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Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

By Jesse Utz 

Heroes in our coulee


All of us have stories of this past weekend. I also know that the fire is far from out as I write this, but many of us are taking a breath of not-so-fresh air and relaxing for the first time in days. In the midst of disaster and facing possible loss, heroes emerged for many of us. Some in the form of neighbors and community members; some in firefighters, both local and from across the state. Strangers became a comforting face in the smoke-filled unknown that stared many of us down. Sometimes they were not strangers, but the familiar faces of loved ones taking on new roles of heroes.

Saturday, we received a phone call. We were in Spokane at the time and the name was familiar as it appeared across my screen. He was asking if I needed help. I had no idea what he was talking about, but I was caught up very quickly. We were a long way from home, and, by the sounds of it, by the time we got there it was either going to be too late or we would not even get to see our home at all due to road closures. But fear did not creep in.

I made a phone call to son and daughter, only to find out they were on top of things already. Both their lives interrupted by a spark, but they were jumping to action as the hero in them awoke. They had a plan and were putting it into motion. As a matter of fact, they had already evacuated one family member and were assisting others as we spoke.

As we drove in prayer, another phone call came. Another friend wanting to help us. Facebook messages, texts and other ways of communication lit up as friends, neighbors and relatives were preparing to jump to action. As we drove closer, the sky got darker with smoke, but fear did not creep in.

As we pulled into town, the fire was glowing upon the wall. We could not get to our home, but we stopped to help others if we could. We were at our daughter’s home when the fire showed its ugly face and started descending. The strongest prayers a man or woman could pray left our lips standing outside her home looking up as it appeared that hell itself was blowing down the little canyons around us. But yet, fear still did not get in.

As we made our way to our destination for the night, there was a strange peace that consumed me. I knew that things would be alright. There were firefighters/heroes out there doing all they could to whip the dragon’s tail. I also knew that they had help tonight. God had already sent an army through the prayers of many to do battle alongside these men and women fighting this fire. I knew there were angels in every truck, on every hose line, at every hydrant. I knew there were powerful beings standing guard at every residence being threatened, and protecting this land claimed in God’s name for his glory. Our heroes had heroes standing with them on this night.

The next morning came the good news, that only one vacant building had been lost and a lot of the immediate danger had passed for the time being. We were able to return to our home and the peace remains.

We all have stories of the people who stopped to help, firefighters who stayed at our homes all night, friends responding to our land, and pets in a dire time of need. It is at times like this that we all thank the Lord above for providing these people in our lives. Fear will not creep in.

So, thank you, Jeff, Elizabeth, Jeremiah and Lee, for wanting to help and being willing. Thank you, Levi, Davida, Jesse and Nicollette for jumping to action. Thank you, firefighters, for standing your ground when the flames licked at your boots. And thank you, God, for providing help and safety for us all and providing feathered beings to assist us all. Also, a thank-you to the man from the DOT who was in such a good mood after being up all night and allowing us to pass to our home with a smile.

Please thank those who responded to you in your time of need and tell your stories of the heroes in your life. Also, continue to pray for the protection of everyone involved.

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