire will be made as information becomes available.

Article written by northcoastcitizen

Cannon Beach Fire Board Member Resigns

May contain: sitting, human, person, table, desk, and furniture
Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District board member Linda Beck-Sweeney resigned Monday night.

December 12, 2017

CANNON BEACH – Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District board member Linda Beck-Sweeney resigned Monday night, citing “personal reasons.”

Beck-Sweeney, who has served on the board since 1999, was one of three board members who prevailed in a recall vote last year organized by residents who criticized the board’s handling of former Fire Chief Mike Balzer’s ring.

Beck-Sweeney did not indicate whether or not the experience played a role in her decision, but said after 34 years of volunteer work in Cannon Beach she needed to focus more on her personal life.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Remembering Fire Chief Bill Boone

May contain: person, human, accessory, accessories, and glasses
Photo by Shelly Clooten Paul Weaver, chairman of the board for the Hamlet HIstorical Schoolhouse, left, presents Hamlet Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bill Boone witha secial award as a thank you for the "40 years and counting" that Boone has served the community through the agency.

November 22, 2017

The firefighting community is mourning the loss of Bill Boone, who served as Hamlet’s fire chief for many years.

Boone, 66, died Nov. 4 after a battle with cancer.

Hamlet Fire Chief Matt Verley remembered Boone as a chief, teacher, mentor and friend.

“Countless people are alive today because of Bill’s efforts,” Verley said. “Even after decades on the department, Bill was often the first person to the station when the pager sounded at 2 a.m.”

Boone spent most of his life in Hamlet, running his general contracting business and serving the Hamlet fire department for more than 30 years. He was the husband of state Rep. Deborah Boone, who represents House District 32.

“It’s a huge loss for Hamlet community and the county,” Gearhart Fire Chief Bill Eddy said. “He did a lot for the community. I’ve known him for probably 15 to 20 years. He never got excited, took everything in stride, was proficient at what he did and if he had a question, he’d ask.”

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette 

The Man Behind the ‘Moo’

May contain: keyboard, computer, computer keyboard, computer hardware, hardware, electronics, human, and person
Al Aya looks over equiptment in a room on Monday at the Cannon Beach Fire-Rescue Station that controls the tsunami warning system.

November 21, 2017

There was a time when the man behind Cannon Beach’s iconic “mooing” sirens was skeptical about the need for a tsunami warning system.

The system that alerts residents of an impending tsunami threat is about to turn 30 years old. But in 1985, whether those sirens should exist was up for debate at a Cannon Beach Fire District board meeting.

Al Aya had just retired and moved to Cannon Beach, where an old high school friend convinced him to apply for an opening on the board.

At his first meeting, he voted to redirect funding for the sirens to more “immediately pressing needs.”

“It’d been 21 years since the last tsunami in 1964, and at the time it seemed like a waste of money to invest in alarms when these events were so rare,” Aya said.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Firefighters Come Home

May contain: fire and forest fire
Two teams of firefighters from Clatsop County helped fight the Eagle Creek Fire

September 15, 2017

Cannon Beach Fire Chief Matt Benedict has been called to fight many wildfires over his 20-year career, so getting the call from the state to go to Sisters and Eagle Creek for two weeks didn’t feel much different.

But when he found himself at Multnomah Falls, memories of a fire that raged in 1991 were rekindled. He was a student in fire science at the time, and recalled protecting the historic lodge for two days straight with his classmates and mentor.

“I just remember thinking, ‘Wow, this all over again,’” Benedict said.

The fire chief was among the more than 50 Clatsop County firefighters who were deployed with Oregon State Fire Marshal Incident Management to the Milli Fire in Sisters, the Chetco Bar Fire in Brookings and the Eagle Creek Fire in Multnomah County throughout late August and early September.

For the full article, click the link below,

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Firefighters Team Up to Help Cannon Beach Academy

May contain: human, person, apparel, and clothing
Lt. Brian Smith presents an automatic electronic defibrillator to Cannon Beach Academy Director Amy Moore.

August 22, 2017

With workers hammering and sanding in the background, members of the Cannon Beach Fire Department presented a gift of an automated external defibrillator Tuesday to the Cannon Beach Academy’s Director Amy Moore and President Kellye Dewey.

The defibrillator will be stored at the academy’s new location on South Hemlock.

“Anybody with some basic training can save a person’s life,” said Lt. Brian Smith, a firefighter and president of the Cannon Beach Fire and Rescue Association. “Any time you have a heart issue, time is life.”

For the full article, click the link below. 

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Dynamic duo From the Front Lines to Firefighting

May contain: human, person, fireman, helmet, clothing, and apparel
TJ White, left, adjusts wife's Shaunna'a Safety equipment prior to a training exercise in Cannon Beach last week. 

June 26, 2017

For some couples, romance is a dozen red roses and a box of chocolates.

But for Cannon Beach volunteer firefighter Shaunna White, romance looks more like driving a big, red fire truck.

“When he’s sitting in the lieutenant’s seat, and I’m driving the truck, I mean, that’s the romance right there,” Shaunna laughed.

