Monday, October 19, 2020

FirstNet: Reaching Rural and Remote Parts of America

FirstNet: Reaching Rural and Remote Parts of America

FirstNet was designed from the ground up for first responders. FirstNet includes Band 14 with higher power equipment for rural areas. 
BUT if the LMRFD doesn't work with FirstNet to let them know where we need communications help, how will they know. 

 Unique Challenges Facing Rural First Responders

We also realize that emergencies don’t know zip codes. That’s why we’re addressing rural coverage needs in multiple ways to deploy the network in places where coverage may be difficult. From the FirstNet fleet of 76 dedicated deployable network assets to the Rapid Deployment Kit, which can envelop first responders in a 300-foot “connected bubble” – ideal for rural and remote emergency situations.

And unique to FirstNet, we’re launching high-power user equipment (HPUE) solutions, like the FirstNet Ready™ Assured Wireless Corporation embedded IoT module and USB connected modem. Following 3GPP standards, power class 1 HPUE solutions can transmit stronger signals. This means HPUE can significantly increase the coverage area for first responders serving rural, remote and tribal communities

Community Communications Group

 When cell phones are overloaded or down and power is out how will you communicate? Imagine not being able to communicate with family and friends in an emergency.  

We need a community communications group to gather information on who's injured, what roads are closed, and what we need.

Many people already own FRS radios, those are the little bubble pack radios like sold at Walmart.

These would communicate with other FRS radios and the more powerful GMRS radios. These would communicate with ham radio operators or networked GMRS radios who would contact emergency services.

Read Community and “Prepper” CommunicationsBy James Wades, National Emergency Communications Coordinator, Radio Relay International

Without communications we have nothing..

Sunday, October 18, 2020

VOTE Phyllis Aitken and Doug Braaten for the Lake Mohave Ranchos Fire District

Please VOTE

Phyllis Aitken and Doug Braaten have the knowledge and experience to help our fire district.

It's so important that we vote for board members who support volunteers for the fire district.

We have lost too much local control of OUR fire district and we need that back.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

I Met with Chief Winn a Month Ago about Volunteering I Told Him I Would Like To Do 3 Things to Help

I met with Chief Winn September 15th about being a volunteer again. I told him I would like to do three things to help the district. Drive equipment when needed, set up emergency communications, and follow up on illegal burns, and I explained why.


I'm too old to drag hose but I can go out with Scott on brush fires so we have 2 people making it safer. I drove truck for years and would like to drive equipment when needed. I don't know how many millennials can drive a stick shift let alone the 10 speed transmission in one of our water tenders. 


The ability to communicate is the most important tool a fire district has. Without communications there's nothing. 

In a disaster without communications there's no way to know who needs help or what roads are open and passable. Remember our fire trucks get stuck quite often now, what if we had an earthquake?  Not knowing what roads are open becomes a life and death situation if the fire truck gets stuck.

I asked Chief Winn if since becoming chief if he had registered his cell phone with WPS the Wireless Priority System

He didn't even know what WPS was, so I assume his phone is not registered. He didn't know if the station phones were registered with TSP the Telecommunications Service Priority 

That means in a disaster the chief and our fire stations would have no better chance of making a call on an overloaded system than you or I do, slim to none.

When I asked the chief how the LMRFD would communicate if our local repeater and cell phones were to go down. Chief Winn looked like a deer in the headlights, you know that thousand yard stare like you don't know which way to go.  He has no idea how we would communicate in a disaster. Mohave County Emergency Management has limited emergency communications that would go to more populated areas.

I was shocked Chief Winn didn't know that after 9-11 Congress had authorized a stand alone cellular network designed and built for first responders called FirstNet. FirstNet has high power equipment for rural areas like ours.

I've been a ham radio operator for 40 years and operate a local GMRS repeater on the national emergency frequency in Dolan. I wanted to help set up an emergency communications group of volunteers for Dolan Springs and Meadview so we could gather information in a disaster and get that information to first responders. 

 Illegal Burns

I wanted to follow up on illegal burns and educate people about the dangers during a burning ban and the laws about burning garbage and burning permits. If education didn't work then call MCSO and work with a deputy to get a citation issued. I told the chief I felt many people were from other countries and may respond better to someone wearing a uniform shirt with fire dist patches rather than a tee-shirt. Every time we get called out units respond from Dolan and Meadview putting firefighters at risk running code especially at night with our cows. 

