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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
April 15, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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April 15, 2015

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, April 15, 2015 71B Fire departments and emergency medical services 101: Part IV In the first 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 this last part we will identify the various levels of field service provided by local government fire departments and the local hospitals. From the 50,000-foot level, looking down on the county, everyone has access to advanced emergency medical care in the field. The difference liesin two main areas -- the first and most important is how long it takes to get that service, and the second is at what cost. Each community may already be funding a certain level of EMS service, but it varies significantly. This is not unusual in rural areas. Just as there is no law requiring a community to have a fire department, there is no requirement to provide EMS. The requirements from various regulatory sources begin when the decision is made to provide such services. Remember, we have two main categories of EMS service levels in the field - Basic Life Support, or BLS, and Advanced Life Support, or ALS. In the case of fire departments, Basic Life Support refers to two levels of training. First Responders are the basic level, or FR's, and the next level up are Emergency Medical Technicians Level I, INSIDE THE FIREHOUSE TOM FORSTER Fire Chief Plumas Eureka Fire Department or EMT-I. Next, ALS refers to Paramedics, often called "Medics" and any Mobile Intensive Care Nurses, or MICN's, trained at an even higher level. "ALS or BLS Transport" refers to ambulance services with that level of training and related tools. In Plumas County, the following fn'e departments provide BLS level services, usually consisting of a mix of FR's and EMT's: Sierra Valley, Portola, Eastern Plumas (also contracting to service C Road), Plumas Eureka, Long Valley, Greenhorn Creek, Quincy, Meadow Valley, Bucks Lake, La Porte, Indian Valley, and Crescent Mills. A few fire departments provide part-time ALS services, including Beckwourth, Graeagle, and West Almanor (also contracting to service Prattville). By "part-time" this means that while BLS is always provided at a minimum, the provision of ALS depends on one or more Paramedics or MICN'sin the fn'e department being available either on-duty or as a 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 service since Chester Firein our County? The closest departments provide full-time Department and Peninsula EMS providers will ALS services and also ALS or Fire Department do. be dispatched, but there BLS transport services with Each EMS Provider will will almost always be ambulances - Peninsula Fire offer mutual aid to others as costs assessed through Protection District, also needed. All fire departments billing. serving Hamilton Branch, and can access helicopter services Generally, as a community Chester Fire Department. that include ALS level care, member we get the level of In all areas, each fire but at a cost to the patient EMS service we are funding department Works with local and/or insurance, through taxes or other means. hospitals or EMS helicopter Helicopters typically fly into This amount varies widely, services to transition from the County from Chico, Reno, and additional services are field care. There are three Susanville or Truckee. Lawavailable to all but at a cost hospitals in Plumas County. enforcement may also provide and possible extended arrival Eastern Plumas Health Care in or assist field EMS services at time. Space limitations again Portola and Plumas District the BLS level, but this is not prevent a detailed review. Hospital in Quincy each standardized. There are some In closing this series of operate ALS ambulance off'mers who have EMT and columns on EMS, the Plumas transport services, with a other EMS training, but due to County Fire Chiefs minimum staffing of one space limitations, this is not Association (PCFCA) is proud Paramedic and one EMT. being covered here. to announce that Steve Tolen ' Seneca Hospital in Chester And what about those areasof Quincy has been recognized does not provide ambulance that are outside of fire districts with the first perpetual "Steve Tolen Leadership in EMS" award. This award will be presented each year in the fall by PCFCA to a deserving Plumas County EMS member, and not necessarily from a fire department. All EMS contributors will be considered. Please join us in congratulating Steve for his many decades of leadership in EMS! See Part III for more information on Steve. Now is a great time to consider becoming a volunteer firefighter in your community. At a minimum you'll get First Responder training in EMS, and perhaps you'll be interested in becoming an EMT or more. Contact your local FD for more information. m 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 w;~ kay,'its first. offici~ollabo~t~ve meeting~ : April 22,at 6 p.m. inthe 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 the new . 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 meetings of the Plumas Collaborative 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 ftiture of forests in Plumas County. Visit the website to fred information on the collaborative process, see commentary from members of the community, and much more. Funding for the project is provided by the Plumas National 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 for more.information, 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 finaficial 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. F5) 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 tiay-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. t k i