The lieutenant next to her is her husband, TJ White, to whom she’s been married for six years. The two both serve as volunteers for Cannon Beach Fire and Rescue, and have done so together for the past three years.

Though now it feels routine, waking up in the middle of the night to respond to a car accident or house fire together wasn’t exactly what the two envisioned as their life together when they started dating 11 years ago. But after both TJ and Shaunna served a tour in the U.S. Marine Corps, firefighting began to play a critical role in easing them back into the community they called home.

For the full article, click the link below. 

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Cannon Beach Fire responds to fire on Sunset Boulevard

May contain: transportation, vehicle, truck, human, person, machine, and wheel
Joanne Lewis hugs her friend as firefighters put out the fire in Lewis' home on Sunset Boulevard.

April 13, 2017

Seaside and Cannon Beach fire districts responded to a fire at 307 Sunset Boulevard around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13.

The fire started in the crawlspace of the house, Cannon Beach Fire and Rescue Lt. T.J. White said. The cause of the fire and what parts of the house are damaged are still under investigations.

There were no injuries, White said.

For the full article, click on link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Coast Guard Rescues Man Stranded at Hug Point

May contain: outdoors, nature, cliff, mountain, person, human, and rock
A Coast Guard crew rescued a man stuck at Hug Point State Park, April 10, 2017. (Cannon Beach Fire & Rescue)

April 10, 2017

A Coast Guard crew was called to Hug Point State Park on Monday to rescue a man who was stranded on a rock ledge.

Cannon Beach Fire & Rescue described it as a “treacherous” rescue due to high tide, 10-25 mph winds, rain and hail.

A rescue swimmer reached the man and he was taken to the hospital.

The man’s wife was also found and taken to the hospital for treatment.

Both of them are expected to be OK.

Article written by KOIN

Incumbents on Cannon Beach Fire Board Seek Re-election

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Garry Smith

March 23, 2017

Garry Smith and Mark Mekenas will run for re-election to the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District Board of Directors.

Smith will run unopposed for Position 3 and Mekenas is unopposed in his Position 4 bid.

Smith is a firefighter with 35 years experience and six years on the board. “I am running for re-election to continue to help maintain an effective and professionally run fire department for the residents and visitors in our area,” Smith said. “I am very proud of the 35 years that I have been associated with Cannon Beach Fire and Rescue and of the volunteers today, who give selflessly of their time to keep our community safe.”

For the full article, click link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Everyday Heroes: Frank Swedenborg’s decades of service

March 3, 2017

CANNON BEACH, Ore. — For 36 years, Frank Swedenborg has put the city of Cannon Beach under his protection.

When Frank moved to the area, he knew he wanted to be a part of the community, and to him that meant getting involved – either as a volunteer politician, or volunteer firefighter.

He chose the latter (and, consequently, the ladder).

For the full article, click link below.

Article written by the KATU

Fire Burns Through Cannon Beach Apartments

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Cannon Beach fire - Photo from Twitter user @sbvegas

February 12, 2017

CANNON BEACH, Ore. – Firefighters rushed to put out a fast-moving fire in Cannon Beach on Sunday afternoon.

Everyone made it out of the four apartment units safely, officials said.

Cannon Beach Fire crews were called out about 4 p.m. on reports of smoke and flames coming from a two-story apartment building on North Larch Street.

The two top units were heavily damaged by flames, while the two ground floor apartments sustained damage from smoke and water.

Fire investigators are still working to determine a cause.

Article written by KATU

Wanted: More Cannon Beach Volunteer Firefighters

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Cannon Beach volunteer firefighters at an emergency medical services training in early January. Mike Johnson, JoAnne Cremer, Margaret Strozyk-Hayes, TJ White.

January 30, 2017

Board member says more volunteers needed

By Lyra Fontaine

Cannon Beach Gazette

In the next months, Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District will ramp up its efforts to recruit and train volunteer firefighters.

Garry Smith, board member and former firefighter, said at the Jan. 9 board meeting that the board should address volunteer recruitment and retention.

“We’re down to our lowest that we’ve ever been, as far as volunteers on the department, and I think we need to make a substantial effort in planning for the future,” Smith said.

The fire district currently has 18 volunteers, though Fire Chief Matt Benedict said certain volunteers show up for most drills while others do not.

For the full article, click link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Former Fire Chief gets $55,000 in Settlement

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Mike Balzer, center, sreved as Fire Chief from 2012 to October 2015.

Janurary 11, 2017

Former Cannon Beach Fire Chief Mike Balzer will receive a one-time payout of $55,000 from the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District and the district’s board of directors.

Details of the settlement, prepared by attorneys for Balzer, the fire district and the board of directors, were released Wednesday.

For full article, click link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Cannon Beach House Fire Damages Second Floor

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A homeowner is consoled by polce after a North Larch Street Blaze.

October 31, 2016

A two-story residential house on 632 North Larch St. suffered damages from a fire on Monday at about 1:30 p.m.

The fire damaged the home’s entire second floor, which appears to be a master bedroom, Cannon Beach Fire Chief Matt Benedict said. There is also water and smoke damage throughout the house.

“Initially we got there and it was on the second story,” Benedict said. “We started with an exterior and defensive attack, spraying water on the exterior, and enough individuals were there to completely put the fire out on the second story.”

For the full story, click the link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Tornado Strikes Manzanita In Early Morning

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Photo by Allison Johnson of Cannon Beach RFPD

October 14, 2016

A tornado hit the coastal town of Manzanita this morning.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, clean-up has begun ahead of a second predicted wave of gusts and rain during the weekend.  

 Video credit Tyler Ryals

Witnesses say the tornado knocked down power lines and trees.  No injuries have been reported yet.  A National Weather Service official says they plan to send out a survey crew to determine how powerful it was.

Rick Bernard is with Bernard Construction in Manzanita.  He says he’s been impressed with the progress made by cleanup crews since the tornado hit downtown.  

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by KLCC

Surfer yelled 'help' while heading to shore: 911 callers recount aftermath of Oregon shark attack

October 12, 2016

A Portland surfer bitten by a shark Monday off the Oregon coast was yelling "help" as he headed to shore on his surfboard, a 911 caller reported.

The caller was one of several to phone dispatch after the attack, which left Joseph Tanner, 29, with serious leg injuries. He said Tanner had been pulled from the water off Indian Beach about a minute before and that someone was wrapping a tourniquet.

Tanner told people how to help: He directed them how to put on the makeshift tourniquet -- his surfboard leash -- and how to apply pressure to his wounds, a volunteer responder said. He's a trauma nurse, according to the Daily Astorian.

"To be in that much pain (and) just be in that situation, I couldn't believe the amount of calmness he had," said Shaunna White, a Cannon Beach Fire & Rescue volunteer.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Oregonian

Surfer Injured in Shark Attack at Ecola State Park on Oregon Coast

May contain: ocean, outdoors, water, nature, sea, shoreline, beach, coast, and sand
Photo by Dave Pastor

October 10, 2016

A 29-year-old surfer from Portland was injured in a shark attack in the Pacific Ocean at Ecola State Park on the Oregon coast, according to police.

Emergency crews responded to the park north of Cannon Beach at 4 p.m. Monday on the report of a shark bite victim.

Joseph Tanner, 29, of Portland, was found at Indian Beach with injuries to his upper thigh and lower leg that police said were sustained from a shark attack.

"He took a pretty big hit out there. Pretty gruesome injuries," said surfer Jeff Rose.

For the full story, click the link below.

Article written by Fox 12 News

Cannon Beach Fire Gets New Volunteers, iPads

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Cannon Beach Fire Chief Matt Benedict with new volunteer Silvia Avila.

August 22, 2016

CANNON BEACH — As several longtime firefighters move on from Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District, new people are stepping up to volunteer.

Cannon Beach Fire Chief Matt Benedict said after the Aug. 8 board meeting that it is normal for departments to lose some volunteers as time passes and gain new volunteers.

Tom Misner and Peggy Roberti recently retired after about 68 years of combined service to the Cannon Beach fire district.

“Tom and Peggy will be missed,” Benedict said. “I am hoping they will join the Fire Corps.”

The Cannon Beach Fire Corps is made up of previous or retired firefighters, including Mark Morgan, who retired in June after 17 years.

For the full article, click link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Fire rescue training pays off in Cannon Beach

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Firefighters receive training in helicopter operations.

July 18, 2016

Don’t drive your car to fires, firefighters in Cannon Beach will be told.

Volunteers should avoid using personal vehicles to respond to calls, Benedict said at the monthly Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District board meeting.

Instead, they should use a vehicle at the fire station, unless they have proper justification, Benedict said. One mistake could be a “liability for the district.”

“The board and I are looking out for citizens,” he said. “If something happens, it only takes one individual to not do the right thing and ruin it for everyone else and the district.”

Benedict said making the change was one step toward “cleaning up” and aligning policy with the state.

“This area is one of the last agencies I think in the state that go directly to the scene instead of the fire station,” Benedict said. “We just need to start moving forward.”

For the full article, click link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

New Fire Chief 

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New Fire Chief Matt Benedict 2016

May 23, 2016

After an in-depth selection process, former Pendleton fire marshal and Helix fire district chief Matt Benedict has accepted the position of fire chief at the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District.

“I’m just excited to be here,” he said. “This is the last step for me, to become a fire chief in a large organization.”

To read full article, click link below.

Article from Cannon Beach Gazette

Seagull caught on Kite String Rescued by Cannon Beach Fire

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Firefighters rescue seagull stuck on kite string.

May 17, 2016

Fire crews rescued a seagull Tuesday morning after it had gotten trapped by a kite string at Cannon Beach.

Someone spotted the bird struggling on the line early Tuesday morning near where East Washington Street ends at the beach.

Officials said the seagull may have broken its wing while flapping on the line, so fire crews took the bird to a veterinarian.

