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Medic One celebrates long career and retirement of founding member

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Left to right: Lewis County Medic One Operations Chief Grant Wiltbank, Lewis County Fire District 15 Commissioner Randy Pennington, outgoing Lewis County Fire District 15 Commissioner Lindsay Chatterton, Cowlitz/Lewis Fire District 20 Commissioner Carol Stine, and Lewis County fire District 2 Commissioner Dave Beal during a Dec. 17 meeting of the Medic One Interlocal Board. Officials had been celebrating the 52-year career of Chatterton in the local firefighting community and presented him with a commemorative Medic One vest in recognition of his service.

The Lewis County Medic One Interlocal Board took time out of its Dec. 17 meeting to honor the career of retiring firefighter Lindsay Chatterton, who has served for 52 years in local fire districts.

A founding member of Medic One back in the early 1990s, Chatterton has served with Lewis County Dire District 15, based in Winlock, since 1989, and had previously been part of the Kelso Fire Department since 1961.

A current commissioner with District 15, Chatterton had been among local EMS leadership when it was determined back 20 years ago an interlocal ambulance service should be formed in South Lewis County.

"When I first came on here," he explained, " we ‘d have to wait 10, 15 minutes on BLS (basic life support) calls."

Chatterton said it was discussed between District 15 and Toledo’s Lewis County fire District 2 they should pool resources and form an interlocal entity, which eventually became Medic One. The interlocal was later joined by Cowlitz/Lewis Fire District 20 (then Lewis County Fire District 7) and continues to provide paramedic services to the area today.

"I hope it will expand, and I hope it will continue, because we’re saving lives," said Chatterton of the program.

During the board meeting, Chatterton was lauded as a man whose age belies his abilities, especially as a firefighter and EMT.

"At his age, now, he can still run circles around most of our firemen," said District 15 Commissioner and Interlocal Board Member Randy Pennington. "He can certainly run me into the ground, and I don’t have any shame saying that."

Pennington also took time to recognize outgoing District 2 Commissioner Clark Spahr, who has contributed 35 years to the firefighting community.

"That’s nearly 90 years of fire experience between these two gentlemen, and they will be sorely missed by us," he said.

At the end of the meeting, Chatterton was presented with a commemorative Medic One Vest, bearing his years of service, and thanked heartily by fellow officials for his years of service.

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