Crouch - In the majority of Idaho wildfires, the first firefighters on the scene have been rural fire departments and that was the case in the Highway 55 fire when the Garden Valley Fire District showed up on the scene.
The work these firefighters put in is appreciated and it's easy to see when you drive up Highway 55 and see the signs in Horseshoe Bend and in Crouch.
"We treat our volunteers as part-time professionals, but typically they don't get the recognition back as volunteers, they are out in the middle of the night and they have to go to work the next morning," said Chief Jon Delvalle who's been chief in Garden Valley since 2000. "Just telling them thanks is huge."
However, sometimes firefighters need help and for that reason, the Garden Valley Fire District Auxiliary Team was started in May.
"We support the Garden Valley Fire Protection District as an organization that goes out and does fundraising to support nutritional needs when we have an extended incident like we just did," said Julie Hutchcroft. "We used a lot of our budget on ice and coolers and getting water to the scene."
That makes a big difference for Garden Valley as they don't have a big budget being in a small community.
"It's even more prevalent here and having more people that help support what we do is huge," said Chief Delvalle. "I think every department should have an active auxiliary."
The auxiliary said that anyone can join their team or help by donating funds to help meet the needs of the firefighters, but the auxiliary also reminded me of a family readiness group in the Army that will help with personal problems or other issues that a firefighter wouldn't be able to take care of while out on a fire.
The auxiliary is planning a movie night fundraiser on September 8, it will be in Garden Valley at Weilmunster Park which gives people who appreciate the efforts of firefighters a chance to do more than just thank them.