It was the first time Cannon Beach Fire & Rescue has used its new fire truck for a bird or animal rescue.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by KCBY Coos Bay Oregon

Cannon Beach Fire Selects Fire Chief

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Photo by The Daily Astorian

April 29, 2016

CANNON BEACH — The Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District will make an offer to Matt Benedict, the Pendleton fire marshal, to serve as fire chief.

In a special meeting Friday, members of the district’s board of directors unanimously agreed to offer the job to Benedict contingent on the successful negotiation of an employment package and contract.

“He’ll be a great addition to our system,” Director Garry Smith said at the meeting.

The salary for the fire chief’s job is $67,500 to $75,000, depending on qualifications.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by The Daily Astorian

 CB Fire Captain Resigns

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Capt. Matt Garner next to the Cannon Beach fire truck in staging area at the high school in Baker City.

April 5, 2016

Fire Capt. Matt Gardner has resigned from the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District.

Gardner, who was second in command at the fire department, said his decision was not influenced by the firing of former chief Mike Balzer and a recall election of fire board directors.

“It’s been an honor and privilege to serve the community and I wish the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District well,” Gardner said in a statement. “In an effort to avoid speculation, confusion or misrepresentation, my decision to resign from the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District is a personal decision and one that has nothing to do with the current controversy.”

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian.

Fire Department Teams Up to Repair Flagpole

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Firefighter help raise the flag at the American Legion in Cannon Beach.

March 2, 2016

The Cannon Beach American Legion was not able to escape the high winds of February and a “Mayday” call for help was issued. The U.S. flag was torn from the halyard and the line separated crashing to the ground hardware and all.

Post Commander Dan O’Reilly reports the Cannon Beach Fire Department reported for duty on Feb. 23. Captain Matt Gardner, Lieutenants Mike Johnson, and Steve Moon teamed up to re-fly Old Glory. The ladder was extended, Captain Matt scaled, and together, under the watchful eye of American Legion House Chairman Pat Hegrenes, they replaced the halyard and repaired the attaching hardware. Once again the flag snapped in the wind and displayed the Stars and Stripes.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Meet Ladder 3249, the Department’s Flagship Vehicle

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Interim Chief Jim Stearns, Lt. Steven Moon and Lt. Tom Misner. Photo by the Cannon Beach Gazette

 January 29, 2016

There’s a shiny new truck at the fire station.

In January, the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District welcomed a custom-built, 36-foot-long, 50,000-pound, 500-hundred-horsepower Pierce Arrow XT ladder into the bay.

Christened “Ladder 3249,” the department’s flagship vehicle will be on call by mid-February.

The $755,000 truck was paid for by a tax levy. It replaces a 1991 Beck telesquirt.

Besides the old Beck’s increasing maintenance costs and insurance concerns, Ladder 3249’s primary selling point was its 75-foot extendable ladder. With significantly increased height and range, Cannon Beach firefighters say they can reach the top of any building in town.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Ex-fire Chief Sues Over Firing

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Mike Balzer

January 29, 2016

The former fire chief in Cannon Beach has filed a lawsuit against the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District alleging that his firing had nothing to do with his job performance.

Mike Balzer, who served as fire chief from January 2012 until he was fired in October, claims the fire district’s board retaliated against him because of critical comments made by his wife on social media. He also alleges that board directors made comments about him after his firing that defamed him and damaged his reputation.

Balzer, who alleges breach of contract, wrongful discharge and defamation, is asking for more than $525,000 in damages and his reinstatement as fire chief.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian.

Cannon Beach Seeks Fire Chief Who Can Do It All

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Janurary 20, 2016

CANNON BEACH — If everything goes according to plan, the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District Board of Directors hopes to hire and install a new Fire Chief by June 1.

The timeline, proposed at a work session Tuesday, leaves little margin for error.

“I think its very doable,” said interim Chief Jim Stearns, who will lead the search. “But it’s going to be a very busy time in here.”

The timeline also supposes that an ongoing effort to recall three board members — including the board president — does not derail the process.

The June 1 target date coincides with the conclusion of Stearns’ six-month contract. Should a new chief fail to materialize in that time, Stearns said he would remain available.

For full article, click link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Cannon Beach Fire Chief’s Firing ‘business, not personal’

May contain: person, face, human, head, hat, cap, apparel, clothing, and baseball cap

 December 29, 2015

CANNON BEACH — Meeting minutes from the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District Board shed little light on the firing of Mike Balzer as fire chief.

“This is strictly business, not personal,” Director Garry Smith said at the board’s October meeting.

After reasons for the chief’s dismissal were not immediately released and the board minutes were withheld, the firing resulted in outrage from those who felt the announcement was “in poor taste.”

After the Cannon Beach Gazette submitted a state public records request, all 2015 meeting minutes were delivered last week.

According to the Oct. 12 meeting minutes, in announcing the dismissal of the chief, Smith said, “There was an expectation that (Balzer) would learn the job and improve and follow through in working with the board as a partner, not a manager.”

