Meet Michael Carter, Fire Chief of Antelope, OR
Antelope is a remote Oregon city with a unique history. Initially a stop for stagecoaches and freight wagons on the trail to the gold fields of Canyon City, it grew into a ranching town at the turn of the 20th century. The city nearly disappeared when the railroad did not extend far enough to link them to the outside world.
In the 1980s the town was invaded by a religious group, who took over the town and even changed its name, causing most of the residents to abandon the town again.
Antelope, however, survived. Today, the community continues with 47 permanent residents, proving the pioneer spirit still lives. The people who live in Antelope exhibit the same determination and love for the beauty of their city, and aren’t afraid to work hard with their friends and neighbors to keep the city alive.
One of those hard working neighbors is Michael Carter, the Fire Chief of Antelope, OR. When Chief Carter moved to Antelope in 2011, he found the city’s volunteer fire department had been abandoned. Chief Carter knew that a basic emergency response services were vital to a community in ways beyond the obvious need for fire protection.
When his friends and neighbors experienced a sudden injury or illness, the response time of the nearest ambulance was 45 minutes, assuming the weather was good and the roads were clear – not at all a guarantee in Oregon winters. The best that anyone could do was load the sick or injured into a private vehicle, and then race down the highway in the direction the ambulance would come to meet them on the way. Chief Carter knew he could find a way to serve the community better.
He began the task of breathing life back into the town’s volunteer fire department. With his own background as a paramedic, he began seeking equipment and training for his friends and neighbors who were willing to be trained to respond to emergencies in their community. With the help of local EMS agencies he began collecting equipment donated by other departments and businesses to replace the outdated and missing equipment the Antelope VFD needed to serve the community.
The volunteers needed more than equipment, however, they also needed training. Chief Carter reached out to the Disque Foundation for help training his volunteers. The Disque Foundation, in conjunction with NHCPS, donated to Chief Carter and the city of Antelope the life support education courses they needed to begin transforming neighbors into rescuers.
Today, the citizens of Antelope are closer to having all the components of a functioning volunteer fire department due to the selfless efforts of Michael Carter, who saw a need he could fulfil in his community. His volunteer service to the city of Antelope helps protect residents of this remote community through fire response, basic EMS and emergency transport services. The Disque Foundation and NHCPS are proud to support the efforts of these friends and neighbors who live in Antelope, Oregon.