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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fire News March 2010

Reporting Emergencies
If you need to call 9-1-1 to report an emergency here are some tips to follow:

• Stay calm. It's important to take a deep breath and not get excited. Any situation that requires 9-1-1 is, by definition, an emergency. The dispatcher or call-taker knows that and will try to move things along quickly, but under control.

• Know the location of the emergency and the number you are calling from. This may be asked and answered a couple of times but don't get frustrated. Even though many 9-1-1 centers have enhanced capabilities -- meaning they are able to see your location on the computer screen -- they are still required to confirm the information. If for some reason you are disconnected, at least emergency crews will know where to go and how to call you back.

• As the call progresses, you may hear clicking - do not hang up!

• Wait for the call-taker to ask questions, then answer clearly and calmly. If you are in danger of assault, the dispatcher or call-taker will still need you to answer quietly, mostly "yes" and "no" questions.

• If you reach a recording, listen to what it says. If the recording says your call cannot be completed, hang up and try again. If the recording says all call-takers are busy, wait! When the next call-taker or dispatcher is available to take the call, it will transfer you. This does not happen often, in Sonoma County.

• Let the call-taker guide the conversation. He or she is typing the information into a computer and may seem to be taking forever. There's a good chance, however, that emergency services are already being sent while you are still on the line.

• In some cases, the call-taker will give you directions. Listen carefully, follow each step exactly, and ask for clarification if you don't understand. Dispatchers are trained to guide you through most medical and fire emergencies.

• Keep your eyes open. You may be asked to describe victims, suspects, vehicles, or other parts of the scene.

• Do not hang up the call until directed to do so by the call-taker.

• Remember if you use a cell phone in Sonoma County to dial 9-1-1, you will reach the California Highway Patrol Dispatch Center in Vallejo. Unfortunately this is likely to cause a significant delay any emergency response. To contact the Sonoma County Emergency Dispatch Center for police, fire and ambulance services in Sonoma County directly from your cell phone, please dial (707) 565- 2121.

Forestville Fire District
Like most other public agencies in the state of California the current economic crisis is impacting the Forestville Fire District with a decrease in property tax revenue. While the current situation is not dire the Board of Directors has formed a committee to look into methods of cutting costs and improving efficiencies. More information will be available in the upcoming months as the Board and staff develop plans to address the issue.
New Volunteers
This Distinct is in the process of bringing on new volunteer firefighters. Nine candidates will be put through the next phase of the testing process which is the background investigation.

Russian River
In Russian River we are happy to report that Redevelopment will fund our 241,000 ambulance project. We are also 4 classes in on our first CERT training, and we are looking forward to planning another one in the near future. We hope to be able to offer first aid and CPR by the summer. We are happy to report that we also have one new volunteer who has almost completed basic training as well as two new firefighter interns will start soon.…Three new part-time firefighters will also start soon.

Battalion Chief Jim Greule will retire in March. Jim’s career spans 40 years of service to the Guerneville and Russian River area. Jim has held almost every position available as a volunteer and as paid member of the District. We are happy for Jim and wish him the very best in retirement. Jim will not be an easy person to replace. Jim takes with him a wealth of knowledge and a command presence that has always had a calming effect on those of us around him even in the most critical situations. Best wishes Jim from a grateful Fire District.

Bodega Bay
Our new rescue squad “8835” is in service. This new 4 x 4 rescue unit contains all of our technical rescue equipment. From cliff rescues to heavy lifting and small stadium lighting this unit will serve our area well.
Don’t forget the Fisherman’s Festival will be on April 17th and 18th…