For full article, click link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Board Selects Outside Interim Fire Leader

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Jim Stearns

December 17, 2015

The Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District’s new interim fire chief is on duty. The district’s Board of Directors introduced Jim Stearns, of Hermiston, to the public Monday night during its regular monthly meeting.

The district provides firefighting and emergency service to the communities of Cannon Beach, Arch Cape and Falcon Cove. Board members interviewed Stearns and two other Special Districts Association of Oregon candidates, Dale Kamrath and Doug Dawson, in November in executive session. During a special meeting on Dec. 2, they selected Stearns.

“I think he’ll be a good new addition,” Board President Sharon Clyde said.

For full article, click link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Former fire Chief Just ‘didn’t do the job’

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November 20, 2015

CANNON BEACH — Tempers flared Monday as community members criticized the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District Board of Directors’ handling of former Fire Chief Mike Balzer’s termination. The manner of releasing the information was “in poor taste” and Sharon Clyde, the board president, should never have locked the former chief out of his own office, they said.

Board members countered that residents were misinformed, and more information regarding the mid-October dismissal was released.

Board member Garry Smith, who has background as a volunteer firefighter, said Balzer did not fulfill his job duties and, despite mentoring, did not improve over time.

Balzer was not in attendance at the meeting and his family declined to comment afterward.

For full article, click link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Cannon Beach May Go with Outside Interim Chief

November 13, 2015

CANNON BEACH — The Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District Board is leaning toward bringing in an outside interim to stand in as fire chief until a permanent leader can be found. The search process will be discussed at a meeting at 5:30 p.m. today.

Former chief Mike Balzer was dismissed in mid-October FOR personnel issues and Assistant Chief Frank Swedenborg has been covering his post since. The Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District provides firefighting and emergency service to the North Coast communities of Cannon Beach, Arch Cape and Falcon Cove.

At a special fire board meetinglast week, Swedenborg noted he would fill in as chief until March at the latest. Then he suggested the district not go with an outside interim as it “mixes the pot for the firefighters.”

For full article, click link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Swedenborg Recommends Outside Interim Chief

November 12, 2015

The Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District Board may bring in an outside interim to stand in as fire chief until a permanent leader is found.

On Saturday, Nov. 21 the board will interview interim candidates from the Special Districts Association of Oregon in executive session.

Former chief Mike Balzer was dismissed in mid-October due to personnel issues and Assistant Chief Frank Swedenborg has been covering his post since. The Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District provides firefighting and emergency service to the North Coast communities of Cannon Beach, Arch Cape and Falcon Cove.

At a special fire board meeting on Nov. 2, Swedenborg noted he would fill in as chief until March at the latest. Then he suggested the district not go with an outside interim as it “mixes the pot for the firefighters.”

For full article, click link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Cannon Beach Seeks New Fire Leader

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

November 3, 2015

The Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District Board and interim Fire Chief Frank Swedenborg agreed the district needs to find a permanent leader sooner rather than later during a special meeting Monday night.

On Monday, Swedenborg asked the board for direction. “I just need to find out what’s crucial, what has to happen,” he said. “My biggest concern is the betterment of the fire department and the firefighters.”

Former Chief Mike Balzer was relieved of his duties in mid-October because of ongoing personnel issues, according to board President Sharon Clyde at the time.

Last week, the Cannon Beach Gazette filed a public records request seeking further details.

For full article, click link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Fire chief suddenly out in Cannon Beach

Article written by the Daily Astorian

October 17, 2015

The Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District has relieved Chief Mike Balzer of his duties.

“It was a personnel matter,” District President Sharon Clyde said, confirming Balzer had been let go. “I’m not able to comment much at this time.”

The decision was made on Monday night, Oct. 12 during a district meeting.

A five-year annual $141,469 district levy was approved by voters in 2013 to fund the fire chief’s budget, including salary, training and vehicle costs. According to the levy’s summary, the fire chief directs 25 volunteer firefighters who respond to about 330 calls annually for emergency medical problems, fires, rescues and accidents, and manages budgets, vehicle, equipment and station maintenance worth over $4 million.

Assistant Fire Chief Frank Swedenborg, owner of The Waves Cannon Beach, will step in as the interim chief.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Two Saddle Mountain rescues: same time, same place, no relation

April 9, 2015

One of the most bizarre incidents that Captain Matt Gardner, of Cannon Beach Fire and Rescue, has ever seen in his nearly eight years with the department took place on March 27, the Friday of Spring Break.

At first, the Cannon Beach Fire and Rescue team had no reason to suspect that the day would turn into a daylong series of rescues, he said.

But, once their units returned early that morning from Crescent Beach Trail after tending to a hiker with a possible femur fracture, the emergency call volume throughout Clatsop County started to pick up. Gardner began to sense how the day would trend, he said.

“Sometimes you get a gut feeling,” he said. “You can see that what’s to come could make for a long day.”

