Port Townsend: Volunteer firefighters maintain spirit of community service through trying times

PORT TOWNSEND — In February, one of their own was fired, setting off a four-month conflict that resulted in a resignation.

In August, a fire raced through the dry timbers of an uptown landmark, reducing it to a blackened shell.

It’s been a tough year for the volunteers of the Port Townsend Fire Department.

“It’s been traumatic for a lot of people,” Chief Ed Edwards said, “and I really appreciate everyone hanging in.”

Like many small towns, Edwards oversees a small paid staff and a large contingent of volunteer firefighters.

Commending the efforts of those volunteers during the past year was the focus of the department’s annual awards dinner Saturday night at the Highway 20 Roadhouse.

“I can’t express all the gratitude the city owes you,” Edwards told the audience of firefighters and families.

“Aldrich’s is a good example of why you’re here. The city needs you.”

It was those volunteers who responded in the early hours of Aug. 4 to the news that the grocery store, an uptown institution since 1895, was on fire.


The rest of the story appears in the Monday Peninsula Daily News.

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