30-year resident helped form Ruhenstroth fire department

Mike Hill is one of the founding members of our Ruhenstroth Volunteer Fire Department and currently is its vice president.

"The department has been a big passion of mine," said Hill. "I have been either vice president or president since its creation and have been an attack firefighter for most of my career but now I provide support by driving the trucks, pumping water, etc."

After Len Lake's home burned down in 1986, Lake said he scheduled a meeting at the Douglas County Fairgrounds to discuss the possibility of establishing a neighborhood volunteer fire department due to the response time to his own house fire. Hill was one of the attendees that recognized the need and got together to form Ruhenstroth Volunteer Fire Department.

"That's what is great about our neighborhood," said Hill. "We saw a need and we worked together to make it happen - just like a family. My father is also one of the founding members and is still active as a support member."

Hill has lived in Ruhenstroth about 30 years, arriving after his father retired out of southern California. His dad's house was the sixth home built in Ruhenstroth. While still in high school, he purchased an acre of land here in Ruhenstroth from his dad for $16,000 (a little less than the going rate of $21,000 per acre). He and his wife Carol, along with sons Jeremy and Matthew, have witnessed the extreme growth our neighborhood has seen since he moved here. When not attending fires, Hill works at PCC (Precision Castparts Corp.) Structurals in Carson City. The foundry makes parts for aircraft, automotive and medical equipment used in the civilian as well as military sectors. In his spare time, Hill loves to hunt deer, especially in Eureka because it reminds him of Gardnerville 30 years ago.

When asked about his most memorable response, Hill said, "I have attended some great fires and some really bad medical calls but the best would have to be when we are called and we get all suited up; and when we get there, they don't need us."

When asked what he would like to see changed in Douglas County, Hill said he "would like to see more affordable housing in Douglas County so you can have younger families move in and then, hopefully, there would be more people to join the volunteer fire departments."

Hill has a message to his neighbors: "Can you please think of Palomino Lane as your own driveway and slow down through the neighborhood streets watching out for children and people out for a walk?"

We can all benefit from this suggestion.

I have it on good authority that Hill cooks the "best deep fried turkey in the department." Hill said he remembered seeing an old cooking show with Justin Wilson demonstrating how to fry a turkey; and when his own home was being built, he decided to give it a try. The first time he cooked the turkey in his garage; but now would only recommend frying a turkey in an open area free of overhead structures in the case of a flare-up. Since that first time many years ago, he has been asked to share his culinary skills for many celebrated occasions. Sounds yummy.

We are grateful for your commitment, Hill. Thank you for being a part of the department.

Have a Ramblin' Good Week!


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