April-May 2021

Calls for Service:   April 19-May 24 

Fires:   3  (Water Tender Mutual aid to Cal Fire, Wildland Fires- Stope Dr & Highgrade Ct.)

Smoke Check: 1

Medical:   4

Public Assist:  2

Fire Season 2021 was officially declared on May 10th in Eldorado County.  All open burning has been suspended by the Cal Fire Ranger Unit Chief.  District personnel responded to three fires recently.  On Thursday April 29, District firefighters quickly contained a wildland fire on Stope Drive and on Saturday May 1st, Water Tender 75 assisted Cal Fire at the Salmon Fire in Pilot Hill.  In the evening of Tuesday May 18th, District firefighters again quickly contained a wildland fire on Highgrade Ct. 

Cal Fire, through extensive fuels testing and history research, has determined that the level of heavy vegetation/timber fuel moisture is currently at a level normally found in July.  This summer is predicted to one of the driest on record, exceeding last fire season, the most destructive in California History.

On Saturday May 15th, the District hosted its first public event at the fire station, in over a year.  The Mosquito Fire Safe Council sponsored a Town Hall discussion about the upcoming fire season and evacuation issues. Representatives from Cal Fire, El Dorado County Sheriff and the Forest Service presented their agency’s preparedness plans and answered questions from the public.  There was a presentation by Director Jerry Pullin about impressive fuel reduction projects and efforts in the Community.  There were over 70 people in attendance.

The Sheriff and Cal Fire encourage residents to sign up for the Code Red program (phone application but also for hard-wire phones, email, and other devices), to receive emergency information about fires or other emergencies to be aware of and possibly evacuate from.  You can find sign-up information at:  EDSO Alert Notification.

Cal Fire has prioritized our Community for defensible space inspections.  Three fire inspectors have conducted 193 inspections and have issued 38 violation notices.  Cal Fire considers these inspections educational oriented and does not anticipate legal enforcement action.  District personnel are available seven days a week to assist residents with property inspections and fire safety information.  This includes those residents who have received a violation notice from Cal Fire.  Please email jrosevear@mfpd.us to schedule an inspection.

On Saturday June 19th the Mosquito Fire Safe Counsel, the Swansboro Country Property Owners Association and the Mosquito Firefighters Association will host a fire safety event at Dyer Lake, starting at 2:00pm.  There will be fire safety information, displays and discussion about fire safety and evacuation issues effecting our Community.  Firefighters will display equipment and conduct demonstrations. Further information about the event is coming soon.

Also, on June 19th @ 10am, the Support Group will conduct a training exercise to prepare for evacuation assistance.  This includes opening access to the Airport, diverting vehicles from departing out Rock Creek Road while fire engines are trying to come in, monitoring vehicle traffic down Mosquito Road (if safe) to prevent large vehicles from blocking escape through the Bridge.  We will simulate and review procedures for organizing and protecting residents at the airport, including parking large vehicles in pre-determined areas.

We have conducted two Covid vaccination clinics, administering a total of 65 vaccinations.  The Moderna vaccine was administered in a two-shot series.  We will host a third vaccination clinic on June 15, to give second shots to a small group of residents who received first shots. The majority of a group received their second shots during the clinic on May 18th.  Both clinics have gone smoothly thanks to the skill, organization and positive attitude of our personnel.  This involved staff giving vaccinations, screening paperwork, directing vehicles through the drive-thru, monitoring residents for vaccine after-effects.  We received great support from County Public Health staff, who were impressed with the District’s service and positive connection with the Community.

The Fire District website www.mfpd.us is improving each week, with more content and information being added. We are currently building the member portal of the site, for personnel to access a variety of training, scheduling, and time sheet/payroll platforms. Please check out the new site and let me know if there are any questions or suggestions.

Personnel Update:  

Captain Ryan Purves will be leaving the District on June 4th to join the El Dorado Hills Fire District as a Firefighter Paramedic.  Ryan has been a valued asset to the District for the last five years and will be missed.  Captain Morgan Lugo has been selected to fill Ryan’s Captain position and will start full time duty on Monday June 7th.  Morgan is a currently a part time Captain with our District and works as a full time Fire Apparatus Engineer with the Georgetown Fire District.  We are grateful to have talented, dedicated personnel, who deeply care about our Community.  Both Ryan and Morgan are those kinds of people.  We are fortunate to have had Ryan with us and know that Morgan coming in will continue consistency and growth of our staff and operations.

Firefighter Engineer Brian Morris has been accepted to Paramedic School, beginning in August 2021.  Brian will be funded by a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant, which will cover salary, tuition and replacement of Brian’s position while he is away.  The training process will take approximately one year, and Brian will return to us a certified paramedic, as Ryan Purves is now.

Grant Update:

On 3/12/21 we submitted our grant request to FEMA for the SAFER program funding for staffing.  If awarded, which we are hopeful, the grant would provide the ability for us to fund six full time positions for round the clock staffing for the next 3-4 years.  Awards will be announced in September 2021.

Our Cal Fire 50-50 grant is currently active ($20,000) for the purchase of wildland safety equipment.  We have ordered approximately $13,000 in safety gear and equipment, so far. We will be reimbursed for half the amount we spend.  According to grant requirements we must purchase the approved equipment prior to June 30, 2021.  I have submitted a grant request renewal for $20,000 for the next fiscal year 2021/22.  It identifies additional safety equipment, in anticipation of more volunteers being added over the next 6-8 months.  If approved, the grant will come to the Board for review and approval.

I also submitted a grant request to the Jenny Jones Foundation through the California State Firefighters Association (CSFA).  The request was for $25,000 for the replacement of aging hose and the addition of new fire hose, which we have not been able to afford.  There was quite a bit of hose which was sold for surplus last year, without consideration of replacement.  We need to add hose length capability for water supply and fire attack lines.  We are currently borrowing 600 feet of fire attack double jacket hose, from Cal Fire.

We have also submitted three additional grants (2 regional, 1 District) to FEMA for various equipment.  Regional grants have been requested with our sister districts for the purchase of new, state of the art breathing apparatus and updated mobile radios, portable radios and pagers.  District equipment includes vehicle extrication equipment, a washing machine for contaminated safety gear and a replacement breathing air compressor.

SSD/Strike Team Invoice Update:

Attached is the latest update of invoices, breakdown of expenses and revenue generated by fire engine and SSD out of District fire deployments.  We have recently received a payment for $90,321 for six incidents (SSD). The payment for the fire engine/crew deployments are all paid now (4 incidents).  Only SSD related invoices and payments remain.  I will continue to keep the Board updated each month as payments arrive.  I do not anticipate all invoices to be paid until late June or July. 

The District is seeking volunteers of all types. If you have the desire to contribute your skills and talents to help your community, we have a place for you. 

This concludes my report.  I will continue to update our projects and report progress.  There are some exciting months ahead as we develop these programs and attract new people to the District.  I appreciate the great support we receive from the Community and its commitment to being prepared.  If you have any questions or suggestions, please call me at the fire station (626-9017) or email me at jrosevear@mfpd.us.

Jack Rosevear, Chief