I am addressing this letter to the residents residing within the Ridge Runner Fire Department (R.R.F.D.). On Nov. 29, I attended the meeting presented by the new CENS [Community Emergency Notification System]-help group who are organizing to replace the current R.R.F.D. I agree that residents need to take personal responsibility for their fire protection and that a local fire department is a valuable part of every homeowner’s protection plan. I believe neighbor helping neighbor is honorable and is already well-established in our fire district. I have served the R.R.F.D as a volunteer in several different capacities since the very beginning of its inception. I was there!

The rhetoric and blatant lies written and spoken by the individuals representing the new CENS-help group, that evening, toward the R.R.F.D’s volunteer officers, trained firefighters and other individuals, past and present, was deplorable, offensive and downright malicious.

I was there!

The R.R.F.D has, in fact, changed and progressed through the years. It has always operated as a volunteer fire department with the best intentions of supporting the residents with fire risk education and the best possible response to fires with the resources available. Good and bad volunteers have come and gone while the population within the fire district’s boundaries has quadrupled. Dwellings have been saved and lost to fire, wildland fires have been bravely fought, contained and mopped up, lessons have been learned and new better tactics implemented through the years. Relationships have been stressed and egos have been wounded.

I was there!

Yes, we all have a choice who we support and how we support it. We exercise that choice at the polls and in our actions. I have no desire to start a fire department all over again.

I was there!

My money and support will be invested in the current operations of the R.R.F.D.

I would encourage my fellow fire district residents to do the same and keep growing this viable resource known as R.R.F.D. I will be there!

To those of you that carelessly accused the R.R.F.D as operating with malicious intent, I say, your fabrication of the facts based on your strategic interviews with the residents was and is toxic. Some people just have too much time on their hands to waste.

Renee LaBudie

R.R.F.D volunteer

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