South coast firefighters getting help from unlikely source

South coast firefighters getting help from unlikely source

NORTH BEND, Ore. -- When you call 911, most people expect police, firefighters or paramedics to show up.

But what about inmates?

Inmates from the Shutter Creek Correctional Facility in North Bend are now on-call to assist some south coast fire departments in large fires.

Shutter Creek supervisor Tim Causey says the inmates will show up to help with ladders and hoses when needed, but they aren't actually going to be fighting any fires. "In the last couple of months, we've been called out a couple of times, or at least put on notice that they might need some assistance," he said. "They're out there giving assistance and helping with the clean up and the aftermath of rolling up of hoses and getting thing put together. So, it's more labor than it is fire fighting."

Two-thirds of Shutter Creeks inmates qualify to go out and help firefighters.

Fire departments in Hauser, North Bay and Lakeside are the ones who use the inmates the most, according to authorities.