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Oct 23, 2020 8 tweets 2 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Bruce Vaughn, who runs our Stable Isotope Lab at INSTAAR, is also a volunteer firefighter with the Four Mile Fire Protection District, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains just west of Boulder. #INSTAARsafterhours Bruce Vaughn (at right) sta...
He spent the weekend at the fire station on alert, monitoring and helping to coordinate Four Mile resources, as fires throughout Colorado including the East Troublesome and CalWood fires blew up.
“There’s nothing like a fire to motivate volunteers,” he said. 22 years ago a bunch of volunteers from the District put out a fire close to Bruce’s mountain home. “I took down a couple coolers of sodas and asked if they needed help.” He’s been a volunteer firefighter ever since.
“I quickly learned that we respond not only to wildfires, but to structure fires, road accidents, climbing accidents, childbirths, drug overdoses…” Just driving down Boulder Canyon reminds Bruce of specific calls. “Every curve has a memory.”
“As volunteering goes, it has a high rate of return. You can help your neighborhood in very concrete ways. I may live in the Boulder bubble and work in the ivory tower, but here I’m part of a diverse community. As volunteers, we come from all walks of life and backgrounds...
.... We bring each other casseroles when we’re sick—and probably cancel out each others’ votes sometimes. But there is a special bond that is created when we put our lives in each others hands. It creates trust and builds bridges. That is rare, and we need that.”
Bruce says, “Volunteers perform a whole variety of tasks - not all of which involve getting close to fire. There’s a place for everyone in the choir.” If you live nearby and have time/interest, check out to volunteer or donate.

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