Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
October 15, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
PAGE 18     (18 of 32 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 18     (18 of 32 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
October 15, 2014

Newspaper Archive of Feather River Bulletin produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2019. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

6B Wednesday, OR. 15, 2014 Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter e Volunteer fire department enrollment drops, medical calls rise A recent New York Times feature article discussed a national trend showing a significant decline in the number of volunteer firefighters. While volunteers still make up over two-thirds of the firefighters nationwide, many factors have contributed to this reduction over the past few decades. The next few columns will focus on Plumas County, to see if the same patterns and reasons are holding true here. First, some background. The Times article discussed some of the reasons, including what we'll call "time starvation." It takes more time than ever to be a capable and well-trained volunteer firefighter. Since all of us have the same, fixed Over 30 fire service leaders gather in Downieville for a recent weekend volunteer fire department leadership class with a focus on recruiting and retention, led by ~ amount of time in our lives, Chief Ronny Coleman. Photo by John Pang it therefore requires spending less time on other personal needs and .... volunteers as chair of the service is as old as this number of calls for Fire Protection Association. National Fire Heritage country, said Coleman, emergency service to fire Coleman observed "... the interests to be a volunteer. Training standards and Center in Emmitsburg, "but most communities do departments are generallyvolunteer fire service is in mandates, fundraising for Maryland, near the not understand their fireway up compared to many dire need of community ever more expensive J mmFg National Fire Academy. Hedepartment and how it decades ago, due to new support if they are to has over 56 years of fireworks because it s generally challenges like EMS and survive as a viable means of equipment and operating service experience, and has always been there during hazardous materials fire protection ... nothing is costs, and the ever-increasing need and INSIDE THE several annual fire service emergencies." What was incidents, motor vehicle going to help unless it's training requirements for FIREHOUSE leadership awards named in once relatively simple has accidents including emergency medical services his honor, by necessity evolved into recreational vehicles, and are all part of the realities TOM FORSTER Over the past four years,something much more growth in population or facing the volunteer Assistant Fire Chief Coleman has led a series of complex. The need for more tourism. Plumas Eureka Fire Department firefighting force. 17 weekend workshops on safety and sophistication in Fire vehicles, equipment Let's jump back to the volunteer fire departmenta dangerous profession has and personal protective 1950s and '60s, when my Ronny Coleman is a leadership, with a focus on driven many of the equipment costs have father was a volunteer, then retired California state fire recruiting and retention,increased requirements, skyrocketed given the commonly called a marshal and served as fire These workshops were along with the growth inincreased sophistication in "fireman." Training was chief in several cities and as funded by a grant from "mission" for fire the tools themselves, new usually held one weeknight chief deputy director of the FEMA to CSFA, and were departments, and better tools, and the a month, with occasional California Department of held around the state, Rather than being need for specialization like weekend drills. Another Forestry, as it was then including one in Graeagleprimarily focused on fires, rescue. Just the protective night once a month would called, nowCal Fire. A in 2012: Hundreds of firetoday's fire department clothing alone for one be dedicated to a general prolific author and service veterans completed typically responds to far firefighter can run upwards meeting, where ongoing instructor, Coleman hasthe program. A group of more emergency medical of $4,000, plus another $2,500 business was discussed and volunteered to chair the volunteers including service calls than fires. The or more for self-contained agreed upon, including California State Quincy Chief Robbie number of fires is down breathing apparatus. This fundraising. Today we Firefighters Association Cassott and this author across the country, evenhas led to more typically train every week, Committee for Volunteers pitched in to help teach in though the population and time-consuming and still can't cover for years, and also many of the workshops. The development has grown, fundraising needs. Combine everything we need without volunteers as head of the final workshop led by This is due in great part to all of these current realities additional weekend State Fire Training andColeman was held a few better building codes and with lack of time and, as a sessions. There were more Education Committee forweekends ago in materials, fire sprinkler result, the overall number fires, and far fewer calls the State Fire Marshal's Downieville, with over 30systems, fire preventionof volunteers has declined for what was then called Office. He is also one of the people attending from, and smoke detectors, among over 18 percent nationally "fin:st aid" or "resuscitator" most knowledgeable fire Northern California, other factors. This is a very over the past 30 years, calls, service historians, and "Volunteerism in the firegood change, but the total according to the National something the broader community gets more involved in. We are long past the days of fire departments being able to survive on their own as relatively autonomous organizations." Coleman cites more cooperative training efforts with neighboring fire departments, and automatic and mutual aid programs as two hopeful signs for the profession. "It's far too much for any one department to take on by themselves." Coming soon in Part H- Over the next few months this column will explore numerous questions tha t are ' raised in this situation, such as "How and why did the fire service get so volved m emergency m~ica[!i~ , !~ i~!~ . services?" PAID POLITICALADVERTISEMENT ' My Vision: The district has been through difficult times over the past few years. Balancing the budget is necessary but does not have to be done in ways that compromise our children's education. I want all students in the district to receive the best public education. Tough decisions are needed, and these can be done while improving communication, trust and respect in Plumas Unified School District. I am willing and eager to devote the time and energy that the communities, students, teachers and staff deserve as a member of the School Board. Here is a partial list of the hundreds of people who support Traci Betty Bishop Guy McNett Susan Bryner Brenda Morgan Michael Chelotti Ross Morgan Jan Davies Tim O'Brien Kitty DeWitt" Dwight Pierson Steve DeWitt Garn Pringle Gretchen Hagwood Jeff Ray Joe Hagwood Sally Rice John Holland Aaron Seandel Kacie Holland Dana Seandel Kelly Holt Arnold Selk Jeffrey Kepple Dennis Simpson Jonathan Kusel LaVerne Strate Rick Leonhardt Dana Ware Greg McIntire Marie White 11 "The Right Choice Paid for by Committee to elect Traci Holt for PUSD Board of Trustees 2014 Republican women to examine ballot propositions The Plumas County followed by the program. Brian Dahle and Sen. Ted Republican Women group Ballot propositions will be Gaines' office. plans to meet at Longboards explained and state and area Reservations, costing $20, Bar & Grill at Plumas Pines candidates will be discussed, should be made to Liz Holston on Thursday, Oct. 23. The End-of-session reports will be at 836-4428 by Monday, Oct. 20. business meeting is at 11 a.m. presented from CongressmanThe public is also welcome to with luncheon at noon Doug LaMalfa, Assemblyman attend for the program only.