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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
April 22, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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April 22, 2015

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, April 22, 2015 5B Emergency 911 dispatchers honored Dan McDonald Managing Editor On Feb. 6, a violent winter storm blew through Plumas County. It started with 80-mile-per-hour winds and ended with snow. The storm knocked down hundreds of trees, damaged homes and knocked out power to the region. It left the county in a state of emergency. The county's 911 dispatcher on duty, Jamie Strotman, was nearly overwhelmed by the number of callers -- many of them frantic. But Strotman kept her composure. She relayed critical information to emergency responders while also working to comfort the distressed callers. "We had never seen anything like this," said Strotman's supervisor, Becky Grant. "She did an amazing job." During a three-hour period, Strotman handled a record 80 emergency calls before backup arrived. Strotman and the county's six other 911 dispatchers were honored during a surprise ceremony Wednesday, April 15, at the Plumas County SherifFs Office in Quincy. The dispatchers thought they were attending a training meeting. Instead they arrived to find aroom packed with about 30 local emergency responders, law enforcement leaders and fire officials who showed up to offer thanks for a job well done. "I know we have said this before, but it's true... (dispatchers) are the first on the scene, yet never seen," said Assistant Sheriff Gerry Hendrick. Hendrick was one of several who stood up to personally thank the dispatchers. "You guys rock," Jail Commander Chad Hermann told the dispatchers as they sipped complimentary coffee provided by Midtown C9ffee.  ".You don't get the credit you. . g: ...... i. From left, Communications Supervisor Becky Grant and dispatchers lamie Strotman, Cassie Cooper, Zoe Stancer, Jeanette Childress, Renee Cervantes, Pamella Courtright and Chandler Peay share a light moment after a surprise appreciation ceremony Wednesday, April 15. Photo by Tom Forster "You guys rock!" Chad Hermann Commander Plumas County Jail deserve, but you are the lifeblood of our department," Grant said the county is extremely fortunate to have an experienced dispatch crew. Because of the high degree of stress involved, the average 911 dispatcher lasts just four years on the job. Plumas County has four dispatchers (Renee Cervantes, Pamella Courtright, Jeanette Childress and Z0e Stancer) with more than 10 years. Stancer has been dispatching for 19 years. Not just anyone can be a 911 dispatcher. In addition to needing the ability to think fast under pressure, they have to master eight different computer software systems. They have to quickly read maps and convert coordinates. They also must adapt to an increasingly complex and evolving 911 system. Because of lofty requirements, the department has been trying for two years to fill a vacant dispatcher position. "It takes a special person to do this job," Grant said "'Who wants to work on weekends and holidays for the amount of money they make? They do it because they love their job." In 2014, the dispatchers handled another record number of emergency calls. The calls included a homicide, 110 callers reporting a death, 50 domestic violence incidents that led to arrests, four officer vehicle pursuits and 65 suicides or attempted suicides. Fire dispatches more than doubled during a five-year period. There were 1,067 calls in 2008 and 2,387 in 2013. There were nearly 600 medical dispatches for Plumas District Hospital in 2013. "Dispatchers are the first ones to take these calls, and some of the things they hear impacts them as individuals," Grant said. "They save or affect a life every day they are here. Whether it is the 911 call reporting a heart attack, car crash or even a family dispute, they make a difference every single shift they work." testimonials from local officers and emergency personnel who praised individual dispatchers. She also handed out awards for most improved dispatcher (Cassie Cooper), rookie of the year (Chandler Peay) and most compassionate (Stancer). Grant laughed and said that Stancer isn't normally that compassionate, but she played a recording of Stancer telling a scared 911 caller "I love you" just to prove that she can be. After the ceremony, everyone enjoyed cake and other goodies provided by appreciative peers in the community. In addition to Sheriffs Office staff, attendees included District Attorney David Hollister, Assistant District Attorney Joel McColm, Probation Chief Clint Armitage and staffers, Plumas Eureka Fire Chief Tom Forster, Quincy Fire Chief Robbie Cassou and staff, Greenhorn Fire Chief Tyson Riel, Plumas