Supporting Those that Respond for the Community
April 5, 2018
SEELEY LAKE – Seeley Lake resident Lizza Kelley has brought the Seeley Lake Rural Fire District Auxiliary back to life. What started as a desire to volunteer her time to support those serving the community has turned into an opportunity for anyone in the community who doesn't want to become a first responder or firefighter to help as well.
"Frankly, I was tired of being stuck at home when [my husband] Kody responded to calls," said Kelley. "I wanted to volunteer my time for things that I could help the department with, without being involved in the ambulance or on the fire trucks."
Kelley presented her desire to help at a recent Fire Company meeting. They told her about the option for an Auxiliary.
The Women's Auxiliary used to exist with the Seeley Lake Fire Department more than 15 years ago as a supporting arm for the department. Kelley agreed to head the Auxiliary and opened the group to men and women 18 years or older.
The Auxiliary members are not fire responders and serve a different function. The group is there to support the fire responders and the department. They are under the financial umbrella of the Fire Company.
"The Auxiliary functions primarily as an arm of the Company but are members of the District as well so they will be covered under insurance," said Kelley. "We are almost like the fire responders except we will not respond to calls and we don't have to go to all the training."
Kelley said the group will focus on cooking for the volunteers and first responders for long trainings and other functions. If interested, Auxiliary members can also bring food, coffee or prepare food for the responders on calls that last more than four hours.
"Bringing that simple cup of coffee either prolongs their ability to stay there or it just improves their overall stamina [when out in the cold]," said Kelley. "On a structure fire [or other extended incidents], not having anyone to bring them food makes the job pretty [wearisome]."
The Auxiliary also wants to bring the monthly movie night back at the Fire Hall. They want to help with fundraising at the Fourth of July Pancake breakfast. And Kelley looks forward to plugging into other functions like the Christmas Tree Lighting and planning other events that involve the community with the Fire Department. She is wide open to new ideas as well.
"There are a lot of things the Company wants to do that they don't have time to do because they are doing trainings or they are doing other things with their first responder responsibilities," said Kelley. "I definitely think it is needed to support our fire department. By supporting them, hopefully, we will benefit the community as well."
Membership requirements include: 18-years-old or older, hold a valid State of Montana Driver's License, be a resident within the Seeley Lake Fire District and adherence to a strict drugs/alcohol policy. Other requirements and more information is available on the application. The application is through the Fire District and once approved by the District will be submitted to the Seeley Lake Fire Company's Board of Directors for approval.
"It's nice to have people that are willing to sacrifice their time to take care of the responders who are sacrificing their time for the people of our community," said Kelley. "We are there for them because they are there for our community."
For more information or to get an application email email@example.com, call the Seeley Lake Fire Department at 677-2400, stop in at the Fire Hall 200 Firehouse Lane or message the group through the Seeley Lake Volunteer Fire Company - Fire & QRU's Facebook page.