I met with Chief Winn September 15th he said he'd get back to me. Today is October 17th so I'm not sure how serious he is about volunteers. 

Mohave County Sheriff's Report Embezzlement at LMRFD

 Possible Embezzlement at LMRFD 

Read the Mohave County Sheriff's Report

Read the Sheriffs Report on Chatterbox

Chief Winn is Too Busy for Volunteers?

I give up, Chief Winn has time to go on vacation but no time for new volunteers. 

September 3rd I contacted Chief Winn about volunteering. 

September 15th I met with Chief Winn telling him I would like to help drive equipment, setup emergency communications, and follow up on illegal burns we keep responding to time and time again. 

September 22nd I sent an email asking if had chance to talk to emergency management and the sheriff about what we talked about. 

October 4th I had sent several emails but received nothing from Chief Winn so I sent an email to the administrative assistant asking if his email was working. She said it was..

October 5th Chief Winn sent me an email saying "I just got back from vacation today. I have been doing some research into what we had discussed and I will need to schedule a meeting with you once I get all the info I have been gathering. I'm hoping by next week I will be able to arrange a meeting with you.

October 17th Chief Winn must have been too busy all week to worry about volunteers or manpower so I give up.

Why is he taking vacation after only a few months on the job? I always had to be on the job a year before getting paid vacation.

With units responding lights and siren from Meadview on a regular basis leaving Meadview unprotected, add the risk of hitting a cow responding 30 miles to a trash fire and it shows the need for volunteers.

Monday, October 12, 2020

What You Need to Know about Citizens Emergency Response Teams

Community Emergency Response Teams are made up of local volunteers who can be first responders for family and neighbors in a disaster. 

CERT History

The CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs.

CERT became a national program in 1993. There are now CERT programs in all 50 states, including many tribal nations and U.S. territories. 

Each is unique to its community and all are essential to building a Culture of Preparedness in the United States. There are over 2,700 local CERT programs nationwide and more than 600,000 people have trained since CERT became a national program.

When a disaster strikes smaller communities like Dolan Springs and Meadview we will be on our own for days or weeks as most aid will be directed to major population areas. This is why we need a CERT team as well as volunteers for the fire district. 

What we have when disaster strikes, is what we have 2-3 firefighters. If roads are damaged there is a good chance the chief won't be in the fire district or won't be able to get here.

When fire strikes in Dolan Springs or Meadview there are always people who show up wanting to help firefighters. As much as firefighters appreciate the help, untrained people are a liability if they become injured at fireground. Rather than helping they're a distraction for firefighters worried about their safety.

If you're one of these people who show up wanting to help, thank you. But please call Chief Winn at the LMRFD Station 41 in Dolan Springs and tell him you would like to help out.

Start or join a local CERT Team. If you're not a joiner then all the CERT Basic Training Material like the Basic CERT Manual are available for those who would like to do the training on their own.

We live in a very rural area with limited response from first responders. That's why it's so important everyone learn these basic skills to deal with emergencies until professional first responders can arrive. 

A CERT team needs a sponsor like the local fire district or law enforcement agency.

The info below is from FEMA's CERT Page

Community Emergency Response Team

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Our Little Blog has over 40,000 Views from the World

 In August 2015 I was surprised 1000 people had read my little blog about our fire district.

Today my little blog has over 40,000 views from all over the world

United States

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Basic life support ambulance transport increases the probability of survival

Truth is there is little difference between the survival rate of patients treated by a paramedic or EMT. The ALS versus BLS Debate 

Advanced ambulance care increases mortality Basic life support ambulance transport increases the probability of survival Patients suffering from trauma, heart attack or stroke have a better chance at survival if they are transported by a basic life support ambulance than by an advanced life support ambulance, according to a new study involving data from nearly 400,000 patients in non-rural counties nationwide.

Paramedics tend to "stay and play" doing patient care where the EMT will load and go to the ER using basic skills to get the patient to definitive care sooner. Dolan Springs to KRMC by ground ambulance is about 30 minutes. If a medical helicopter is called after the ambulance arrives on scene it can take over an hour to get to definitive care.

