February-March  2021

  • Calls for Service: February 19-March 22
  • Fires: 0
  • Medical: 4
  • Public Assist: 3

This month marks the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, which has forever changed our community and the way we conduct business. The Budget Workshop for the 2021-2022 Preliminary Budget (3/20/21) was the first physical meeting the Board has had in the last year. We have introduced Zoom meeting capability with our physical meetings in the future. The remote access feature to participate in board meetings is beneficial to the community and will continue to be available for every meeting in the future.

On Saturday June 19th there will be a Community evacuation drill with a fire safety event following. The exercise will be an opportunity for residents to be involved in a simulated evacuation, which will end at the airport. Our Support Group and the Pilots Association will staff road checkpoints, assist residents and exercise our evacuation procedure, developed last July. From there residents and visitors can participate in a fire safety event, with lunch sponsored by the Mosquito Fire Safe Council and the Mosquito Firefighters Association. There will be fire safety information, firefighting demonstrations, fire safety information and activities for kids. This is an excellent opportunity to get valuable information to our community and get people thinking about what they must do to prepare in advance for a wildfire event with evacuation. Being prepared with essential items to pack, pre-plans for animal transportation, home preparedness, including vegetation management, along with other fire safety information is important. There is a great deal we can accomplish with this one-day event, to better prepare our Community for fire season.

Station Hours:
Station 75 is now open 12 hours (7am-7pm) with a new staffing pattern, on a three-month trial basis. The Captain and Engineer will continue to work eight hour shifts and overlap between 11am-3pm. Response to incidents will be backed up by volunteers. There is a chief officer covering each day to coordinate operations. The trial period will allow us to collect data, evaluate effectiveness and integrate volunteers into responses in a more coordinated way through advanced scheduling. We are optimistic and believe that extending station hours is beneficial for the community and our volunteers.

Personnel Update:
We are experiencing a steady increase in volunteers interested in joining the District. Four new volunteer candidates will be attending the wildland fire portion at the Divide Academy, in addition to the hopeful opportunity to join the academy recruits for the live fire training at Georgetown FD.

I am pleased to announce the promotion of Brian Morris to Firefighter Engineer. Brian has earned this promotion through his hard work, continued training, competency, and ability to tackle difficult assignments. Engineer Morris is waiting for an opportunity to enter paramedic training, funded by the FEMA AFG Medic Training Grant. The pandemic has created a backlog of paramedic candidates waiting to enter the program with a reduced number of available slots.

Our six academy recruits have been reduced to three, for various reasons. The academy class will begin wildland fire training over the next month. The academy graduates on May 27th.

Looking ahead to the next few months, fire season will be upon us again. Personnel will be going through various levels of wildland fire training and preparing for the addition of the OES Type 6 engine. All engine driver/operators will be required to attend an off-road driver training course, which we are in the process of establishing. All personnel assigned to the OES engine for deployment will be required to meet training standards according to OES contract provisions. The standards are the same as our normal training requirements.

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 are ready to place an order for the listed equipment approved by the grant. We will be reimbursed for half the amount we spend. There will an agenda item during this Board meeting to request advanced funding to cover the purchase. According to grant requirements we must purchase the approved equipment prior to June 30, 2021.

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 contaminate 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 $114,000 for more than one incident, which we cannot identify at this time. I have placed a call to the Forest Service (where the payment came from) and hope to have the information and spreadsheet updated at the time of the Board meeting. I will continue to keep the Board updated each month as payments arrive. I do not anticipate all invoices to be paid until 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