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Tuolumne County Profile Series Focuses On Emergency Response

Sonora, Ca — Today we will focus on Fire and Medical Emergency Response as we continue our series on the 2008 Tuolumne County Community Indicators Project.

Why is this important?

Appropriate response to emergencies can save lives and property.

Wildland fires constitute the most significant major disaster threat in the county. In addition to services traditionally provided by most fire protection agencies nationwide, the county has the responsibility of addressing severe wildland fire protection. To complicate the problem, tens of thousands of structures are interspersed within the wildland area.

What is the measure?

Emergency medical, rescue, and fire protection services are primarily provided by the seven fire protection districts, Tuolumne County Fire Department (TCFD) and Sonora City Fire Department. Tuolumne County Ambulance Service provides advanced life support emergency medical services. We measured the total number of incidents to which each jurisdiction responded, including assistance to other jurisdictions.

How are we doing?

In recent years, emergency fire and emergency medical services ( EMS) incidents increased at a higher rate than the rate of increase in resident population and visitors to the area.

Volunteer firefighters are not as plentiful or as available as in the past. Tighter requirements, longer training hours, and ever-diversifying responsibilities of firefighting have whittled the county´s volunteer rosters down. The various fire protection agencies are extremely dependent upon one another to meet emergency incident staffing needs.

A single emergency often diminishes fire protection in a majority of the core area of the county, and other resources are often brought in from outside the County. Having the resources needed for a second significant emergency can be a challenge.

Click Community Indicators Project for the entire 2008 Tuolumne County Profile.

Written by BJ Hansen