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April 15, 2015     Portola Reporter
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April 15, 2015
 

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, April 15, 2015 7B Fire departments and emergency medical services 101. Part IV In theofirst three parts of this series, we reviewed the roots of the fire service contribution to emergency medical care in the field (EMS), the evolution in EMS nationally since the late 1960's, and what happened in Plumas County. Finally, in INSIDE THE this last part we will identify FIREHOUSE the various levels of field TOM FORSTER service provided by local Fire Chief government fire Plumas Eureka Fire Department departments and the local hospitals, or EMT-I. Next, ALS refers to From the 50,000-f0ot level, Paramedics, often called looking down on the county, "Medics" and any Mobile everyone has access to Intensive Care Nurses, or advanced emergency medical MICN's, trained at an even care in the field. The higher level. "ALS or BLS difference lies in two main Transport" refers to areas -- the first and most ambulance services with that important is how long it takes level of training and related to get that service, and the tools. second is at what cost. Each In Plumas County, the community may already be following fire departments funding a certain level of EMS provide BLS level services, service, but it varies usually consisting of a mix of significantly. This is not FR's and EMT's: Sierra Valley, unusual in rural areas. Portola, Eastern Plumas (also Just as there is no law contracting to service C Road), requiring a community to Plumas Eureka, Long Valley, have a fire department, there Greenhorn Creek, Quincy, is no requirement to provide Meadow Valley, Bucks Lake, EMS. The requirements from La Porte, Indian Valley, and various regulatory sources Crescent Mills. begin when the decision is A few fire departments made to provide such services, provide part. -time ALS Remember, we have two services, including main categories of EMS Beckwourth, Graeagle, and service levels in the field - West Almanor (also Basic Life Support, or BLS, contracting to service and Advanced Life Support, or Prattville). By "part-time" this ALS. means that while BLS is In the case of fire always provided at a departments, Basic Life minimum, the provision of Support refers to two levels of ALS depends on one or more training. First Responders are Paramedics or MICN's in the the basic level, or FR's, and the fire department being next level up are Emergency available either on-duty or as a Medical Technicians Level I, volunteer. The Plumas County Fire Chiefs Association presents Steve Tolen of Quincy, center holding plaques, with the first perpetual "Steve Tolen Leadership in EMS Award" at a recent meeting, honoring his many EMS contributions since the 1970's. Photo by Tom Forster Finally, two fire departments provide full-time ALS services and also ALS or BLS transport services with ambulances - Peninsula Fire Protection District, also serving Hamilton Branch, and Chester Fire Department. In all areas, each fire department works with local hospitals or EMS helicopter services to transition from field care. There are three hosPitals in Plumas County. Eastern Plumas Health Care in Portola and Plumas District Hospital in Quincy each operate ALS ambulance transport services, with a minimum staffing of one Paramedic and one EMT. Seneca Hospita! in Chester does not provide ambulance service since Chester Fire : in our County? The closest Tolen Leadership in EMS" Department and Peninsula EMS providers will award. Fire Department do. be dispatched, but there This award will be presented Each EMS Provider will will almost always be each year in the fall by PCFCA offer mutual aid to others as costs assessed through to a deserving Plumas County needed. All fire departments billing. EMS member, and not can access helicopter services Generally, as a communitynecessarily from a fire that include ALS level care, member we get the level of department. All EMS but at a cost to the patient EMS service we are funding contributors will be and/or insurance, through taxes or other means, considered. Please join us in Helicopters typically fly into This amount varies widely, congratulating Steve.for his the County from Chico, Reno, and additional services are many decades of leadership in Susanville or Truckee. Law available to all but at a cost EMS! See Part III for more enforcement may also provide and possible extended arrival information on Steve. or assist field EMS services at time. Space limitations again Now is a great time to the BLS level, but this is not prevent a detailed review, consider becoming a volunteer standardized. There are some In closing this series offirefighter in your community. officers who have EMT and columns on EMS, the Plumas At a minimum you'll get First other EMS training, but due to County Fire Chiefs Responder training in EMS, space limitations, this is not Association (PCFCA) is proud and perhaps you'll be being covered here. to announce that Steve Tolen interested in becoming an And what about those areas of Quincy has been recognized EMT or more. Contact your that are outside of fire districts with the first perpetual "Steve local FD for more information. in new The Plumas County Fire Safe Council in collaboration with the Plumas National Forest, UC Cooperative Extension, and interested citizens is forming a new collaborative group dedicated to creating a new approach to forest management in Plumas County. This group will have its first offici~ Collaborative meeting-:, April 22 at 6 p.m. in the Quincy Library. The first meeting will be fundamental in shaping the mission and goals of the collaborative group. The decisions made at this meeting will begin to establish a roadmap for future forest management decisions that address the needs of Plumas County. Throughout the months of February and March, the Plumas County Fire Safe Council and Plumas National Forest staff conducted outreach meetings around the county describing themew; ~ ~:: :, collaborative effort and recruiting interested community members to form the Plumas Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Group. These meetings were well attended and a dedicated group of individuals are gathering as this effort forms. Participation in.these meetings included private landowners, community representatives, tribal members, business owners, and a broad spectrum of other individuals and groups interested in forest management. Subsequent monthly egtings of the Plumas C011aborat~ve :~ i : Forest Landscape Restoration Group will include fieldtrips to see successful forest treatments and areas in need of restoration, expert guest speakers in the field of forest management, and many other important topics that will help create a cohesive vision for the future of forests in Plumas County. Visit the website plumascollaborative.org to find information on the collaborative process, see commentary from members of the community, and much more. Funding for the project is provided by the Plumas Na(t.o n Forest, following a recommendation of the Plumas County Resource Advisory Committee, of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act Title II Program. All meeting facilities include accessibility features.Those requiring additional assistance~ to participate in a meeting can contact the Plumas County Fire Safe Council at 283-0829 at least seven days before the meeting. Contact PCFSC Chair and UC Cooperative Extension Natural Resources Advisor Mike De Lasaux at 283-6125 or email at mjdelasaux@ucdavis'edu for moreinfolanation. GRAND JURY, from page 6B is not in the best interest of the employees to continue operating without a CAO because employees must take on extra duties, most without financial compensation. F4) Given that it is important for department heads to make contact with the BOS regarding direction without violating the Brown Act, a CAO would be better positioned to supervise all department heads "without violating the Brown Act. FS) The Plumas County ' Civil Grand Jury finds it commendable that the Board of Supervisors and staff have addressed this fiscal struggle by taking on additional responsibilities, most without additional remuneration or pay. RECOMMENDATIONS R1) The Grand Jury recommends the BOS have a study conducted to review their options and approach for the position of CAO. R2) The Grand Jury recommends the BOS reevaluate Plumas County's CAO job description. R3) The Grand Jury recommends the BOS consider filling the vacant CAO position for the following reasons: --To manage the organization while allowing the BOS to become more proactive. --To better serve the constituents of Plumas County by allowing the BOS to do what it was elected to do rather than the day-to-day administrative duties that could be done by a CAO. --To be more cost effective. --To avoid airing any unresolved departmental issues at public BOS meetings.