Brinda Baird honored by firefighters


A desire to give back to the community and help people when they need it most is what drives Brinda Baird to serve her community as EMS Director and Assistant Fire Chief.

Mrs. Baird moved to Fernwood in 1990. Seven years ago, she decided to volunteer for the UpRiver Ambulance as well as the UpRiver Fire Department.

Brinda Baird was named Firefighter of the Year for 2016 by the North Idaho Fire Chiefs Association. She was nominated for the award by her son, Chance.

Brinda Baird was named Firefighter of the Year for 2016 by the North Idaho Fire Chiefs Association. She was nominated for the award by her son, Chance.

Last week, Mrs. Baird was honored for her efforts, receiving the North Idaho Fire Chief’s Association’s 2016 Firefighter of the Year Award as a ceremony April 13.

“There were so many people who showed up; it was overwhelming,” Mrs. Baird said.

The North Idaho Fire Chief’s Association serves the five northern counties. Mrs. Baird was nominated for the award by her son, Chance, in March. She said it was a complete surprise to receive the award.

“The nomination form came in a news packet, and I normally push them aside but he had seen it and told me he was going to nominate me. I didn’t think much of it, and we were walking past each other at the time,” she said.

Mrs. Baird said she is a fourth-generation firefighter. Her grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great grandfather were all firefighters. She said she was inspired to volunteer locally after a neighbor of hers had a fire at their place.

“The biggest thing for me is helping our community,” she said. “To be able to help save a house or to help save a life.”

Despite being on call six days a week, Mrs. Baird finds time to give back in other ways as well. She’s coached Little League in the past with her husband Raylen and recently volunteered as a coach for Win 1 at the St. Maries Church of the Nazarene. She said she spends the rest of her time investing in her children’s lives. She has seven children, five still at home.

Chance said he decided to nominate his mom, “because of all she does for the community.”

Chance added his mom was instrumental in saving the lives of two men: John McQueen and Jason Warner, who has since left the area.

Chance said Mr. McQueen came to their home and wasn’t feeling well. Mrs. Baird ended up taking him to the hospital via ambulance and during the trip Mr. McQueen died.

“Mom did CPR and was able to bring him back,” Chance recalled.

Mr. Warner had a heart attack and Mrs. Baird was able to assess and respond to the situation in such a way that saved his life.

Chance, who is a junior firefighter and fifth generation firefighter, said he is very proud of his mom for all she does and is glad he has been able to learn from her.

Mrs. Baird said she is looking forward to continue serving her community in the coming years. She added her daughters are interested in the medical field and becoming a junior firefighter when they are older.

In addition to talking about the award, Mrs. Baird said the fire department and the ambulance always needs more volunteers. Specifically, the ambulance is in need of drivers and people who would be interested in becoming an EMT.

“Anyone who is interested can contact me at 245-4920,” she said.

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