Firemen spend holiday weekend and beyond volunteering, responding to calls

Linda Trest
Staff Writer

While many were enjoying the Fourth of July extended holiday weekend, members of the Gerald-Rosebud Fire Department spent their time off working.

On Saturday, they assisted the Gerald Area Ambulance District with two separate medical emergencies. 

Later Saturday night, they were at the fireworks show in Rosebud in case they were needed. They also helped direct traffic. After the show ended, they doused the fireworks remains to prevent a fire from flaring up from the hot debris.

Sunday, they responded to a call for a vehicle fire in Rosebud. Fire Chief Warren Weiss says that the fire was discovered by Chief of Police Mason Griffith while on patrol. 

The interior of the Jeep Cherokee was fully engulfed in flames when Griffith came on the scene. 

In the short time it took for the firemen to arrive, Griffith notified adjacent residents to evacuate the area. 

Within an estimated six minutes, a pumper, with a full crew on board, arrived from Station 3 in Rosebud.

They made quick work of extinguishing the fire. 

The Jeep was a total loss, but there were no injuries and no adjoining property was damaged.

Monday evening, the department responded to a traffic crash with entrapment on State Route ZZ near Kamper Road (see accompanying story on this page).

Three department members, Josh Wagner, Taylor Smith and Nick Via, recently attended an advanced auto extrication class in Steelville. All three responded to the accident, along with many other department members. 

Weiss says his department did an impressive job on the “extensive” extrication process that was required that evening. 

A landing zone was required to be set up for Arch helicopter that was called in to transport the injured driver. 

Whenever a helicopter is called in, it is the job of the fire department to make sure it has a safe place to land. 

If it is landing at the heli-pad in town, a crew makes sure the lights are turned on and the pad is clear of debris. 

If a chopper needs to land near an accident scene, department members find the safest place for the landing, clear debris and set up lighting. 

In this case, the newly opened bridge on Route ZZ was the chosen site. A pumper with flashing lights was set up at one end of the bridge to help guide the pilot to the zone. 

As always, firemen helped direct traffic and clear debris from the roadway. 

Tuesday morning, the department was again called out. This time to assist neighboring Beaufort-Leslie Fire Department with a structure fire on Old State Road. St. Clair, Boles and Union fire departments also responded to the rural home. 

Weiss noted that the house, which he believed was abandoned, was not saved. Firemen did manage to keep the fire from spreading to the surrounding wooded area. He again praised the turnout from his department. 

The department will also be on hand for the upcoming Thresher’s Show in Rosebud. They will have brush units on standby at the pulling events. There will also be a tanker in the area, just in case.

These firemen all work full-time jobs elsewhere. They never hesitate to leave the comfort of their homes to help where they are needed. They put in additional hours attending whatever training classes are available to them. 

And they do all of this for no pay.