News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

You’ve been given a heart attack

Last Friday afternoon, local firefighters got an anonymous heartfelt surprise!

Thirteen hearts, all with hand-written messages of appreciation and thanks, were taped to the Idanha-Detroit Rural Fire Protection District bay door.

“We don’t know who put them up,” said Lt. Laura Harris, office administrator. “The hearts were certainly a wonderful surprise, and they lifted our spirits.”

Harris said the hearts were removed to prevent damage to them by the roll-up door but were safely relocated to the glass-top conference table for people to read and enjoy.

Remarks included “thanks for always being there,” “fighting fires, warming hearts,” “praying for your safety” to “all men and women are created equal, then a few become firefighters!”

A square post in the middle of all the hearts said, “You’ve been given a Heart Attack” from “my heart to yours,” #BrytenStrong. Harris said she attempted to reach Bryten Figgins whose name appeared with the message but was unable to reach her. 

A heart with “thank you for always being there!” had a cut out of Figgins saying, “It only takes one person to change the world. I am one person.” 

A message further stating “you matter” followed: 

“I see you doing your part to make this world a better place. I see your kindness and dedication. I know it’s not always easy, and not everyone appreciates you or all that you do, but I’m glad that you are here, because you being here today made my day better, so, I want to say: Thank you. God bless you.”

Diana Dettwyler posted, “Our volunteer firefighters and staff work so hard and are incredibly passionate about their service. Thank you anonymous people for your heart attack!”

The effort motivated others like Mariana Ruiz-Temple to thank the district members for their service. 

Figgins, a young woman from Estacada began her “heart attack” campaign last year when she took her senior trip across the country in her effort to thank as many police officers and firefighters/EMTs as she could. 

So far, Figgins has traveled through 38 states to hand out the red hearts of appreciation to fire departments and blue to law enforcement agencies.

Could Figgins, with help from her family, have been the person that put these hearts on the IDRFD bay door? 

Right now, the mystery remains unsolved, but Harris is quick to say knowing that someone – perhaps community members – went out of the way to send the messages of support “made our day!”

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