On September 20, 2020, we celebrated the career of Larry Simms. He retired after 34 years of service to the Hauser Lake community and surrounding area.
A video of the ceremony, taken by Joan Rodman, has been posted on the District’s public Facebook page here (a new window should open). The video includes several very moving moments, including Chief Simms thanking his wife Elaine (also a 30+-year volunteer), shaking hands with the fire fighters, and listening to the final sign off from Captain Mobbs which was broadcast over the Kootenai County emergency dispatch system.
The following article appeared in the Coeur d’Alene Press on Friday, August 14, 2020. We are grateful to reporter Madison Hardy for attending our ceremony and covering this noteworthy event in Hauser Lake history.
Hauser, Idaho — Fire Chief Larry Simms, Jr. will this month retire from the Hauser Lake Fire Protection District. Chief Simms has served Hauser and Kootenai County as a Firefighter/EMT for 34 years. He joined the Hauser Lake Fire Department as a Volunteer in 1986 and quickly rose to the rank of Lieutenant Engineer. He continued to serve as a volunteer Firefighter/EMT for 13 more years. In 1999, the Hauser Lake Fire Commissioners hired Larry, as their first paid Fire Chief.
Larry has served the department and community with honor and distinction. He has been a member of the North Idaho Fire Chiefs, the Kootenai Fire Chiefs, and the Idaho Fire Chiefs and has held numerous officers’ positions within each organization. Chief Simms was at the forefront of coordinating the cooperative efforts of neighboring fire departments to create what we now call “Mutual Aid Assistance.” An accomplished writer, he was instrumental in the department and Kootenai County Emergency Medical Services Systems in receiving State and Federal grants in excess of 1.5 million dollars.
Chief Simms’ service to our community will be recognized during a public Retirement Celebration and Open House on September 20, 2020 at the Hauser Lake Fire Station. The event will be held from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, with a formal ceremony at 2:00. The Hauser Lake Fire Station is located at 10728 N Hauser Lake Road in Hauser, Idaho. Panhandle Health District’s health and safety guidelines will be followed and the event is subject to change with the circumstances. Event details are posted on hauserfire.org and Facebook as will any changes.
Thank you to everyone for another successful year at Breakfast with Santa! While it is impossible to recognize all of the individuals who contributed to this great cause, we can identify many of the businesses who did so. Please consider doing business with these companies, that their kindness and generosity might multiply and circle around.
In totally random order, the Hauser Lake Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary would like to thank the following businesses for their support of Breakfast with Santa:
Do you shop on Amazon? Did you know that a significant portion of your orders through Amazon can be donated to the Hauser Lake Fire Auxiliary, which is used to support the Hauser Lake Volunteer Fire Department and, therefore, the Hauser Lake community?
When you shop for the holidays, instead of going to amazon.com, simply start at smile.amazon.com/ch/82-0473450, and AmazonSmile will donate to Hauser Lake Fire Auxiliary!
Click the image above to start shopping at Amazon AND support the Hauser Lake Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary in Hauser, Idaho.
Whenever you shop on Amazon, simply start by going to that link above first. Nothing looks different or acts different, but a small portion of your purchase will be donated to the Hauser Lake Fire Auxiliary, which ultimately supports YOUR local first responders in Hauser Lake!
Marc Kalbaugh retired from the Hauser Lake Volunteer Fire Department in 2019. In a brief speech given at the annual appreciation banquet in March, he shared what being a volunteer has meant to him. Perhaps Marc’s words will help others who are considering volunteering–not just as a firefighter but in any capacity — take the plunge and serve. The following is a transcript of Marc’s speech.
I would like to thank the commissioners, past and present, for all their support throughout the years and for what they do to keep this Department moving forward and outfitted. To the members, we have had some good times but change is hard and for me I must step away. It has taken some time for me to come to this decision and it’s hard for me to make it. To the Auxiliary, some folks say you join the fire department to fight fire, I think I joined because at 3 o’clock in the morning being handed a sandwich, beef jerky, and a beverage means so much.
It has been said that “unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of our souls.” (~David Thomas, as quoted in Tryon Edwards, A Dictionary of Thoughts, 1891). If you’re looking for a reason to volunteer, for anything, no matter what it is, or for how long, think of the impacts you’ll have on yourself and the people you serve for and with.
Years from now, my fleeting memories will be filled with the experiences that had the greatest impacts on my life. I will look back at my time in the fire service and smile knowing that my service was meaningful. It really has been my honor to serve with all of you and to serve this community.
Though my time has come to an end, let’s not forget why we are here tonight: remembering and celebrating all of you for all that you do in service to this community. From the commissioners to our members’ husbands and wives, the dedication each and every one of you has to this Department, community, and the people you all help every day is truly commendable. Essentially working 24/7, 365 days a year, means sleepless nights and missed meals, taking time away from your own families and their needs to meet the needs of others.
As a fellow firefighter and now as a citizen and member of this community, I would like to take this opportunity to say, thank you for what you do.
To my brothers and sisters who put the wet stuff on the red stuff, I would like to leave you with this from the History of the World’s Greatest Fires: In Greek Mythology, Prometheus was a titan trickster who was said to have defied the gods by giving man fire. The Gods were incensed and Prometheus was sentenced to be bound to a rock to eternal torment for his transgression where each day an eagle would feast on his liver only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day. Just think, “If Prometheus is worthy of the wrath of heaven for kindling the first fire upon earth, how ought all the gods to honor the men/women who make it their professional business to put it out!” (~John G. Saxe, quoted in George C. Hale, History of the World’s Greatest Fires, 1905)
It has truly been my honor, Thank You.
Marc Kalbaugh served with the Hauser Lake Fire Department from 2008 to 2019.