Tamarack City firefighters tops

Named department of year; TC’s Steve Klein wins individual award

Photo provided by Tamarack City Fire Department The Tamarack City Volunteer Fire Department was named fire department of the year.

SOUTH RANGE — The Tamarack City Volunteer Fire Department and one of its firefighters were designated top dogs at the 64th annual Copper Country Firefighters Tournament last month in South Range.

Named fire department of the year at the 2017 tournament on June 24, the Tamarack fire department was also honored with one of its own being selected as firefighter of the year.

“For being a dedicated, hardworking, selfless department member, chief and friend, the Tamarack Volunteer Fire Department would like to nominate Steve Klein as Copper Country Fireman of the year,” wrote Donald Wareham, a member of the Tamarack City Fire Department, in a nomination letter. “When someone has grown up in the same small town (in which) they were born and raised, they are sometimes taken for granted. They are in the background, always there, always willing to help and never really recognized for all they do for the community. We have an individual like that in our small town. Joining the fire department 40 years ago as a young man just out of high school, he worked side by side with the older, more experienced members of the fire department fighting fires, assisting in fundraisers and learning the ropes to give back to the community he called home. After 10 years on the department, he was elected chief of the department, a title he still holds today.”

Donald’s wife, Diane Wareham, a member of the auxiliary, nominated the Tamarack Fire Department to be department of the year.

Established in 1940, the department has been making a big difference, according to Wareham.

“I have great respect for these me and a special place in my heart,” Wareham wrote. “A few years ago, they saved our home from a tragic fire. The neighbors’ home caught on fire and was completely engulfed in flames in a matter of minutes. Our home was 20 feet away, but we escaped with a broken window and frazzled nerves. If it wasn’t for the quick thinking and heroic actions of these men, I know it would have been a different outcome. The Tamarack City Volunteer Fire Department will always be fire department of the year to me. Their kindness, hard work and courage makes our little community a special place.”

Hosted this year by the South Range Volunteer Fire Department in celebration of its 110th anniversary, the annual tournament changes venues each year.