Memorial Pumping Station <….. video to be added later.
On July 31, 1982, the five-Brian Samuels, Alphonse Kriscunas, Gary VanVactor, Dane Hoffhien, and Randall Hansen-were responding to a house fire at Lake Latonka on State Road 17 when they rounded the curve at West School and came upon a car ahead north attempting to making a left-handed turn. It is believed that the driver swerved to avoid a collision and veered off the road, striking a guard rail. The pumper continued down an embankment and flipped over. Five of those on board were lost, but one-Shawn O’Keefe- survived the crash. O’Keefe had been riding in the cab and was thrown through the windshield.
The caskets of the five were placed on pumpers and carried to Oak Hill Cemetery in Plymouth. According to Smith, it was the first time that the Department that was founded in 1836 had ever lost a firefighter in the line of duty. “It was beyond imagination and something you don’t expect.” said Smith.
Smith said the Department formed a scholarship fund at the time of the tragedy and continues to hold fundraisers for the program with funds held in the Community Foundation.
Current Fire Chief Rod Miller was not with the department at the time of the accident, but said he remembers that day. He called the annual memorial services “our family gathering”, referring to the bond among firefighters. Miller said, “It (memorial service) touches our hearts, trust me.” Miller shared his appreciation for local Plymouth resident Mike Burroughs who has offered spiritual guidance during many of the services over the years.Miller said, “The volunteers serve with little pay and make great sacrifices.” Currently the PFD has 13 paid employees and 40 volunteers.
Being on the site of this dark day in Plymouth History The Saint Rose Mission is currently starting to construct the first Hydrant in west township supplying pumper and tanker quick refill to serve the people of the west and southern most counties. The mission plans to maintain the pumping station delivering water and pressure to fill the pumpers and tankers. People interested in helping with this project blog me with your input thanks.
Community Garden <….. Click here for video. Providing fresh produce to the Bread of Life and Neighborhood Centers in Plymouth. The trencher plowed 60′ and planted Zucchini’s, Tomatoes and Cucumbers so far. The ideas is for school kids and or Handicap adults with Disability’s to maintain the weeding, planting and harvesting to the best of their ABILITIES then giving the gift of their labors back to the community.