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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

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Fire Department News - January 2012

Thirty seconds is all it takes for a dry Christmas tree to be consumed by fire. Many people will leave their trees up through the New Year — but fire doesn't take a holiday. The Sonoma County Fire Prevention Officers Association urges everyone to dispose of their tree as soon as possible, once it begins to show signs of drying out. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), one-third of all Christmas tree fires occur in January. The first rule of tree disposal: Never put the tree or branches in a fireplace or wood burning stove! Sonoma County Waste Management has made it easy to recycle this traditional holiday symbol with four options:

1.  Yard Waste Container: There is no charge for county residents to put their tree in your yard waste container and place at the curb on your regular yard waste collection day. The tree MUST be CUT TO FIT inside the container. Trees sticking out of the container can interfere with the lifting arm on the truck.

2.  Pick Up: Call (707) 565-3333 for an appointment to have a non-profit in your area pickup your tree. The pickup dates are 1/07-08 and 1/14-15. There is a suggested $5 donation for this service. Some cities/towns will pick it up with the regular trash, call your provider for details.

3.  Free drop-off locations throughout the county. The two closest to West County are Sebastopol Corporation yard at 714 Johnson Street, open 8am-4pm, and Sonoma County Fairgrounds at 1350 Bennett Valley Road, open 8am-5pm. Both locations are open through 1/14.

4.  Redwood Empire Disposal will be picking up trees curbside as well. The pick-up day varies by area between January 2nd and 13th. To ensure your tree is picked up, make sure it is out by Monday, January 2nd or visit, click on Residential, Sonoma, and Unincorporated to reach the page with maps detailing your actual pick-up day (look for “Holiday Tree Collection” schedule). You can also call them at 585-0291.

The longer Christmas trees are in the home, the more they dry out and increasingly become fire hazards. Removing the tree from your home and properly disposing of it as soon as possible will minimize the risk of a treasured holiday season becoming a tragic one.

The Russian River Fire District is currently accepting applications for the full-time positions of Engineer/EMT and Firefighter/Paramedic. Completed applications are due on January 13th at 5:00pm. Visit our website or contact the fire station at (707) 869-0553 for minimum qualifications.
We are also accepting applications on a continual basis for the position of volunteer firefighter. If you live in the fire district boundaries and are a motivated, energetic, and dedicated individual, apply now! Minimum qualifications and position description are available online at our website or at the fire station.
The next meeting of the Board of Directors will be on January 11th at 6pm at the fire station. We hope you’ll consider attending.
Visit us online at

Christmas Tree Farm/New Fire Station
Thank you to everyone who came to our new station to get a Christmas tree. For the first time, we also brought in Noble and Nordman Fir trees from a sustainable farm in Oregon... They were so popular, we sold out! In addition, hundreds of people cut down their own trees as well as sponsored seedlings to help us replant. Kids enjoyed searching the 3,500 seedling nursery to find their names from last year. A big “Thank You” to our tree farm manager, Heather O’Dell, her team, and all the volunteer firefighters for all of their hard work getting the tree farm looking so great.  Most importantly, we appreciate your support to keep our tree farm sustainable. We look forward to seeing you next season!

Toy Drive... Another Success
The 2011 Toy Drive was a fantastic success, thank you! Graton Fire was able to deliver presents to over 30 children, brightening their holidays.  We wish everyone could experience the joy we see when the fire engine pulls up and delivers your presents...  once again, thank you. A tremendous thanks also needs to go out to Andy’s Produce, Graton Post Office, Sebastopol Hardware, Exchange Bank, Kaiser, and Graton Community Club for being toy collection points in addition to Traditional Medicinals for their very generous support of our toy drive.

Firefighters Serve Holiday Lunch to the Forestville Prime Timers
Chief Max Ming, Battalion Chief Dan Northern (and his wife Sunoma), Captain Greg Rasmussen, Engineer Eric Gromala, and Volunteer Firefighter James Deurloo helped to serve a holiday lunch to the Forestville Prime Timers on December 15, 2011.  The lunch was hosted by Gwen Trappe and Denise Wood. Fun was had by all!!

Firefighter of the Year
Congratulations to Charles (Chuck) Franceschi for being chosen the Firefighter of the Year for 2011. Chuck completed his Emergency Medical Technician training this year, has been selected to attend the extended Firefighter I Class at the SRJC starting in February and is currently filling in as a Driver/Operator on "C" shift for the vacancies recently created by promotions. Chuck has been an active Volunteer Firefighter with Forestville Fire Protection District since May of 2006, he has spent the past three summers as a Firefighter I with Cal Fire at Hilton Station and is a Swift Water Technician I. We thank Chuck for his hard work and dedication to the Forestville Fire Protection District.

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