Local residents Daniel and Eileen McBride were honored with a commendation from the Placer County Board of Supervisors Oct. 11 for their work to create the Paige Volunteer Fire Station, located west of Lincoln, 30 years ago.
Due to the lack of fire services and restricted access with the railroad dividing the city from the areas west of Lincoln, Mr. and Mrs. McBride donated use of the barn on their 10-acre farm to provide the first fire house for the station in the Paige Development. They also donated to Placer County, under a free lease arrangement, their fully restored 1939 Dodge, Van Pelt, structural pumper fire engine, until a permanent fire engine could be obtained for the station later that year.
They started the fire station with support from Placer County and state forestry officials. Mr. McBride used his fire expertise as a retired Air Force Tech Sergeant, Assistant Fire Chief to coordinate the unit and train the 12 original firefighters. “Once a fireman, always a fireman,” Mr. McBride said. “I will always be a fireman at heart. I had the ability to do something about the need for fire services in our neighborhood and, with the support of my wife Eileen, put it to good use so we could have a fire station west of Lincoln.”
Supervisor Robert Weygandt commented, “The McBrides perfectly exemplify how individual citizens create a community. Their generosity and vision helped start a fire protection system that has grown into a critical public protection element of rural Lincoln that will serve its citizens for the foreseeable future.”
Mr. McBride served 20 years in the Air Force and nine years in federal civil service as a driver operator on a crash fire engine at Mather Air Force Base. He was so eager to join the Air Force that he misrepresented his actual age of 14 to begin his military career in 1947. After completing basic training and getting his first assignment, his true age was discovered and he was honorably discharged until he could once again legally enlist at the age of 17, whereupon he picked up where he left off, receiving his first stripe and heading for active duty. He served during the Korean and Vietnam wars.
The McBrides have worked hard all their lives; raised eight children; grew their own vegetables, fruit, poultry and meat on their own land; and have achieved success. They met while Mr. McBride was stationed in England, Mrs. McBride’s native country; came to America to get married in 1952; and will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary July 20, 2012. Mrs. McBride became a United States citizen in 1961. “Life hasn’t always been easy,” said Mrs. McBride as the two smiled affectionately at one another across the table while reflecting upon their story, “but it has always been worth it and we’ve made everything work together.”