Letter from a WSP Supervisor in regards to one of his trooper's house being burned down (editted for content):
I'd like to thank the WSPTA for their assistance with a difficult situation. On April 23rd at about 0330 am I received a phone call from one of my troops. He was obviously winded and started the conversation by telling me he had some bad news. He had woke up moments earlier to the sound of his barking dog and smoke alarms to find his house was on fire. With his bedroom in the basement of the house, he quickly started upstairs to evaluate the situation. As he reached the top of the stairway he saw flames crawling up the wall and fanning out on the ceiling. The house was already so full of smoke he couldn't see across the room. Fortunately his family was not home, having left earlier that week for a brief vacation. He retreated back down to the basement, grabbed what few items he could, then exited through a basement door. A few minutes later we were talking on the phone as the fire crews arrived to begin fighting what had turned into a very aggressive fire.
About 45 minutes later I arrived and we stood on the driveway together watching fire fighters battle the fire that had quickly consumed everything this family possessed. As efforts progressed and it became obvious the house was a total loss, the trooper began to make plans for the next few days. He still had the difficult task of calling his wife and telling her that all the possessions their family had accumulated over the years were gone.
I left for home, got a couple hours of sleep, then called the WSPTA Eastside Sergeant Representative. His wife told me he was out of the house with the kids, but she would relay the message as soon as possible. Within a few minutes of hanging up the phone the WSPTA representative called me back asking me for a few details and informing me he was going to make some calls to see what he could do to help. About 30 minutes later the phone rang again and it was the WSPTA representative letting me know that a check from the WSPTA was being issued as we spoke. Arrangements were being made to transport the check that day to the victim.
If you are not familiar with the Okanogan and Winthrop areas you can't understand the reservations I had on whether or not this could be accomplished (we're just a stones throw from Canada and a fair piece from anything). Another WSPTA representative was also brought on-board and made several calls throughout the day to offer help in any way he could. By 6:00 pm that evening one of my troops called me to let me know he was en-route to contact the fire victim with a check in hand.
I can't tell you the relief I felt knowing he would be able to meet the many financial needs that would present themselves over the next few days/weeks to come. As supervisors we occasionally feel a sense of helplessness when we recognize our limitations in assisting those we work with. The WSPTA quickly came through, providing the resources needed for the victim family to move forward from an unfortunate event. A huge thanks to the WSPTA representatives for their quick and heartfelt response, as well as all those behind the scenes in the WSPTA that took care of my troop and his family!