CLOVERDALE, Ore. - Kristopher Saccurato has been part of the Cloverdale Fire District for about a year, but a part of him will forever be in New York City.
"It's like, if you were in a scene from any type of horror movie, but instead it was real life," Saccurato said Friday.
Saccurato was a first responder on 9/11.
"Every once in a while, you'd find someone's phone or wallet -- different things digging through," Saccurato recalled. "Seeing all these personal effects, tthere's a story behind that."
His story brought him to Central Oregon, where he wants to share his love of the east coast fire traditions with the community here.
"Celebrating anniversary milestones like 50th, 75, 100 years are huge deals over there, especially on the volunteer side," Saccurato said. "Out here, I realized it was the 50th anniversary, and nobody's doing much. And we need the fundraising, we need to get out there, get out in the community and have more face time."
So he created the Cloverdale Fire District 50th anniversary event, looking both back and forward.
"The district started with some of the farmers in the area, putting a trailer with a water tank on it, and whoever got to that station first hooked it up to their pickup and went to the fire," said Michael Valoppi, the district's volunteer coordinator.
The district has come a long way since then. It now has 22 members and volunteers, covering 50 square miles and serving up to 4,000 people.
"One of the things we got this year is extrication equipment for rescue vehicles, so we're training our guys up to the 21st century of the fire service," Valoppi said.
For Saccurato, he wants to get to know the people he's serving, and vice versa, to make it more than just a 50th anniversary celebration.
"People see the fire truck go by or the ambulance, but they don't know us. So moving forward, I would love to have a firemen's carnival or make this a bigger deal than a one-day deal, maybe make it a two-day event," Saccurato said.
The celebration is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sisters Rodeo grounds off Highway 20. Admission is free. The crew is also selling 50th anniversary t-shirts for a $25 donation.
To learn more about the fire district and the event, visit http://www.cloverdalefire.com/