For the full story, click the link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Letter: Fire Capt. Matthew Gardner Thanks the Community

November 17, 2014

Huge thank you

To the editor,

On Tuesday Nov. 11, the Cannon Beach Fire Department was called to service for a possible wildland fire situation taking place on Stimson Lumber Company in the Arch Cape area.

On arrival, units found this to be the case, and the fire was escalating rapidly due to high east winds and dry conditions. Per protocol, additional units were called in to help attack and contain the fire from spreading, specifically into the rural town of Arch Cape. We here at Cannon Beach Fire would like to thank all of the agencies that responded to help attack, contain and prevent the fire from spreading to the homes of Arch Cape.

This was a 24-hour-per-day operation and a first-class effort by all of our Clatsop County fire departments.

For the full letter, click the link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

In case of fire: Brush truck would help with area fire preparedness

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Feburary 28, 2014

If a wildfire erupted today somewhere in the 1,040-acre Ecola Creek Forest Reserve, or on the 58-acre parcel near the Tolovana Mainline, the volunteers at Cannon Beach Fire and Rescue would have no means to fight it.

The neighboring rural fire protection districts — in Gearhart, Seaside, Hamlet, Warrenton, Elsie-Vinemaple, Nehalem Bay, Tillamook and elsewhere — and the Oregon Department of Forestry would immediately send manpower and equipment. With any luck, they would arrive before the flames jump westward across U.S. Highway 101.

Most of these districts would bring their Type 6 engines or “brush trucks,” a nimble apparatus with four-wheel drive conveying hundreds of gallons of water with which to contain and extinguish the burn.

For the full story, click the link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

In case of fire: Brush truck would help with area fire preparedness

Feburary 28, 2014

If a wildfire erupted today somewhere in the 1,040-acre Ecola Creek Forest Reserve, or on the 58-acre parcel near the Tolovana Mainline, the volunteers at Cannon Beach Fire and Rescue would have no means to fight it.

The neighboring rural fire protection districts -- in Gearhart, Seaside, Hamlet, Warrenton, Elsie-Vinemaple, Nehalem Bay, Tillamook and elsewhere -- and the Oregon Department of Forestry would immediately send manpower and equipment. With any luck, they would arrive before the flames jump westward across U.S. Highway 101.

Most of these districts would bring their Type 6 engines or "brush trucks," a nimble apparatus with four-wheel drive conveying hundreds of gallons of water with which to contain and extinguish the burn.

For the full story, click the link below.

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

Cannon Beach to Test Tsunami Warning Siren Wednesday

Article written by the Cannon Beach Gazette

January 6, 2014

CANNON BEACH — Don't panic. It is just a test.

At 11 a.m. Wednesday, Cannon Beach residents and visitors will be ear-witnesses to a rare occurrence: a testing of the city’s actual tsunami warning siren.

First, people will hear three sharp air horn blasts.

Next, Gary Smith, a retired fire captain and current board member of the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District, will recite a message to the effect of, “Attention residents: The following will be a test of the tsunami siren and emergency evacuation system. Please do not call 911. This will be a test only.”

Then the siren itself will wail for three minutes.

For the full story, click the link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Police And Fire Officers To Take Precautions On Sandcastle Day, Fourth Of July

May 10, 2013

As the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon showed, concerns about public safety at well-known and heavily attended events have taken on greater urgency, and that’s no different in Cannon Beach.

With the promise of thousands of people pouring into Cannon Beach for events like Sandcastle Day weekend and the Fourth of July holiday, the Cannon Beach Police Department and Cannon Beach Fire and Rescue are preparing to keep the public safe.

Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn is no stranger to large crowds descending on the North Coast. Before taking his current position in Cannon Beach, he served as a lieutenant with the Seaside Police Department. There, he saw the good and the bad of many people in one place over a short period, such as the annual Hood to Coast relay.

“Hood to Coast was always a huge influx of people over a short period, similar to what we see on Sandcastle Day,” he said. “But people in general come to have fun, not cause trouble.”

For the full story, click the link below.

Article written by the OPB

Coast Guard rescues two surfers near Cannon Beach

June 17, 2012

CANNON?BEACH — The U.S. Coast Guard rescued two surfers in distress near Cannon Beach Monday after they got stuck in a small cove – what local authorities sometimes call the “surfers depository” – just north of Indian Beach in Ecola State Park.

“That’s what we call it, because it takes up all the surfers that don’t know any better and deposits them there,” said Lt. Matt Gardner of Cannon Beach Fire and Rescue, which was first on scene. The two male surfers, 30 and 32, were from the Portland area, but their names were unavailable by press time.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received a report from Cannon Beach Fire and Rescue at approximately 1:35 p.m. that two surfers were trapped in a small cove at the north end of Indian Beach at Ecola State Park. The helicopter crew, diverted from a training flight, arrived around 1:45 p.m. and spotted the surfers, who by that point had been stuck on a rocky outcropping in the north side of the cove for more than 45 minutes.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article write by the Daily Astorian

Cannon Beach Fire Chief Cleve Rooper to retire Jan. 1

July 19, 2011

CANNON BEACH — After 40 years with the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District, Chief Cleve Rooper will retire Jan. 1.

