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Firefighters bazaar and flea market in Tecopa

The 10th annual firefighter’s bazaar and flea market in Tecopa, California is set from 7 a.m. 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, organizers announced.

The Southern Inyo Fire Protection District is hosting its 10th annual Fall fundraiser at a new venue this year.

The Hurlbutt-Rook Community Center in Tecopa offers comfortable indoor seating for an early bird $5 biscuits and gravy breakfast (7 a.m.-9 a.m.) and for a hot dog lunch, organizers said.

In honor of the heroic and ongoing efforts of firefighters and EMTs everywhere, all first responders eat for free, organizers said in their news release. Those who are not a first responder but can show they’ve donated to relief efforts in any of the recent disaster locations will also eat for free, they said.

Outdoor flea market booths provide trunk or treating and treasure hunting opportunities to the accompaniment of live Halloween music by the McSky Duo and firefighters will show off their skills in demonstrations throughout the day.

A raffle and silent auction prizes include a handmade quilt by Marlys Skarry and Snookie Beatty, as well as gift certificates from their local farm-to-table restaurants and brewpubs, wall art and jewelry by talented local artists and adventure packages for overnight stays in and around Death Valley.

Last December, newly-appointed fire chief, Carl Dennett, was given a meritorious service award by the state of California.

He was the first volunteer EMT ever to receive this award and it was given, in part, because of his dedication to recruiting and teaching new EMTs in this remote location.

Because their numbers are very small, the Southern Inyo Fire Protection District could not send any of its own volunteers to help with the recent disasters.

But graduates of the protection district’s training were on hand in both Las Vegas and northern California to respond to the overwhelming events. Officials said they are very proud of this and hope to be able to continue to offer this free training but can’t do it without public help.

The Southern Inyo Fire Protection District is a volunteer fire and EMT service just over the California border from Pahrump.

They are based in Tecopa but serve a large area including Shoshone, Death Valley Junction and Charleston View. Their EMTs train and work with staff from Pahrump’s Desert View Hospital in their efforts to save lives.

The Southern Inyo Fire Protection District is funded by a local tax that doesn’t quite cover the cost of keeping crew and vehicles “ready to strike 24/7,” event organizers said in their news release. It’s their goal to host a fun family event for community and friends and to close the gap between the funding they have and the funding they need to stay in operation, they said.

Those who can’t make it to Tecopa can see photos of the quilt and other prizes on the district’s Facebook page and purchase raffle tickets by calling the firehouse at 760-852-4130 or sending a message on the Facebook page of the Southern Inyo Fire Protection District.

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