From your Long Valley Volunteer Fire Department (LVVFD), serving Cromberg, Sloat, Camp Layman and surrounding, including Lee Summit to Two Rivers Road.
Our primary mission is to respond to calls for help. Whether the call is for a medical emergency, a vehicle accident, a structure fire, a wildland fire, or a variety of other type of incidents.
I start this update with a huge THANK-YOU to the spouses, partners, and families of our Firefighters!
The past couple years have been challenging for not only us as a department, but also most of the Plumas County Fire Departments. Our local Departments are all suffering from the lack of volunteers. Getting community members to join, commit, and stick with it, is our biggest challenge. Please consider this as you read on.
Another consideration potential members should know is; we do this for free. Our members do not receive ANY compensation for our efforts. We respond at a moment’s notice, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. You must ask yourself, why would anyone commit to this. We do it for Community, we do it for ourselves. Without our Fire Department we would have much longer medical (and all other calls) response times. Our insurance score would become the worst rating, it would become very hard, if not impossible, to obtain fire insurance. Banks and mortgage companies require fire insurance as part of their agreement to finance homes.
I bring this to you, our community member’s attention, not to cause fear, anxiety, or stress. I bring it as clarity and transparency. Together we can continue to make this happen.
We currently have eight active members on LVVFD. Our members are between the ages of 28 to 72. We have retired people, an electrician, dental sterile technician, a bee keeper, a saw mill equipment operator, and a registered nurse. Some of our members are small business owners. Our members maintain their personal lives, their families and their commitments while serving OUR community.
As we roll into spring, and COVID restriction ease, our training is ramping up. We recently re-certified all of our staff in CPR/AED. The certifications will have us compliant in this area for the next two years.
I will highlight some of the things we have accomplished in the recent past, as well as, sharing with you the status of our equipment. We do have some great equipment and more on the way!
Our vehicles consist of a Water Tender which is our water supply for fighting fire. A Type-1 Engine (structure) which pumps the water from the supply of water to the hoses that fight the fire. A Type-3 engine which is designated as a wildland engine. This is a 4x4 that can access most of our area. It also can pump water to the fire from a supply.
These engines are equipped with lots of gear to address emergencies by having the tools on-scene when arriving to incidents. Some of this gear includes, medical, breathing apparatuses, cutting tools, hand tools, personal protective equipment (PPE), lights, fans, thermal imaging, and a variety of other things.
We have recently obtained a first response SUV. This SUV was a gift given to the LVVFD from the Plumas Eureka Fire Department (PEFD). PEFD frequently is ready to respond to our district when we do not have enough staff to respond to calls or more personnel are needed for a call. We have a very good working relationship with PEFD. We train with them and receive most of our required Medical Certifications through their Department.
The response SUV is outfitted with medical gear and PPE. Having it makes for a swifter response for medical calls. It has lights, siren, and radios. It has markings identifying it as an emergency vehicle which is needed when going to calls, arriving at scene, and seamlessly incorporating into the incident.
LVVFD has automatic mutual aid with Greenhorn Creek Fire Department. This means LVVFD responds to calls for service in Greenhorn, as they respond to our calls.
We have received three grants over the past two years. One through “Jenny’s Hero’s” (Jenny Jones), for our response jumpsuits. One was for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to get us through the Pandemic which included, gloves, masks, Tyvek suits, booties, shields and sanitizer, from FEMA.
Our latest grant from FEMA solved our up-coming dilemma which involved the expiring of our air cylinders (used for breathing) and the packs that hold these cylinders being three generations old. These packs, (SCBA) Self Contained Breathing Apparatus are on all our vehicles and are needed to enter structures during fires, whether to extinguish the fire, perform a search, or execute a rescue. They are also used on vehicle fires. Anytime there is a risk of breathing smoke or carcinogens they are used.
We became involved in a regional grant through FEMA with Beckwourth Fire, Portola Fire, and Eastern Plumas FPD. This grant was for new SCBAs, cylinders, masks, and a rescue pack. We were awarded the grant in September 2021. LVVFD’s share of the grant was about $84,000. We will “local match” $4,000, which will give us a total of $88,000 of the most modern MSA SCBAs. This equipment will be certifiable for at least the next 15 years. We are expecting delivery of our new packs April/May 2022.
A personal THANK YOU to all that supported the ballet measure that allowed us to financially continue as a department.
As you can see, we have eight committed Fire Department members, we have great equipment, and we are financially sound. All we are missing is YOU!
If you have any questions or interest, feel free to give me a call. If you see the doors open at the Station, stop by, it’s your Station.
Steve Peters, Chief (951) 377-1251