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County emergency responders get support from sheriff’s office

Dan McDonald
Staff Writer
5/9/2012

 

The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office is spreading the wealth.

Last week the department doled out more than $80,000 worth of new high-tech equipment to more than a dozen of the county’s emergency responders.

The recipients said the communications and life-saving gear was sorely needed. And they were quick to show their appreciation.

“You don’t see this kind of cooperation anywhere else. You really don’t. We are very thankful,” said Plumas District Hospital Safety Officer Steve Tolen. “The sheriff’s office is looking out after the health department, looking out after the hospitals, looking out after the fire departments. Everybody’s on the same page with the same goal.”

The money to purchase the equipment came from numerous Homeland Security grants. The man in charge of landing the grants was the sheriff’s computer and deputy administrative sheriff, Mike Grant. He had help from the sheriff’s civil clerk, Che Shannon.

Together Grant and Shannon were able to secure $55,255 worth of pagers, $6,110 for radios and $19,211 for life-saving ventilators.

Sheriff Greg Hagwood said he was extremely appreciative of Grant and Shannon’s effort.

“Mike and Che just did a great job coordinating with the agencies,” Hagwood said. “It’s a great example of interagency cooperation. And the end result is a better service to the citizens in the county.”

The pagers and radios were needed to meet the new Federal Communications Commission mandate for narrow-banding the county’s public safety frequencies.

Without this equipment, fire departments would have difficulty reaching their personnel in emergency situations.

“We just want to say, ‘Thank you very much,’” said Quincy fire’s assistant chief, Frank Carey.

Tina Venable, director of nursing for the county’s public health department, echoed Carey’s appreciation.

“As a small community, we rely on each other to help out where we need,” Venable said. “And all of us pulling together to make things happen, and make our county prepared, has been wonderful to witness and be a part of.”

Tolen said the two mass casualty ventilators the hospital received are very versatile.

“We can use them for patient transports from here to a critical care facility in Reno or Chico or Sacramento,” he said. “And if we had a pandemic event where people were having widespread respiratory issues, this would allow us to keep patients here under more austere conditions.”

Grant said he contacted the various county emergency responders to determine their “wants and needs.”

“We went to the Plumas County Fire Chief’s Association, and let them decide what everybody needed to meet the narrow-band mandate,” Grant said. “This (equipment) helps meet the needs. This is what is required to get everybody ready for narrow-band. The ‘wants’ are something we will try to deal with down the road.

“And then Steve (Tolen), through the Emergency Medical Care Council, and Tina (Venable), came up with the idea about the ventilators,” he said. “It doesn’t look like it should cost that much. But it’s really expensive.”

The beneficiaries of equipment from the grant include Prattville fire, Long Valley fire, Eastern Plumas Rural fire, Quincy fire, Greenville fire, Greenhorn fire, Sierra Valley fire, Bucks Lake fire, city of Portola, Eastern Plumas Health Care, Plumas District Hospital, Seneca Healthcare District and Plumas County Public Health Ag

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