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Letter to the Editor: Tusayan, a town united

As a twenty-year resident of Grand Canyon, I’ve met some amazing people, and I’ve had some remarkable experiences.

One thing that’s struck me is the inter-community support. I’ve always been amazed by how people in Tusayan come together to help others in their time of need — this occurs at a level I’ve never experienced in any other community.

In the last month, the Grand Canyon Rotary Club provided financial support so Tusayan Fire District (TFD) could provide CPR training to the Grand Canyon Unified School District; this training is now required for graduating students. This is just one example of multiple community partners coming together to provide services and solutions for our residents.

TFD has had the benefit of working with a long list of agencies, businesses and community members; the collaborations to date are far too many to list here, but it’s important to try and recognize them.

• The Town of Tusayan, first and foremost, should be recognized for its generous continued support of the Fire District. Through an IGA, the support of the Town and Tusayan residents have made TFD’s daily operations possible. This includes crucial funding for staffing as well as a much-needed fire engine replacement, which is due for delivery in August.

• The Tusayan Sanitary District plays countless roles in supporting the town and TFD, and the Tusayan infrastructure with plowing and being the most important water resource for hydrants and fire suppression. During wildland and structure fires away from hydrants, the District has mobilized a water tanker/tender. During any kind of water supply issue, they’ve always been present to help.

• Grand Canyon Unified School District has been collaborating with TFD to provide training and opportunities for students to potentially become either volunteer or career firefighters/responders. The school has helped with fire training materials and announcements for TFD events. Recently, Superintendent Yost worked out a solution so the TFD firefighters could accomplish their mandatory “pack-tests” on the only flat piece of ground at Grand Canyon, the school’s track.

• Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel — Ann, Louie, Bob, Mario — has made countless contributions over the years, and has offered assistance in emergency and planned maintenance at the TFD station and the TFD residences.

• Numerous local businesses have helped repeatedly over the years to support TFD with donations, fund raising, facilities, food for classes and training and more. This includes Big-E Steakhouse & Saloon, Holiday Inn, IMAX, McDonalds, Red Feather, Run Tucson, the Texaco gas station/Food Mart, We Cook Pizza, Xanterra and the Delaware North Corporation.

• National Park Service, NPS Dispatch, NPS Law Enforcement has provided mutual aid at emergency responses, cross training, and other events. The NPS 911 Dispatch center makes all the emergency responses in Tusayan possible.

• The Forest Service has provided expertise and resources in wildland fires, mitigation, GIS and training.

• The Grand Canyon Food Pantry and the local churches have assisted with individual crisis situations.

• Coconino County Sheriff’s Office has offered support in all emergencies, including wildland fires and medicals, as well as community events.

• Coconino County and Coconino County Health and Human Services offers Tusayan services, vaccinations, emergency planning and support and more.

• Arizona Department of Transportation and Grand Canyon NP Airport has responded to highway incidents, snow removal, mutual response efforts and training.

• North Country HeathCare provides the mobile health services van on a monthly basis at TFD for Tusayan residents.

• High Country Fire and Rescue responds quickly as our neighboring fire department to the south. Valle residents and anybody driving highway 64 can attest to the responses from HCF&R and TFD.

• The residents for everything they do to support all of this!

The actual “Town of Tusayan” government has worked with almost every entity above and many more. Credit here goes to the Council, Mayor, Town Manager and staff. In addition, the town has fostered strong relationships with the Grand Canyon South Rim Chamber and Visitors Bureau and the NPS in general. One great example is Ranger Rader Lane for assistance in preserving the unique dark skies of Tusayan and Grand Canyon.

The Town of Tusayan is working towards many other goals, including improving the Sports Complex, Tusayan Community Health Services and the town’s food pantry, among other projects.

Obviously, it’s impossible to list every entity that has worked collaboratively here in Tusayan, and I apologize for anybody I omitted. Many residents or guests don’t have an opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes efforts and contributions to make Tusayan what it is.

In the last week, I’ve heard a couple of comments including “Tusayan has worked on more projects to improve the community than any other town in Coconino County.” Somebody else told me today, “This town is a family.”

I can confidently say that between all the entities and people in Tusayan, the cooperation and support are the best I’ve seen in twenty years.

Thanks to everybody for making Tusayan what it is.

Greg Brush

Tusayan Vice Mayor

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