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Pictured is Bob Cribb with the new ambulance for the Kelliher First Responders. Photo by Jillian Gandsey.

Kelliher First Responders receive new rescue rig

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The Kelliher First Responders started out in a bread truck in 1989.

Four years later, the group upgraded to a 1994 ambulance, which was used until two weeks ago, when responders Morris Frenzel and Rich Thayer made a trip to Maryland to pick up their newest rig.


The idea of a new rescue rig was talked about for a while before talk became serious last fall.

“We started doing some research and started looking for rigs and then Rick Thayer, our vice president, actually found this rig for us,” President Scott Long said of their “new” 2007 ambulance. “He’s really good at grant writing, so he started doing the grant writing for us and we got lucky.”

The new ambulance allows the crew more space inside and the ability to bring more gear to the calls they respond to.

“It’s a different body style and it’s got a bigger module on the back end so there’s more room for medical equipment and a lot more room for fire equipment,” said Bob Cribb, past president and training officer, who has been a fireman in Kelliher since 1987 and a first responder since the group’s conception.

The truck will also be able to carry water rescue equipment and will require much less time for maintenance than the previous truck.

The Kelliher Volunteer Fire Department has 23 firemen on the squad and the responders have 32 members. Some serve each crew.

“I think for the most part the group just likes helping out the community,” Long said. “We’re a long ways from a hospital and it’s nice because these people that are first responders; these are neighbors, friends, family and they just care.”

A fish fry benefit for the Kelliher First Responders, the Kelliher Fire Department and the Upper Red Lake Association is set for 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28 at the West Wind Resort in Waskish.

“It’s a good chance for the community to see us as responders and firemen at something like this where they can talk us rather than seeing us at on the worst day,” Frenzel said.

Jillian Gandsey
(218) 333-9786