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Welcome to the Sonoma County Gazette ARCHIVE of PAST EDITIONS. Our NEW WEBSITE is up and running, so GazExtra is serving as your path to archived articles. Thanks for being part of our Sonoma County community...stay in touch...e-mail me - VESTA

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fire News & Holiday Events

4th Annual Bucket Brigade Blood Bank of the Redwoods
Fire departments around Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties have come together to participate in Blood Bank of the Redwoods' 4th Annual Bucket Brigade during December and January of this year. Last year 40 fire departments took part and we collected nearly 1155 units of blood, which was a huge boost for our community's blood supply.

Last year's winner, Geyserville Fire Protection District attracted a grand total of 102 donors.. Participating fire departments will recruit community members, colleagues, friends and family to donate lifesaving blood in an effort to win the Bucket Brigade Trophy. Of course the West County Firefighters would like to win the Trophy this year but we will need the help of the community to do so. To help us you can donate blood, through the Blood Bank of the Redwoods, anywhere in the county between now and the end of January and ask that the donation be made in the name of your favorite West County Fire Department. Blood drives in the West Count will be held on:
• December 16, 2009 from 3pm to 7pm at the Forestville Fire Station
• December 19th from 10am to 1pm at the Russian River Fire Station

Blood drives for Graton and Sebastopol fire stations has already occurred, but you can still donate at any blood bank event, or at their main office, and let them know which department you would like to support.

Preventing Christmas Tree Fires
Selecting a Tree for the Holiday
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needle should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.
Caring for Your Tree
Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
Disposing of Your Tree
Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or woodburning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.

Forestville Fire Protection District
The Forestville Firefighter's Association Toy collection for Toys for Tots, the Giving Tree and the Methodist Church is off to a very slow start this year. Your new and unwrapped gifts may be dropped off at the Forestville Fire Station up to December 23rd. Recalled or used toys can not be accepted.
We are Thankful Too
The full-time staff, volunteers and the Board of Directors of the Forestville Fire Protection District are thankful this year for the continued support of the Forestville Community. Because of your tax dollars we are able to provide a cost effective yet efficient emergency delivery service to the community. Your tax dollars allow the District to have sufficient paid staff to be on the road and responding to any emergency with our first engine company within 45 to 60 seconds from being notified by our Dispatch Center. Every request for service within the District also generates a response from home or work of our full-time and volunteer staff who respond to the station to either respond additional engine companies or standby in case there is another call for service. This occurs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. As the District's emergency responses near the 700 mark annually this is a significant commitment of personnel and hours. Service and Sacrifice is alive and well in the Forestville Fire Protection District. Again all of the members of the Forestville Fire Protection District would like to thank our entire community for your support and wish you all a happy and safe Holiday Season and a wonderful New Year.

Graton Fire Protection District
Graton Fire Christmas Tree Farm: Thu-Sun 9-5
With the purchase of the Del Davis Christmas Tree Farm at 3750 Gravenstein Highway North in 2006, the volunteer firefighters and board members now find themselves selling Christmas trees. With over 9 acres of pine, fir, and spruce trees, we have lots to sell. The tree farm is open Thursday through Sunday from 9am to 5pm and all donations are going to support the new fire station. As a donation, your tree is tax-deductible as well. Trees are being sold by height, regardless of the type of tree. Pull saws and measuring sticks are available as are volunteer firefighters to help you cut, carry, trim, and net your tree. There are fire helmets and badges for the kids. If you have further questions, please call the firehouse, 823-7939. Thank you for supporting the new fire station.

Toy Drive Deadline is 12/21
Our annual toy drive continues through Monday, December 21st. Each year, Graton volunteer firefighters work with Oak Grove School and local charities to determine needy families in our district. This holiday season, we are collecting new, unwrapped toys for over 30 children up to age 12. We will also accept cash donations, wrapping paper, tape... whatever you can spare. Items can be dropped off at:
• Graton Post Office
• Graton Christmas Tree Farm (Thu-Sun, 9-5)
• Andy’s Produce Market

Thank you to everyone who donated last year and helped make another family’s Christmas a reality. We look forward to your support again this year. Questions? Call 823-7939.

Sebastopol Fire Department
Sebastopol Fire Department is collecting toys for our Christmas helping program until December 15th. Please bring new (or like new) toys to the fire station and help share the spirit of the season.

Russian River Fire Protection District
The Russian River Firefighters are collecting toys for the holiday season. Like many others we are seeing a decline in toy donations, but we are thankful for what arrives, and we know our residents will do everything they can to help out. So feel free to drop off your unwrapped toys at the fire station.
As a reminder please be careful when hanging your holiday decorations and use only Underwriters Laboratory (UL) listed appliances, devices, and lights.
The Russian River Fire District Board of Directors and staff continue to deal with revenue losses beyond our control. We continue to look at cost effective ways to serve you at the same levels you have come to expect. The Board of Directors reminds you to attend the regular Board meetings held here at the Fire Station on the third Tuesday of each month. The meeting in December (12/15/09 at 7pm) is very important since we well be discussing a tax measure we expect to go to the voters on June 8th of next year. The first public hearing specific to the tax measure will be held in early January. We will keep you posted.

Bodega Bay Fire Protection District
The Bodega Bay Firefighters are collecting toys for the holiday season.
Please keep an eye out for our annual report in early February.
Thank you and best wishes for the holiday season.

Drive Safely
Please be very careful out on the road this season. Driving your vehicle is most dangerous this time of year, with rainy, icy weather and often restricted vision due to fog. Please drive carefully and remember to plan ahead with a designated driver if you plan to tip your glass at your favorite Christmas party.

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