The city of Mattoon plans to enter into an agreement with Mattoon Firefighters Local 691 to allow newly hired firefighters to EMTs instead of paramedics

Cost to train an EMR around $250 Cost to train an EMT around $1500 Cost to train a paramedic around $20,000

A locally trained EMR can drive and assist an EMT or paramedic on the LMRFD ambulance for only $250.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

What Can a Layperson Do in a Medical Emergency?

 Our Emergency Medical Services have grown from a handful of people in a poor Pittsburgh neighborhood to the EMS system we know today with paramedics on most ambulances.

As emergency medicine has grown so have the life saving medications EMT's and paramedics can give in the field, so have the life saving medications a layperson can give.

In Arizona the law 36-2226 allows a layperson to give epinephrine in case of an allergic reaction known as anaphylactic shock. If you want to learn more about anaphylactic shock check out First Aid for Free's Anaphylactic Awareness page

Narcan also known as Naloxone can also be given by a layperson.
Under A.R.S. § 36-2267, any person may administer an opioid antagonist, like naloxone, to a person who is experiencing an opioid-related overdose. The statute further states, "A person who does this in good faith and without compensation is not liable for any civil or other damages as the result of the act.” 

For more information on the Arizona laws on obtaining or administering Narcan click HERE

Here's more information on How to Recognize an Opioid Overdose

Under ARS 36-2229 the Community Center in Dolan Springs and the Meadview Civic Association could have a couple people trained on how to give breathing treatments in case of respiratory distress.

Everybody needs to know First Aid and CPR... Who ya gonna call?
Learn for FREE at First Aid for Free 

Arizona EMS Laws

Emergency Administration of Epinephrine by good Samaritans 
36-2226 Emergency administration of epinephrine by good Samaritans; exemption from civil liability
A. Notwithstanding any other law, a person may administer epinephrine to another person who is suffering from a severe allergic reaction if the person acts in good faith and without compensation for the act of administering the epinephrine and a health professional who is qualified to administer epinephrine is not immediately available.

B. A person who administers epinephrine pursuant to subsection A is not subject to civil liability for any injury that results from that act unless the person acts with gross negligence, wilful misconduct or intentional wrongdoing.

36-2226.01 Emergency administration of epinephrine authorized entities prescriptions training immunity definitions

Physicians can prescribe epinephrine auto-injectors to an "authorized entity" That’s a school, restaurant, community center, camp, or place of employment where allergens capable of causing anaphylaxis may be present.

Emergency administration of inhalers
36-2229Emergency administration of inhalers; authorized entities; training; immunity; definitions
A. A physician who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 13 or 17 or a nurse practitioner who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 15 may prescribe inhalers and spacers or holding chambers in the name of an authorized entity for use in accordance with this section, and pharmacists may dispense inhalers and spacers or holding chambers pursuant to a prescription issued in the name of an authorized entity. A prescription issued pursuant to this section is valid for two years.
B. An authorized entity may acquire and stock a supply of inhalers and spacers or holding chambers pursuant to a prescription issued in accordance with this section. The inhalers shall be stored in a location that is readily accessible in an emergency and in accordance with the inhaler's instructions for use. An authorized entity shall designate employees or agents who have completed the training required by subsection D of this section to be responsible for the storage, maintenance, control and general oversight of the inhalers and spacers or holding chambers acquired by the authorized entity.
C. If an employee or agent of an authorized entity or another individual who has completed the training required by subsection D of this section believes in good faith that an individual is experiencing respiratory distress, the employee, agent or other individual may provide and administer an inhaler to that individual or may provide an inhaler to the parent, guardian or caregiver of that individual, for immediate administration, regardless of whether the individual who is believed to be experiencing respiratory distress has a prescription for an inhaler and spacer or holding chamber or has previously been diagnosed with a condition requiring an inhaler.
D. An employee, agent or other individual described in subsection B or C of this section shall complete initial training for the use of inhalers and, at least every two years thereafter, shall complete subsequent training. The training shall be conducted by a nationally recognized organization that is experienced in training laypersons in emergency health treatment. Training may be conducted online or in person and, at a minimum, shall cover:
1. How to recognize signs and symptoms of respiratory distress.
2. Standards and procedures for the storage and administration of an inhaler.
3. Emergency follow-up procedures after the administration of an inhaler.
E. The organization that conducts the training required by subsection D of this section shall issue a certificate to each person who successfully completes the training.
F. The administration of an inhaler pursuant to this section is not the practice of medicine or any other profession that otherwise requires licensure.
G. Physicians licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 13 or 17 and nurse practitioners licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 15 who prescribe an inhaler and spacer or holding chamber in the name of an authorized entity, authorized entities and employees and agents of authorized entities that provide or administer inhalers and organizations that provide training pursuant to subsection D of this section are immune from civil liability with respect to all decisions made and actions or omissions taken that are based on good faith implementation of the requirements of this section, except in cases of gross negligence, wilful misconduct or intentional wrongdoing.
H. The immunity from civil liability provided in subsection G of this section does not affect a manufacturer's product liability regarding the design, manufacturing or instructions for use of an inhaler and spacer or holding chamber.
I. An authorized entity may accept monetary donations to purchase inhalers and spacers or holding chambers and may accept donations of inhalers and spacers or holding chambers directly from the product manufacturer.
J. For the purposes of this section:
1. "Authorized entity" means any entity or organization in connection with or at which allergens capable of causing respiratory distress symptoms may be present, including recreation camps, day care facilities, youth sports leagues, amusement parks, restaurants and sports arenas.
2. "Bronchodilator" means albuterol or another short-acting bronchodilator that is approved by the United States food and drug administration for the treatment of respiratory distress.
3. "Inhaler" means a device that delivers a bronchodilator to alleviate symptoms of respiratory distress, that is manufactured in the form of a metered-dose inhaler or dry-powder inhaler and that includes a spacer or holding chamber that attaches to the inhaler to improve the delivery of the bronchodilator.
4. "Respiratory distress" includes the perceived or actual presence of coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath.

Friday, September 25, 2020

I Had a Meeting with Chief Winn over a Week Ago

 I met with Chief Winn about volunteering over a week ago. He had to do some checking so we'll see what happens. 

I gave the chief a copy of my training (see below) including training with NACFD in 2018. If the problem is trained volunteers, I have more training and more current training than any of the current volunteers. So we'll see how interested Chief Winn is in getting volunteers, or if we need to look at something different. 

Montana Law Enforcement Academy
Basic #32 Bozeman, Montana
Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Equivalency Academy
Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center Olympia, Washington. The basic POST equivalency test previously POST certified officers.
Basic Intelligence Processing
Washington State Narcotics Investigators Association by Seattle Police Department Narcotics unit
Counter Intelligence & Surveillance
Washington State Narcotics Investigators Association, training by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. 
Special Weapons and Tactics
Park County Montana by U.S. Forest Service Special Agent John Walker.
Officer Survival
Spokane Police Academy, training by Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Air Force's SERE Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape school at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane Washington
Search and Seizure
Idaho State Police training Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Interviewing and Note Taking
Latah County Sheriff's Department, Moscow, Idaho Training by Federal Bureau of Investigation
Aircraft and Marine Smuggling
Washington State Narcotics Investigators Association meeting, training by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration 
Marine Smuggling
Washington State Narcotics Investigators Association meeting, training by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
Aircraft Smuggling
Washington State Narcotics Investigators Association meeting Training by Dale Lent, investigator for the Mohave County Sheriff's Department, Kingman Arizona.
Chemical Agent Training
Course in Mace and other chemical agents taught by Smith and Wesson Company and the Adams County Sheriff's Department at Ritzville Washington
Narcotics Screening and Identification
Course taught by the Adams County Sheriff Department, Ritzville Washington. 
PR 24 Baton Training
Park County Sheriff Department., Livingston Montana.
Quick Kill Instinctive Shooting
Course taught by the U.S. Army at the army firing range Fort Lewis, Washington.
Medical/Fire Training
2018 Training by Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 Standard First Aid/CPR/AED 8 hours
2018 American Heart Association Basic Life Support (CPR and AED) Program KRMC was the training center
2018 Nationally Certified Emergency Medical Responder 80 hours - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District   EXPIRES SOON
2018 EVOC Emergency Vehicle Operation 6 hours - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 First Responder Orientation 16 hours - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 Emergency Communications NACFD Radio System Dispatch -
2018 NACFD Safety Orientation 2 hours – Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 Incident Rehab 2 Water Tender Operations 2 hours - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 Type 6 Engine Operations 6 hours - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 Exterior Structural Firefighting 7 hours - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 Hazmat First Responder Operations 16 hours - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 Hazmat First Responder Operations-Decon 8 hours - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 Fire Emergency Support Responder Training Phase I 22 hours - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 L-180 Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service 1 hour - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 IS-100 Introduction to the Incident Command System 3 hours - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 NWCGS-110 Basic Wildland Fire Orientation 2 hours - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 S-130 Wildland Firefighter Training (Classroom) - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 IS-130 Wildland Firefighter Field Exercise 8 hours - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 RT-130 Refresher Wildland Firefighter Annual Classroom 16 hours - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 IS-131 Type 1 Firefighter 16 hours - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 S-190 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior 4 hours - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 IS-200b Emergency Management Institute - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
2018 IS-200d Fundamentals of Emergency Management - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
NWCG S-110 Basic Wildland Orientation - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
NIMS 700 National Incident Management System 3 hours - Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District
EMS Training
Older Training
Industrial First aid with CPR
16-hour course taught by the American Red Cross, Spokane Washington
Standard First Aid
8-hour course taught by the American Red Cross, Spokane Washington
First Responder Montana
40-hour course taught by the Park County Sheriff Department, Livingston Montana
CPR Instructor Spokane Washington American Red Cross CPR
Basic Life Support for the Professional Rescuer
10-hour course taught by the Park County Sheriff Department at Livingston Montana
Advanced Cardiac Life Support
16-hour course taught by Daniel Freeman Paramedic School, Inglewood California
Mobile Intensive Care Unit Paramedic Training
I attended Daniel Freeman Paramedic School the first nationally-accredited Paramedic program in California. My 960-hour paramedic training program including training at USC Medical Center’s C-Booth, Martin Luther King Hospital, and Cedar Sinai Hospital
Washington State Emergency Medical Technician
80-hour Basic EMT Training, Spokane Washington
Rural Emergency Stabilization of Critical Patients
8-hour course taught by Sacred Heart Hospital, Spokane Washington
Basic Fire Fighting
Taught by the Spokane Fire Department, Spokane Washington at the city drill tower
American Red Cross, Damage Assessment Assessing damage to buildings and structures, the number of people needing help, 
Defensive Driver Training Course
Taught by officer Reed McNally, Bullhead City Police Department completed on 2/26/2003


Saturday, September 12, 2020

It Looks Like Chief Winn Really Understands the LMRFD and it's Problems

 I read the minutes of the LMRFD Board meeting and agree with Ellen, Chief Winn get's it... 

I agree with what Ellen says in her post so here it is....

The new LMRFD Chief, Steve Winn, comported himself well at the Board meeting Friday. He appeared knowledgeable and informed in the reports he gave. He made a lengthy and successful argument to the Board for grant matching funds of $15,000 - $20,000 for a grant submitted by prior Chief Tim Bonnee and accepted in part. It was for some high tech fire equipment beyond my comprehension. I recommend asking Chief Winn for details on that.

The only complaints I heard about Chief Winn was that he does not show up for fire calls, and Meadview coverage was down since he became Chief to 8 days in August, from the historical 10-15. Chief Winn expounded on the difficulty LMRFD has had, historically, manning the station in Meadview. He explained that because all but 1 of the fire/EMS personnel are P.O.C.’s (part time), with full time positions in other Fire Districts, the LMRFD takes a back seat to their primary employers’ needs. Those needs have been ramped up due to COVID-19 and extensive fires, Chief Winn explained.

Personnel availability has also historically been a loyalty issue, with individuals loyal to a Chief rather than the citizens of the LMRFD. Every time a Chief leaves, a certain number of personnel leave as well. This highlights the need for LOCAL personnel who would remain to serve their friends and neighbors in the District in which they live, no matter what happens at the Chief level. We see that loyalty clearly demonstrated with our ONE local employee, Mike Pettway, who has stuck with the LMRFD through thick and thin. He ALWAYS shows up, if he is in the area, it doesn’t matter who sits in the Chief’s chair, whether or not he likes them, or whether or not they show up.