Charles Ray Cross
Charles Ray Cross was the director of the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services. He was a personable man with a great sense of humor. He put the welfare of others before that of himself.
Charles Ray was voted Citizen of the Year in 1980. A self-employed chicken farmer, the Crosses were recognized Farm Family of the Year in 1986.
Charles Ray is greatly missed in Nevada County because of the countless hours he spent working to assure the county's volunteer fire departments and rescue unit are the best trained and equipped in the state. Nothing less than the best would do.
A few of the things Charles Ray gave to us
In the mid-1970's, Cross continually looked for good government surplus equipment to build the foundation for the Nevada County Fire and Rescue Unit and several rural fire departments in Nevada County, beginning with Emmet. Insurance rates came down.
Communications has always been at the top of the list. Cross lead the move in the mid-1970's to VHF radios, repeaters and paging equipment -- long before other counties thought about it. Volunteers get to fires quicker. Residents have been warned of threatening weather conditions. Every school district in the county was equipped with warning radios.
Water is not a good way to put out fires. You have to dissipate the heat quickly. Foam works better. Rural fire departments use foam. One set of "Jaws-of-Life" extrication equipment in Prescott was not enough for Nevada County. Charles Ray ordered the second set to go at Rosston. Many lives have been saved. A Fire and Rescue station in Prescott had been on his list for 20 years. It was built in 1995. The foundation for the next era.
And all along, the single most important thing is the training and safety of the volunteers.
Charles Ray was: