Lake County News | California

May 06th
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Lake County Fire Chiefs: Seconds count!

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In an emergency, whether it’s a medical crisis or a house fire, minutes and seconds count. Time matters.

Mere seconds can be the difference in whether a life is saved or a home is lost.

We’ve seen the truth of that in our county during this busy and dangerous fire season.

If you call 9-1-1, can our emergency responders find you? Is your address clearly marked? Is it visible day or night?

Those reflective numbers on your mail box – how many years have they been there? Are they faded and peeling?

Go take a look. Check them at night. Can you see them clearly?

Remember – seconds count.

If you know someone who works as a first responder, ask them if they ever have difficulty locating the people who have called for help.
When you ask your friend the firefighter, or the paramedic, or the law enforcement officer about locating addresses, did they mention the signs they’ve found in roadside ditches?

How about the one leaning against the fence post, or tacked to a tree with the leaves hiding the numbers? Their stories are endless, and sometimes sad.

Now imagine this: You have an emergency and it’s you that needs help.

Can our emergency services find YOU?

Visit your local fire department and order your new address sign today. Your safety is worth the investment and your local firefighters will even install it for you.   

Please don’t put it off. Do it now. It could save your life.

Seconds really do count.

The Lake County Fire Chiefs Association is composed of the chiefs of the fire protection districts around Lake County, Calif. Lake County Fire Chief Association members include Ken Wells, Lakeport Fire Protection District (president); Mike Stone, Kelseyville Fire Protection District; Joe Huggins, Kelseyville Fire Protection District; Jim Wright, South Lake Fire Protection District; Willie Sapeta, Lake County Fire Protection District; Jay Beristianos, Northshore Fire Protection District; James Crabtree, Northshore Fire Protection District; Pat Brown, Northshore Fire Protection District; Wolfgang Liebe, United States Forest Service; Jeff Tunnell, Bureau of Land Management; and Tim Streblow, Linda Green and Mike Wink of Cal Fire.

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Comments (2)Add Comment
OOPS...We Need an "Edit" click here...
written by ca215, October 29, 2012
Sorry, I left out a detail: When the across-the-street Med Tech Volunteer opened my front gate so that the wagon could get through, he asked me if I were all right.

Okay. That's all I left out, I think. Excuse me.
copy: "Now imagine this: You have an emergency and it’s you that needs help."
written by ca215, October 29, 2012
Don't have to imagine it's myself in an emergency and I need help. Been there, had that done. Sort of.

I get it that some of the people answering 911 calls may be far away from people in, for instance, Clear Lake.

What's not a good memory is the man who made me spell my name and give my physical address 3 times. Even less good was the next step when it was time for me to explain what the problem was.
Man: "What's the matter? Why are you calling?
Myself: I've been dealing with tachycardia for approximately 40 minutes and..."
Man: "WHAT"S wrong?? Speak English!!"

I must confess I came close to Losing It at that point. "Sir, I have been speaking English for approximately 60 years and..."
Man: "Spell your name and address." (Yes, that's the 4th time that demand was made.)
So I went through the spelling exercise and said that my major problem was uncontrollable rapid heart beat for 40 minutes.

The above is not the worst part of the problem. Some months later my heart decided to do the gallop, nope, not going to slow down, those Nitro tablets are not going to I got my courage together and called 911 Dispatch and thought about how I'd been told by someone name-forgotten by that time that the Dispatch for Lake County is in Sacramento. (I hope that's not true but so far have heard nothing to the contrary.)

Dispatch: "911 Dispatch. Can I help you?"
Myself:"Yes please. I've been dealing with too-rapid heartbeat for quite a while now (no way was I going to re-spell tachycardia and then explain again what it is) and I could use some help at XXX XXXXXX Street, Clearlake Oaks."

Dispatch: "Please speak slowly; we are not trained, you know."
Myself: "I do know that. That's why I'm being patient."

It happened that a med tech lived across the steet and I looked up from where I sat on my front porch where I waited for more med techs, equipment, and "the wagon" to arrive. He opened the gates wide so that the wagon would be able to get through.
"Uh no, not really. That's why I called 911." Well, I'm sorry but I think it's rare that a person would call 911 for help when there's nothing wrong.

It turned out that the med tech leader (or whatever the proper title for such a person is) knew me due to prior to similar events. There was also a trainee along, and that fact couldn't have been more obvious if the young man had had a "TRAINEE" tag attached to his scrub shirt.
Med Tech Leader: "Well XXX, are you having your usual problem?"
Myself: "Yes. I need 6 units Adenosine and then I'll be just fine. You happen to have any Adeno in the rig?"
M T L: "Yes. XXX, go get her some Adenosine, okay?"

The youngster turned pale when he realized that the patient (myself) was going to be attended to right there on the porch and he looked at M T L as if the man had lost his mind.
By the time he got back with the med and handed it off to M T L, the youngster got a "Who, ME?" look on his face when the med he handed off was traded for a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff. "Can you take her pressure, XXX?"
Trainee: "Uh oh okay. No problem."

I noticed the M T from across the street, who looked as if he might be trying not to laugh...see he GOT it that MTL was showing the trainee that not all "Heart People" get hysterical and try to get everyone upset. About this time the MTL was relating a short story about how he had first had any meet-ups with me..."And she made sure her house door was locked, walked out through the front gate, climbed into the wagon and said "I need six units of Adenosine. You have any of that on board?"
The trainee got it, that he was being razzed even though I really did need assistance with my heart but he along with the rest of the crew including driver went into loud laughter when M T L said that he had asked me if it was alright if he checked my heart...

"Well okay but I do know what its' problem is. I've had heart issues since I was a teen ager."

But the article above surely got my attention. Not only are the house numbers on my street garbled, I mean you might see a low-ish number on a home and, two or so houses later you could notice address numbers that in no way jibe with the first numbers seen. (Some of the homes on the "Even Numbered" side of the street got "identified" with Odd Numbers mixed in with the Evens. Confusing, even for such people as the mail man in his little truck, ambulance wagon operators, and other such people.
Which is why when I call 911 Dispatch or the Dial-A-Ride bus I am outdoors, waiting for the arrival of whichever number was called.

And yes, I'll be sure to go to the fire hall and ask to order street numbers sign for my house. Failing that, I'll go to a hardware and pick out some reflective numbers to be attached to the porch posts and, also, the front edge of the porch roof. I never thought of doing such a thing before. (I'd better go early; it's likely many people will decide to do the same thing and buy up all the numbers.

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