Mike Balzer, a Cannon Beach police officer and a volunteer with the fire district for nearly 30 years, will become the new chief.

Rooper, 63, who is the district’s first paid fire chief, was a plumber when he volunteered for the fire department in 1971.

 “A couple of friends were involved in the department, and they encouraged me to try it,” Rooper recalled. “It seemed to be a good fit.”

Besides the excitement of fighting fires and helping people, Rooper said he enjoyed being part of a team.

For the full article, click the link below.

Written by the Daily Astorian

Coast Guard Helicopter Rescues Surfer Near Cannon Beach

September 26, 2010

The surfer’s husband contacted authorities at 2:47 p.m. after witnessing his wife struggling in the current and pushed up against rocks on Tillamook Head.

Cannon Beach Fire Rescue crews were unable to reach the surfer.

The Coast Guard says a helicopter from Air Station Astoria lowered a rescue swimmer into the surf and hoisted the surfer.

The surfer was transferred to emergency medical services at Air Station Astoria.

Article written by the Associated Press

Fire Training Officer Gardner Often Finds Himself in the 'Hot Spot'

September 5, 2010

CANNON BEACH - He never thought about being a firefighter when he was a kid. But Matt Gardner has always enjoyed helping people.

As soon as he arrived in Cannon Beach about four years ago, Gardner realized that being a firefighter was what he was meant to do. Being a volunteer firefighter worked out so well, that when the training officer's job opened up six months ago, his fellow volunteers urged him to apply.

Now, he's not only one of two full-time, paid members of the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District (Chief Cleve Rooper is also paid), and is training to become the district's fire marshal as well.

"I knew when I got here I would join the department," Gardner said. "It offered something bigger than myself. It has always been in my nature to help people out."

For the full article, click link below.

Article written by the Daily Astorian

A Cannon Beach Firefighter of All Trades

Article written by the Daily Astorian

March 25, 2010

Matt Gardner wasn't one of those kids who decided to become a firefighter when he was 4 years old. But he's at all not surprised that life took him in that direction.

"It's always been a knack of mine to take care of others," he says today. "That's the way I was raised. So when I started doing this, it was a natural fit."

Clearly, Gardner's boss, Cannon Beach Fire Chief Cleve Rooper, agreed. Effective March 16, the three-year Cannon Beach firefighter became the new training and safety officer for the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by Tillamook Headlights Herald

Volunteer Firefighters Seek $15K Additional Compensation Per Year

Fire & Rescue Association agrees to pitch in matching funds

Januray 28, 2010

Volunteer firefighters are asking the Cannon Beach fire board to budget an additional $15,000 a year and to establish an endowment fund to double firefighters' compensation.

Volunteer Fire Capt. Garry Smith read a letter to the fire board Tuesday night noting that up to six volunteers will be leaving the fire department within the next three years. To recruit and retain more volunteers, the firefighters established a "retention" committee, composed of firefighters and community residents.

Smith said firefighters agreed in a survey that providing financial incentives would be the best way to attract and keep volunteers. Help with paying health insurance or reimbursement for personal city utility bills also could act as lures, he said.

For the full article, click the link below.

Article written by the Tillamook Headilght Herald

Fire breaks Out at Historic Cannon Beach Hotel

December 8, 2009

A fire that damaged the Tolovana Inn in Cannon Beach early Tuesday probably began on the range in the kitchen, Cannon Beach Fire Chief Cleve Rooper said. 
The hotel staff was cleaning carpets on the third floor in one of the hotel's five buildings and had piled furniture on top of the range, Rooper said. The fire started when one of the burners was accidentally turned on. Firefighters were called to the hotel at 7:24 a.m.
Rooper believes that only one room in the building was occupied and that was on the first floor.
Rooper did not have a damage estimate Tuesday afternoon but said that "every unit in the building has varying degrees of smoke and or fire damage."
This is the second fire at the Tolovana Inn in the past year. A fire burned nine rooms over the New Year's holiday. The 24-unit oceanfront building was evacuated, and the guests were relocated to other rooms. No one was injured in that blaze.

Article written by the Oregonian

New Officers Join Seaside, Cannon Beach Fire Departments

August 6, 2009

Two new officers have joined the Seaside and Cannon Beach fire departments. Joey Daniels, 31, is Seaside's new training and safety officer, while Jason Sharer, 32, has become Cannon Beach's fire marshal.....

.....Sharer spent five years with the Albany Fire Department before arriving in Cannon Beach. He is replacing Mike Graham, who retired in June.

Sharer also served as a volunteer with the fire department in Amity, where he grew up.

He called the Cannon Beach department "diverse and progressive." The community itself is friendly, he said, and he's impressed with how many residents are involved in civic activities.

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Article written by the Daily Astorian

Seaside Boys Rescued From Rocks

June 22, 2009

At 6:45 p.m. Monday, Cannon Beach Fire & Rescue and the U.S. Coast Guard rescued two Seaside boys from the rocks off Tillamook Head north of the Tillamook lighthouse.

