Monday, April 22, 2024

Community rallies to support Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue Captain in medical emergency


PLAIN –The Plain community is raising money to support Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue (LWFR) Captain Mike Stanford, who had a significant medical emergency on Feb. 11. 

The emergency left him hospitalized, facing a rehabilitation that is estimated to be months long, if not longer. The community aims to raise $50,000 on GoFundMe to meet his medical, rehabilitation, and life costs over the coming months. In just under a day, the GoFundMe page raised over $5,000.

“He cares so much for this community and gives his all. It's time to give back,” said donor Jenni Bunkelman on the GoFundMe page.

Stanford started with LWFR as a cadet at the age of 16, before he could become a firefighter at 18. He has been volunteering for 22 years and is currently the EMS Captain. Over the years, Stanford has secured some of the department's largest grants and was the primary catalyst to getting the department the first two wildfire detection cameras in Washington state.

Stanford has had a broad reach, assisting other departments in the region with obtaining cameras and serving on multiple boards across Central Washington. Stanford has also worked as an EMT for Cascade Medical over the last decade. 

“There are not too many people that are as dedicated both to fire and EMS service in general, and particularly to this community. He would go on absolutely as many calls as he could possibly go on. On difficult days, and whenever it's needed, he is the one that you can almost always guarantee would show up. He'd be the guy that's out there giving themselves to take care of somebody else. It's just the way he was wired,” said LWFR Chief David Walker.

According to Walker, Stanford’s recovery costs could exceed their estimated fundraising goal, making the community’s support even more critical. Those interested in donating to his recovery fund can scan the QR Code, or visit

“He and his family are not people who typically ask for help. They are very accustomed to being the ones that give the help. And in this case, this is the time when this community can give back to someone who has done so much for all of us, collectively,” said Walker.

Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or


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