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January 5, 1998


Thank you for serving so well

  This is a copy of a letter of commendation sent to Chief Bud Backer of the Duvall-District 45 Fire Protection District
   Dear Chief Backer,
   During the evening hours of Dec. 23, 1997, while on my way home, I encountered members of the Duvall-District 45 Fire Department working hard to co-ordinate the rescue of an injured and severely distressed horse. The unfortunate animal had slipped and fallen through an old steel girder bridge on a back road deep in the woods above Duvall. As a law enforcement officer and past volunteer with the Department, I stopped to offer what help I could.
   I believe that this community would be proud to know that our firefighters were out on a cold, dark and rainy night, many of them on their own time, trying to save this animal. They were able to marshal the appropriate equipment and manpower quickly. They found a way through an imposing steel gate. They located a boom truck with a powerful hoist. They assisted the operator in getting this truck, as well as their own fire/rescue equipment, up this narrow, muddy road. They were able to locate Dr. Dana Bridges, a veterinarian, who was able to respond as well. The firefighters and the vet worked very hard for several hours attempting to free the horse. They also provided comfort and support to the young woman and her companion who had been riding together.
   In the end, the situation simply proved impossible. Despite their best efforts, it was necessary to euthanize the horse. I know that this was bitterly disappointing to Dr. Bridges and the firefighters. I believe that you, Dr. Bridges and the many firefighters who participated in this rescue attempt should be commended for your commitment to the safety of ALL of God's creatures and for the selfless hard work expended on our behalf. I have lived in this community for 20 years. During that time, I have watched your Fire Department grow into the well equipped, well managed and professional group that it is today. Thank you for serving us so well.
   Major Jackson A. Beard