Kevin Walsh, 14, of 1390 S. Wahanna Road, and Ronald Dean, 14, of 1399 Stillwater Court, decided to walk from the Cove in Seaside around Tillamook Head while the tide was out. But when the tide came in, they were stranded on the rocks, said Cannon Beach Fire Chief Cleve Rooper.

Cannon Beach Fire & Rescue called the Coast Guard to assist with the rescue. The boys were hoisted into a Coast Guard helicopter and taken to the Seaside airport to meet their parents. There were no injuries, Rooper said.

Article written by the Daily Astorian

Fireplace Flue Pinpointed as Cause of Fire at Popular Cannon Beach Inn

Article written by the Daily Astorian

January 6, 2009

CANNON BEACH, Ore. (AP) - Investigators determined that a malfunctioning flue chase behind a natural gas fireplace caused the New Year's Day fire at a popular Cannon Beach inn.

Fire marshal Mike Graham of the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District says the fire at the Tolovana Inn spread along the flue chase from the second floor to the third and first floors. The basement sustained smoke and water damage.

The damage estimate from the three-alarm blaze is between $500,000 and $750,000. There were no injuries.

The inn at the south edge of Cannon Beach has five buildings. General manager Jim McDonald says the rebuilding of 24 damaged rooms has begun. The inn's remaining 151 rooms are available for rental.

Copyright by the Associated Press

Fire damages Tolovana Inn

Blaze affects nine rooms at Cannon Beach hotel, guests evacuated and moved to other suites

Fire damages Tolovana Inn

January 2, 2009

CANNON BEACH - Nine rooms at the Tolovana Inn suffered damage when a three-alarm fire broke out Thursday night on the third floor and spread to the basement.

There were no injuries. Some of the rooms were occupied, and the tenants were moved to other units.

One building of the five-building inn was shut down. The fire caused at least $1 million in damages, according to early estimates.

Although it is still under investigation, the cause of the fire appeared to be a broken flue chase behind a gas fireplace in one of the units, said Mike Graham, fire marshal for the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District.

Six rooms were heavily burned and another three suffered smoke and water damage, Graham said.

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Article written by the Tillamook Headlight Herald

Teen Presumed Drowned, Rip Current Incidents Spike

July 4, 2007

CANNON BEACH, Ore. - One day after a 16-year-old boy was swept away by a rip current and is now presumed drowned comes news of other similar incidents along the Oregon coast.

In Cannon Beach, lifeguards rescued three children and two adults who were swept away by a rip current. One of the children was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

In Seaside, a Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued two swimmers who had been pulled out to sea. They were airlifted from the water and dropped off on shore for emergency medical attention, but appeared to be OK. One other swimmer who was with the pair had managed to swim to shore on his own.

In Astoria, a person caught in a rip current was rescued by boat. The crew took the person to shore where they declined medical assistance.

The U.S. Coast Guard received two other reports of similar incidents - one of a person in the water who was helped by a bystander and another of two people in the water at Netarts Bay. The two made it back to shore on their own.

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Article written by KATU 

UPDATE: Search called off for Teen Missing in Cannon Beach Surf

July 4, 2007

Authorities have suspended their search for a 16-year-old boy lost Tuesday night in the waters off Cannon Beach, one of several incidents involving people being pulled into the ocean by riptides along the Oregon Coast in the past 24 hours.
"We're not going to continue with the search unless we get more information that would give us a reason to go back out," said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Brian Fischer. "We've absolutely saturated the area" where the boy went missing.
"There has been no sighting of him."

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Article written by the Oregonian

Dispute Between Fire District, County Keeps Land Sale in Limbo

December 31, 2003

ASTORIA – A seven-year feud between the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District and Clatsop County may be coming to an end.
The dispute centers on land beneath a local firehouse in the resort town’s main commercial district, which the fire district wants to sell. But the fine print of its contract with the county prevents the sale.

The county sold the land to the fire district in 1948 for $1, with the condition that if the land ever ceased to be used “for the corporate function of said organization” – for fire protection – it would return to the county’s ownership.

In 1996, when the clause first came to light, county officials weren’t willing to give up the property. Since then the stalemate has persisted, freezing several hundred thousand dollars in possible profit for the district.

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Article written by DJCOregon

Ocean Surf Peels 'Big Banana' Rescue Craft Here for Trial Run

Article written by DJCOregon

October 7, 2003

ILWACO, SEAVIEW - In the end, the "Oceanid" didn't quite live up to its name. The 15-foot inflatable water craft tested by area water rescue teams this weekend takes its name from Greek mythology as being "any of the ocean nymphs held to be the daughters of Oceanus and Tethys."

The device, jokingly called the "big banana," just didn't quite cut it in the Peninsula's crashing surf.

Cannon Beach and Lewis and Clark fire and rescue teams as well as members of Pacific County Fire District No. 1 joined the South Pacific County Technical Rescue Team [SPCTRT] Saturday to take part in a two-day test of the device.

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Article written by Chinook Observer