New guy at fire house


The newest member of the Ruhenstroth Volunteer Fire Department is Chad Anderson. Formerly with California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Anderson spent seven years with them at Mammoth Lakes and 10 years prior to that in Orange County.  Anderson recently was hired with Nevada Department of Forestry as a seasonal firefighter and begins his assignment with them this week. The seasonal firefighter is focused on wildland fires and the team(s) are dispatched wherever they are needed, either in our state or to support firefighters in other states. While working for NDF, Anderson can go on calls with our department as long as it does not conflict with his schedule.

Anderson was a career mechanic when a friend told him about "this firefighting thing he did and that got me interested. I checked around and found a volunteer department in the neighborhood and have been doing it ever since." As we talked about memorable calls he'd gone out on, Chad remembered one coming in that said "a child had a tambourine stuck on his head. Sure enough, we get there and the kid, probably about 3, had pulled the tambourine down over his ears but could not get it back over the ears. We ended up cutting the tambourine in half to remove it."

When asked what advice he had for homeowners, he stressed the need for defensible space. "It is so important to allow firefighters to be able to save your home. Removing the sagebrush and other combustible fuels from your property will play a big part in whether or not your home survives a wildfire."    

According to the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Office information in Living with Fire, "in terms of wildfire, what is growing adjacent to their homes can have considerable influence upon the survivability of their houses." Most people assume firefighters and equipment will arrive on scene and save their homes; but in reality, often the determining factor of being able to save a home is how well the owners have prepared their yard by removing plants that are close to the home, or that will burn quickly, which allows the firefighters to do their job. For more information on how to improve the defensible space around your home, go to

Anderson and his family " wife Jaimie, daughter Courtney, 14, and son Evan, 4 " had been planning to move to Carson Valley but when Evan was very sick last spring, they figured the lower altitude would help his lungs. Evan has made a full recovery, though, and we are happy to welcome them into the community.

Have a ramblin' good week!

Reach Gail Davis at 265-1947 or


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