Respected volunteer hangs up bunker gear

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NORTH BEND - Mary Prentice was driving home one evening to her Wilderness Rim home in April of 1987 when she noticed a sign on the local fire station seeking volunteer firefighters.

Prentice, who had been involved in the medical field for years as a certified medical assistant and emergency medical technician, decided to drop in and pick up a pamphlet and ask some questions.

"I just stopped in one night and they handed me bunker gear," said Prentice.

A little more than 16 years after that fateful night, Prentice is hanging up her gear for good with Eastside Fire and Rescue (EFR) as she prepares for a move to a new home in Shelton.

In what is often considered a male-dominated field, Prentice has established a reputation as a leader, friend and mentor to the many volunteer firefighters with whom she has worked. As the lieutenant looking over operations at Station 88 on Wilderness Rim, recent years have found Prentice not only overseeing operations of Station 88, but also helping to prepare those younger volunteers looking to get hired on full-time with other departments.

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this week's Valley Record

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