The Linn County Fire Corps program was founded less than a year ago but has already made incredible strides. The program began after the Linn County Trauma Intervention Program ceased operations last summer. The Lebanon Fire District adopted the new Fire Corps program, which was largely composed of former trauma intervention volunteers.
 
Volunteers work three 12-hour shifts a month and specialize in providing emotional support for community members and first responders. They respond to fires, accidents, medical emergencies, and other traumatic incidents to listen and to provide assistance and services to those dealing with a tragedy or traumatic event. In the event of a death, they stay with family members until the body is removed.
 
The Linn County Fire Corps program plays a vital role in the recovery process, and is selective when it comes to bringing in new volunteers. Volunteers must be high-school aged or older, own a cell phone, computer, and a car, and pass a background check. They are also expected to attend regular meetings and work designated shifts. Most importantly, however, volunteers must be positive, friendly, and attentive.
 
The program is currently working to expand its roster and functionality. They are embarking on their first recruit academy and are finalizing training manuals. Linn County Fire Corps has engaged in fundraising and has cultivated partnerships with local businesses. Funds are needed to offset the costs of registering as a 501(c)(3) organization as well as to provide T-shirts and training materials for members. The program has also worked with The River Center of Lebanon to create a “bank” of household items and clothing to assist citizens who lost personal property due to fire.
 
For more information on the Linn County Fire Corps program, contact Kathy Fitzwater at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 541-409-5299. 

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