The Baldwin Lake Volunteer Fire Department, San Bernardino County Fire’s Station #97 as of September 6, responded to their first call yesterday afternoon, September 7. Per Baldwin Fire’s Captain Larry Winslow, a banker by trade, “We were at our station chopping wood, when a neighbor came running down the the road, saying there was smoke. Turns out someone decided to burn their own brush.” After quickly extinguishing the small, backyard fire—as engines with firefighting crews from the U.S. Forest Service, Big Bear City Fire and County Fire’s Fawnskin Department were en route to Baldwin Lake–Winslow tells KBHR that they referred the homeowners to the chipping program, as a safer means of clearing the brush from their property. The Baldwin Lake Volunteer Fire Department is staffed daily and ’round the clock on weekends, starting at 8pm on Fridays, and of the 30 volunteers, Winslow says, “We have two goals: to expedite the call, and supplement the resources.” That said, the volunteer firefighters are not in place of, but an added bonus to, existing firefighting operations of the San Bernardino County Fire Department. County Fire’s Mountain Division Chief George Corley tells KBHR, “We are still the parent organization of that area. Every time there’s an incident in Baldwin Lake, engines from the Big Bear City Fire Department and County Fire in Fawnskin will be there. Once we get there, we take over. We haven’t given up any of our responsibility.” Captain Winslow adds, “Everyone at County Fire has gone above and beyond, and we’re extremely pleased to be working with them.” For those who would like to join the Baldwin Lake Volunteer Fire Department, training will be provided and, adds Winslow, “It pays a big salary of zero.” For more information, please call Captain Larry Winslow at 951/675-1000.
Background information on the Baldwin Lake Volunteer Fire Department is available in the 2008 KBHR Archives, in stories dated August 12 and June 9.