Special Spirit Power, War Spirit Power, Thunder Power and Chain Lightning was unique to the Dungeness people. The S'Klallams would display this power in the manner that they entered a village for a potlatch or gathering.

From the Dance Plaza House Post Carvings - Dale Faulstich, Lead Carver and Designer.
Assistant Carvers: Nathan Gilles and  Ed Charles.  Volunteer carvers:  Harry Burlingone and Don Walsh.

S'Klallam Tribe

1033 Old Blyn Hwy
Sequim, WA 98382
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Firehouse Blessing
Grand Opening

Pat Adams Performing the Blessing

September 8, 2008

The benefits of partnership between the Tribe and the community were celebrated by those who participated in the Blessing of the Blyn Fire Station on September 8, 2008. Those benefits include both the fire station and the services provided by the career firefighters and emergency medical technicians stationed there.

Attended by Clallam County Commissioners Steve Tharinger, Mike Chapman and Mike Doherty, Fire Commissioners Barnfather, Coffey and Houts, Police Chief Spinks, Sheriff Benedict and many other local dignitaries, the event combined Jamestown S’Klallam and Firefighter ritual, in a joint celebration of the expansion of public safety into the easternmost parts of Clallam County.

Chief Steve Vogel hailed the collaboration as a win for all involved, citing former Fire Chief and Tribal citizen Tom Lowe as “the spark that got it going.” Lowe recalls discussing a Blyn fire station with Tribal Chair Ron Allen 20 years ago.

Pat Adams performing the Blessing with Fire Chief Steve Vogel & Vice Chair Liz Mueller

“I am proud of my Tribal citizenship and of my long association with the Fire District,” said Tom Lowe, who retired as Fire Chief eight years ago. “This fire station is a good thing for the community.”

“This fire station will reduce response time to Blyn and Diamond Point, as the county grows eastward, for fires and motor vehicle accidents,” said Vogel, adding that starting today; the station will be manned 24 hours a day by a firefighter and a paramedic. Vogel expects that homeowners’ fire insurance rates across the county will decrease, as the Washington Survey and Rating Bureau reevaluates the public protection provided by Fire District #3, now that it has a new station in Blyn.

Jerry Allen, 7 Cedars Resort Assistant Manager, thanked all involved, stating “Chief Vogel made it happen.”

Tribal Council Chair Ron Allen stressed the importance of the Tribe making a contribution to our community, and “putting Blyn back on the map.” He called the firefighters and paramedics who work for Fire District #3 “our front line warriors.”

Tribal Council Vice-Chair Liz Mueller added that the fire district had already provided an opportunity for a Tribal youth (Danny Hall, in 2006 and 2007) to intern in fire safety, and she hoped that other youth would want to consider firefighting as a career in the future.

Tribal citizen Patrick Adams and his wife Patsy blessed the station and its personnel, smudging to the four directions and all those involved in the project, and then singing the family song. Then, personnel from the Fire District officially retired the Louella Road Station, and officially opened the Blyn Station, at exactly 11:26 a.m. This was followed by the retirement of the 1981 fire truck, and the dedication of the newly purchased 2008 pumper truck, purchased by the District for the Blyn Station.

Tom Lowe drove the 1981 truck to Sequim from Wisconsin in 1981,” said Vogel. “In our traditional fashion, we will pull the old truck out, remove the placards, put them on the new truck, and push it into the station.”

That was followed by, in place of the traditional ribbon cutting, the “uncoupling of the fire hose,” with a line up of dignitaries on both sides of the connection.

A collaboration between the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and Clallam County Fire District #3, the Blyn Fire Station is a self-contained 10,000 square foot firehouse designed by architect Mike Gentry, and built by Jack Grinnell Construction in only 70 days. The Tribe contributed $1.5 million toward land and construction, to which the Fire District added $400,000. The Fire District will staff and manage the station, which features offices, a full kitchen and living area, four bedrooms, and a second story exercise room with a beautiful view of Sequim Bay.

Although staffed by volunteers for the past few months, on the day of the Blessing, the station staff was shifted to career firefighters to serve the fire  needs of the local population and the nearby Tribal government offices and businesses.  Services will also be provided to the seven-story resort which the Tribe will build in the next several years.

Photos by Betty Oppenheimer

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