Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
February 25, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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February 25, 2015

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t 4B Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter County's emergency medical "00""icesj))stered by one man In the first two parts of this series we reviewed both the roots of the fire service contribution to emergency medical care in the field, and its major evolution since the late 1960s. Let's take a closer look at what happened in Plumas County after the creation and national publication of emergency medical technician training guidelines in 1969. There were many people involved in the early years of improved emergency medical services around our area, but space limitations require we focus on one who was arguably the most important. Quincy's own Steve Tolen is at the center of the history of modern EMS in Plumas County. Born in San Francisco and raised in San Mateo, Steve originally thought he wanted to be a funeral director. "The primary interest stemmed from being present for a family during a time of need," said Steve. "It actually had very little to do with the dead but more with the living." At that time, a large percentage of the ambulances operating throughout the U.S. were run by funeral homes. Steve joined the U.S. Navy in the 1960s, and completed training through the Navy Hospital Corps, a program that was more extensive than U.S. Army medic training at the time. After an honorable discharge, he moved to Chico and went to work at one of the local hospitals. The work included some ambulance service. "I did not have a great deal of understanding about what the job entailed, but the more I learned the more I liked it," said Steve. He was part of a group in the early days of improved EMS in the 1970s that operated what they called the "400-horsepower crash cart." INSIDE THE FIREHOUSE TOM FORSTER Assistant Fire Chief Plumas Eureka Fire Department It was basically a pickup truck carrying a heart defibrillator unit and some drugs to help cardiac patients. The unit responded to all suspected cardiac calls in Chico until the first paramedics were trained at Butte College. Meanwhile in Plumas County several of the local fire departments that operated ambulances were getting out of that role, including Quincy Fire Department. The reasons included increased EMS regulations that were coming soon. "Fire Chief Andy Anderson recognized this, and sold the QFD ambulance to Chico Ambulance Service in 1972," said Steve. Plumas District Hospital at the time was not interested in operating the resource. Steve Toten was tasked with moving to Quincy and serving as manager of the new service, based out of a local residence with his wife, emergency medical technician Marilyn. He was 23 years old. At that time, from 1973 to 1976, only the ambulance would respond to vehicle accidents and EMS calls. Steve completed a vehicle accident extrication course in Los Angeles County in 1976, and the QFD re-engaged in providing rescue services. A fundraiser was held to buy a Jaws of Life, and the QFD equipped a trailer that was towed behind a brush fire rig. "Nurse anesthesiologist Sally Rosen taught the first emergency medical technician class based on the new curriculum through Lassen College in 1974-75," said Steve. Students included members of the Portola and Quincy fire departments. Steve and his wife staffed the ambulance 24/7 along with some per diem employees. The Chico Ambulance Service struggled to make it work financially, and briefly pulled the ambulance out of Quincy after a request for a subsidy was turned down. The sheriff and California Highway Patrol commander immediately went to the Plumas County Board of Supervisors and requested that they take action to bring the ambulance back. The ambulance was returned to Quincy on the premise that a subsidy would be investigated. This never happened, and at that time Plumas District Hospital took the ambulance over in 1976. Steve recruited the first known paramedic to serve in the county in the 1980s -- Quincy's own Robbie Cassou, currently serving as the Quincy fire chief. Robbie had met a mobile intensive care nurse, Julie Yamanaka, when she served as an instructor in his paramedic training program in LA County. They would later marry and move to Quincy after being recruited by Steve. Both worked at the Plumas District Hospital for many years, with Robbie eventually accepting a position at QFD and Julie continuing to work at PDH until her retirement a few years ago. Steve also became a paramedic and worked at PDH for most of his career. Today Steve continues to serve as the chairman of the See EMS, page 5B Paramedic Steve Tolen works on a simulated accident victim during a high school demonstration. Photo courtesy Quincy Fire Department The graduating class of Lake Almanor Basin emergency medical technicians gathers in 1993. The class was taught by Julie Cassou, Chuck Jerpe and Debbie Kincaid. Local students were Gary Pini, Chenjl Keller Pini and Robert Pierson. All three went on to become paramedics. Cheryl Pini now works :0s a registered nurse at Plumas District Hospital. Gary serves :as the Perinsula fire chief, and Robbie is a captain with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Photo Courtesy Julie ChSsOu 160 Sq. Ft. Shop (adjacent to our home in E. Quincy), with all equipment & over $1,000 in supplies. INTERESTED? Call Helen at (530)283-4950 or (530)394-8459 MORE THAN THE LENGTH OF A FOOTBALL FIELD AT 55 MPH. W8 PLUMAS COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING SERVICES For BAILEY CREEK BRIDGE REPLACEMENT For the DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS In PLUMAS COUNTY, CALIFORNIA February 10, 2015 GENERAL INFORMATION The Plumas County Department of Public Works is seeking submittals to its Request for- Qualifications (RFQs), from qualified firms employing individuals who have experience in construction engineering professional services for bridge construction, together with, or in partnership with, companies and/or individual(s) with direct experience in developing and administering bridge construction, inspection, materials acceptance testing (AT), quality control of acceptance testing (QC), and compliance with environmental documents and resource agency permits during construction. The entire "Request For Qualifications," including ins@ for submittal of responses, is available during normal business hours from Plumas (ounty, Department of Public Works, 1834 East Main Street, Quincy, CA 95971; Telephone: (530) 283-6268; or by emailing your request to: Mobile intensive care nurse Julie Cassou and her husband, paramedic Robbie Cassou, stand in front of a Plumas District Hospital ambulance in the late 1980s. Photo courtesy Julie Cassou Wind, Fire or Water Damage have you frustrated? Need Help? We have worked with homeowners and insurance companies for almost 30 years. We will work with your insurance company to make sure your home is repaired the right way the first time. Call: CONSTRUCTION SINCE 1984 General Building Contractor Calif. Lic. #453927 (530) 283-2035 Anderlini & McSweeney LLP Terry Anderlini is a Northern California Super Lawyer, a Martindale-Hubbell AV rated attorney and Past President of the State Bar of California. We specialize in litigation including wild fire litigation and serious personal injury cases. Local References Call 650-212-0001 and ask for Terry Anderlini or Chris Andersen To send a legali typesetUng@plumasnews,com To send an advertisement: