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Thursday, June 3, 2010

West County Fire News

Walmart Recalls General Electric® Coffee Makers Due to Fire Hazard
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: General Electric®-branded 12-cup digital coffee makers
Hazard: The coffee maker can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers.
Incidents/Injuries: Walmart has received 83 reports of overheating, smoking, melting, burning and fire, including three reports of minor burn injuries to consumer’s hands, feet and torso. Reports of property damage include a significant kitchen fire and damage to countertops, cabinets and a wall.
Description: This recall involves General Electric®-brand 12-cup coffee makers sold in white or black. The digital coffee maker has programmable functions and plastic housing. The GE logo is printed on the base of the coffee maker and the model number is printed on the bottom of the base. Model numbers included in the recall are: 169164 (black) and 169165 (white)

Practice Wildfire Safety
People start most wildfires …find out how you can promote and practice wildfire safety.

  • Contact your local fire department, health department, or forestry office for information on fire laws.
  • Make sure that fire vehicles can get to your home. Clearly mark all driveway entrances and display your name and address.
  • Report hazardous conditions that could cause a wildfire.
  • Teach children about fire safety. Keep matches out of their reach.
  • Post fire emergency telephone numbers.
  • Ensure adequate accessibility by large fire vehicles to your property.
  • Plan several escape routes away from your home – by car and by foot.
  • Talk to your neighbors about wildfire safety. Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a wildfire. Make a list of your neighbors' skills such as medical or technical. Consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs such as elderly or disabled persons. Make plans to take care of children who may be on their own if parents can't get home.
FORESTVILLE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT On May 10, 2010 the Board of Directors of the Forestville Fire Protection District cut the Fire Chief's hours in half, beginning July 1, 2010, in order to slow down the effects of declining property tax revenue. The decision came with the Boards approval of the 20010/2011 fiscal year preliminary budget.

This will be the first time since the 1960's that the Forestville Fire Protection District has not had a full-time paid fire chief. By cutting the Chief's hours the Board is making the hard decisions and setting a good example of fiscal responsibility.

The Board of Directors of the Forestville Fire Protection District is facing some difficult decisions as it prepares its final budget for the next fiscal year which begins July 1, 2010 . The Boards principal concern is insufficient property tax revenue to maintain current service levels while at the same time meeting its needs to replace aging equipment and maintaining its existing facilities.

The recent downturn in the economy has reduced property tax revenue over the short term. The long term lack of new growth in the community has also eliminated any new additional sources of property tax revenue. Property tax revenue is the District's primary source of funding.

After implementing several successful measures to cut costs and become more efficient, including the use of local, state and federal grants the Board has run out of options to balance its budget and is now operating on reserve funds. Despite these measures and those of cutting the hours of the fire chief, the Board of Directors is left with few options that will maintain its current level of service to the community.

GRATON FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT A Pancake Breakfast “Thank You!” – 1,350 + Served Our 31st Annual Graton Firefighters Association Pancake Breakfast was a huge success because of you, the community! Thank you to everyone that braved the cool morning weather. We served over 1,350 plates of pancakes, eggs, and sausage along with gallons of coffee, orange juice and milk. You may have noticed that the line moved faster this year- thanks to Windsor Fire’s additional grills and a second line for tickets purchased by mail, things moved a lot quicker. Everyone enjoyed tours of the Graton Fire Engines, Sheriff’s SWAT armored vehicle, CHP patrol car, and the Sheriff’s Bomb Squad Robot was a new addition... and huge hit! Thank you to Blood Bank of the Redwoods for handling 30 donors this year. By now, we have reached most everyone that won a raffle prize. A huge thank you goes to the local businesses in and around our community for donating over 200 raffle prizes to help support our fundraising cause. Thank you to all the family, friends, cub and boy scouts who came and donated their time to help work at the breakfast.

The funds raised at the breakfast will go to support the firefighters and the equipment used by the department. Being that we are an all volunteer fire department, we try and create an inviting atmosphere at the fire house so volunteers are encouraged to hang out; thus improving our response times to the medical aids, vehicle accidents, and fires in and around our community. Thank you again, for your continued support and devotion in our endeavor of providing protection to life and property in our community... we couldn’t do it without you!

New Fire Station Status Thank you to everyone who expressed interest in the new station plans during the breakfast. We are very close to breaking ground, most likely this fall! The county building department has already reviewed the plans with only minor changes necessary; we received our “pre-approval” letter from the USDA Rural Development Community Facilities’ loan program and the full application has been submitted; and the general contractor and inspector of record requests for bids have been released (available on our website, We anticipate loan approval in July as well as selection of the general contractor for the project. Stay tuned for more exciting details!

Many people have asked about the siren and its role at the new station. As you have probably heard/read, the fire department received approval from the Board of Zoning Adjustment and the County Board of Supervisors to use the siren at the new station during 2009. Earlier this year, a law suit was filed to remove the siren from the new station plans. We are actively working with the group of seven people who filed the law suit and feel that an equitable solution is close at hand. They have agreed that the siren is necessary for emergency calls, which is crucial for us to ensure enough firefighters are notified and respond to your calls for help. We are working on a variety of ideas for using the siren during non-emergency calls as well as the noon siren and will be soliciting community input in the near future. Again, thank you to everyone for your input and support!

Community Emergency Response Team
On April 27th, the Sebastopol Fire Department graduated the 10th class of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) students. These 25 citizens are now ready to respond during emergencies and disasters to help their families, neighbors and community in times of need. The CERT organization is hosting class #11 in June, but it is already full. Class #12 will start in September, and still has space available for Sebastopol area residents. Contact Sebastopol FD at 823-8061 to learn how to apply.

Disaster Tip Keep a “Go Kit” handy and ready for emergencies. A Go Kit consists of a pair of sturdy shoes, leather gloves, a hard hat and basic first aid and food supplies. The trunk of your car is a great place to keep a go kit so you will always have access to these important supplies. Not only is this kit great during disasters, but can be a life saver on long trips and vacations. Traveling to the mountains in the snow? This kit can carry you through a vehicle breakdown. Think about keeping a blanket or old sleeping bag with the kit.

As a reminder, the Russian River Fire Protection District is proposing a measure in the June 8th Election in an effort to maintain current levels of service. The roughly 5,000 residents of the Guerneville area will be asked to pay $140 for a residence and $350 for business. Please review your voter information pamphlet for polling place locations. For further information, please call at 869-9089 or visit the Fire Station at 14100 Armstrong Woods Rd., Guerneville or email "Save Russian River Emergency Services" at

The Russian River Firefighter’s Association is hosting the Annual Firefighter’s Barbeque on June 12th, immediately following the Stumptown Daze Parade in the Lark’s parking lot on Main St. The menu includes chicken, tri-tip and assorted sides. Cost is $15 per person and proceeds go to the Firefighter’s Association to purchase needed equipment.

We are busy preparing our annual budget for the next fiscal year. If you are interested to learn more please attend our regular board meetings. Our meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month. So please come by the fire station at 7:30 pm to get a glimpse of our District management. Cookies and coffee are provided.

Annual business inspections have started so please bear with us as we work our way through this process.

If you have a chance please look at our revised website @ at let us know how we can improve it… We hope to sponsor a blog very soon. We will also be on Facebook soon as well. F

rom the Sonoma Coast State Park – California State Parks Russian River District has two new Lifeguards. Timothy (Tim) Murphy and Alexis (Lexi) Jones will be watching the waters this summer to help protect visitors from the unpredictable conditions that exist along the rugged Sonoma Coast. If you get the chance-say Hi…

Summer will arrive soon so please take extra care and keep the grass, weeds, and brush trimmed. Be safe and have fun.