We respond to fire and medical emergencies as well as other "unique" emergencies within our response area as well as providing assistance to citizens as needed. We also providing automatic aid to the town of Big creek and mutual aid to the US Forest Service, Cal Fire, Shaver Lake, the Sheriff's Department, and the California Highway Patrol.
Medical and Rescue Emergencies
We are the first responders to medical aid and rescue emergencies in our area of service. Unlike a city fire department, our staff must be able to stabilize a patient and provide basic life support for at least 35 minutes and in extreme cases up to an hour and a half before the ambulance and paramedic services arrive from Shaver Lake. A typical city fire department usually only has a 5-9 minute time period before the paramedics arrive. In medical emergencies where rapid transport is called for, we have a new Med-Teck "Rescue 62" in which we can transport patients. A more detailed description of our capabilities can be found by following the above link.
When fires of any kind occur, we are the first response in our area of service. Our 'first out' response vehicle is a 4 wheel drive fully equipped fire engine (Type II) that can get into all the cabins on the lake as well as to emergencies on poorly maintained roads. We also have four other land based fire fighting apparatus: A larger, 2006 Pierce structure engine (Type I) which carries 1000 gallons of water and fire suppression foam with a high pressure pump; a smaller (Type III) rapid response engine; a pumper/tender which serves both as a type II fire engine and a water tender carring 1,700 gallons of water; a 2010 water tender carrying 2,100 gallons of water and has a a deck gun. Additionally we service the community with a fire boat (Type III) .
Fireboat 62 can pump unlimited amounts water to shore based hydrant lines, water tender re-fill stations, firefighting hose lines directly on shore or boat fires via our powerful deck gun. The Fireboat is typically arrive after land based apparatus and provide longer term fire suppression capability.
On occasion, we are also asked to assist other fire departments, on a mutual aid basis, with our equipment & staff.
Education and Prevention
The very best way to handle a medical or fire emergency is to avoid it in the first place. We assist this approach with printed materials and brief educational sessions delivered typically during annual tract or homeowner meetings. When requested, we also will go to individual dwellings and give advice on how to reduce fire hazards and minimize sources of fuel for fires. Our most common discussion centers around how individual dwelling owners can properly trim trees and bushes around their property ( in accordance with both USFS and CDF printed guidelines) to minimize fuels that would allow a ground fire to get into the crowns of trees. We also provide Emergency call prompter cards to minimize confusion in case a 911 call needs to be made from a residence. Finally, we work with vendors such as the Jorgensen Company in Fresno to bring their technicians and maintenance personnel to the annual Pancake breakfast so that smoke alarms and fire extinguishers kept in each resident can be properly maintained.