District Hospital ambulance staff led by Marylou Batchelder, and Steve Tolen. "Steve, who we all know has been so instrumental in the Sheriffs Office doing the dispatching of the ambulance,!' Grant said. "The :::Grsrltread alist of : ''::: : dispatchers a/J adore Steve.'" APRIL IS COMMUNi00 BANKING MONTH! More Jobs Better Schools Healthier ifestyle Brighter Future Together, we're building a better community. PLUMAS BANK 888.3PLUMAS Identification helps lost 00ets find their way home I had a friend call me the other night with a problem. She was driving to Chico and a dog was running in the middle of Highway 99 looking at each car that slowed and passed-- very apparently looking for its owner. Three accidents had already happened and when my friend pulled over and opened her door the dog jumped into her truck. The safety of the drivers and the dog was assured, but now the Mystery of the Missing Owners needed to be solved. A big problem was that the dog had no collar and no ID and there was no way to immediately contact his owner. Three days later after many calls to animal control and a Craigslist ad the owner was found. The dog had followed a neighbor on his bike, gotten too far from home and lost his way. This was a happy ending, but there are many others that don't work out so well, A stray dog, one without a microchip or collar with owner identification, might spend days in a shelter waiting to be found and might not ever make it back to his home. If he is hurt or killed the owners may never know what happened to their pet. If your dog isn't microchipped or tattooed please take the time to find a collar that fits your pet safely and comfortably and then get a tag with your name and phone number and attach it securely to the collar. If you love your pet make it easy for him or her to get returned to you, Let's tag those dogs! The spay/neuter grant from PetSmart Charities was a tremendous success, but we know there are animals in our communities that still need to be fixed and we want to be sure those animals don't breed and produce kittens or puppies. Friends of Plumas County Animals is offering $25 vouchers toward spay or neuter surgeries foreither a ANIMAL TALES FRIENDS OF PLUMAS COUNTY ANIMALS dog or cat that needs to be altered. Friends has allocated $600 toward our vouchers, so we will have 24 to give out and they won't last long. Each family is limited to two vouchers and the vouchers must be used by July 31. If you need a voucher please come to the rescue site at 2163 E. Main St. in Quincy between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and pick one up. Spay/neuter/adopt! Fundraising for our rescue site costs is an ongoing event. Tickets for our current drawing, "Gardener's Delight," have been offered, along with our delicious baked goods, at Safeway the past few Saturdays. We will have another table with tickets and goodies April 25 and then a huge bake sale at,Safeway on May 9 -- right before Mother's Day. Our volunteers wlll also be at Pet Country Feed-N-Tack on their customer appreciation day May 2 with tickets and delicious treats. Many, many thanks to everyone who supports our good work with their generous donations. We really could not care for the cats and dogs that come to our site without your continued help and concern. Friends of Plumas County Animals is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and all donations are tax-deductible. No one in Friends gets a salary and no money is spent on administrative fees. Friends is not a county entity. Donations can be sent to Friends, P.O. Box 182, Quincy, CA 95971 or brought to the site at 2163 E. Main St. Thank you for your continued support. IS YOUR ...... HOME READY FOR A WILDFIRE?  Do you have 100 feet of DEFENSIBLE SPACE ? Plumas County Fire Safe Council Assistance is available for creating or maintaining Defensible Space to residents who have reached 65 years of age or are physically disabled who have a home in Plumas County. PC FSC will provide a free Home Ignition Zone consultation for determining work necessary to meet the requirements of the law. PC FSC will procure competitive bids from qualified and insured contractors to meet California's Fire Safe Standards. PC FSC will certify the work complete before payments are made. PC FSC will provide financial assistance based on residents' income. Contact Mike McCourt c/o Plumas County Fire Safe Council P.O. Box 1225, Quincy, CA 95971 283-0829 or 283-3739 (FAX: 283-5465) email: mike @ @lumas County This program is provided by the Plumas County Fire Safe Council with funding from the Plumas Counfy Board of Supervisors, the Plumas NF through the Plumas Resource Advisory Committee, The California Fire Safe Council Clearinghouse with funds from the US Forest Service and assistance from Plumas Corporation and Plumas Rural Services. r v4