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Camden, East Pierce Fire
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East Pierce County fire crews get unexpected help from local teen

16-year-old Camden with East Pierce Fire responders. (East Pierce Fire, Twitter)

Fire crews in Sumner-Bonney Lake had some unexpected help over the weekend from a 16-year-old boy.

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Camden — who is a volunteer fire cadet with the Buckley Fire Department — wanted to show his appreciation for the men and women risking their lives to tame the Sumner Grade blaze. To that end, he dipped into his savings from work he’s done over the summer bucking hay and mowing lawns.

He showed up to the fire scene with water bottles and Gatorade for East Pierce Fire Department responders. Because food and water is being fully coordinated by state mobilization efforts, the department has been turning away donations. Even so, crews were “instantly taken back by his genuine concern and selflessness.”

Camden asked what else might be useful beyond food and water, and one responder mentioned they may be running low on hand sanitizer. Camden then headed back to the store to pick some up and delivered it to the station.

In all, he says he spent around $180 dollars on supplies, equal to a week’s worth of pay bucking hay and mowing lawns.

On Sunday, firefighters asked Camden to come back to the command post to meet Fire Chief Backer, so he could extend a personal thank you on behalf of all the crews. Backer presented Camden with the Chiefs coin, a special token recognizing incredible hard work, and called him “an inspiration.”

Camden has dreams of becoming a firefighter one day. Chief Backer told him that once things settle down form the wildfires, he should come back to the station so they can talk about his future.

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