Morongo Valley Fire Department

The Morongo Valley Fire Department responded to a total of 41 calls during the month of February:
1 outside investigation;
27 medical aids;
2 public service;
1 smoke check;
5 traffic collisions;
3 vehicle fires;
1 fire menace standby;
1 gas hazard.
The total for 2009 is 79

The Department ordered a 12 lead Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) at press time. The 12 lead AED offers greater capabilities than the 3 lead AED. Engineer Eric Griffiths, who is currently enrolled in Paramedic school and completing an internship with a local ambulance service provider, shared his recent experience with the upgraded AED. He responded to medical aid call where the patient's complaint was extreme fatigue. The patient had no difficulty breathing, no pain or other complaints other than feeling extraordinarily tired. The 3 lead AED failed to detect any abnormal cardiac rhythms. Eric's many years of experience as an EMT came into play and he decided to hook the patient to the 12 lead AED during transport to the hospital. The enhanced capabilities of the equipment revealed a myocardial infarction - a silent heart attack, in layman's terms. The patient displayed none of the "normal" cardiac arrest symptoms: chest pain; arm pain; shortness of breathe or nausea. The 12 lead AED provided a definitive diagnosis so the medics could begin providing life saving measures, while still enroute to the hospital.

The Morongo Valley's new equipment, which is a requirement to maintain our status as a medic unit, cost over $22,000 and was funded by a Homeland Security Grant and fire department budget funds. We look forward to serving our residents with better equipment.

Morongo Valley Fire Department Calls for the month of January 2009:
Investigation - 1
Medical Aid - 25
Public Service - 2
Smoke check - 2
Traffic collision - 5
Vehicle fire - 2
Traffic collision with fire - 1
Total of 38 calls for the month.

Morongo Valley Fire Department Calls for the year of 2008:
Investigation - 8
Other Misc- 21
Wild fire - 9
Medical Aid - 297
Public Service - 24
Smoke check - 9
Water salvage - 1
Traffic collision - 64
Vehicle fire - 15
Fire other - 2
Traffic collision with fire - 4
Hazard electrical - 10
Residential structure fire - 5
Fire menace standby - 1
Refuse fire - 5
Commercial structure fire - 3
Residential ringing alarm - 4
Commercial ringing alarm - 1
Hazard gas - 2
Traffic collision w/extrication-MTX was - 1
Total calls for the year of 2008 amounted to 486.

The Fire Department call load for the month of December 2008 included:
2 outside investigations
31 medical aids
2 Public Service
1 smoke check
6 traffic collisions
1 vehicle fire
1 traffic collision with fire
3 other fires
5 electrical hazards
1 residential ringing alarm, for monthly total of 53.

The statistics don't always fully illustrate the nature of our call volume. For example each "electrical hazards" call constituted a series of multiple fires caused by live power lines downed in the pre-holiday snowstorm. Extra fire department staff, scheduled in anticipation of the approaching storm, volunteers and board members all coordinated efforts to safe guard several areas of the valley. Each downed line sparked between 10 & 15 spot fires. SCE was not able to access Morongo Valley until the following day when plows arrived and snows melted from the main roads. One of the medical calls was a call to reach a snow-bound person with a broke hip. MVFD 4 wheel drive apparatus and the ambulance were stopped short of the home due to treacherous conditions on narrow dirt roads. Crews hiked in and coordinated transportation via a helicopter hoist to extricate the patient from a narrow canyon. The Department performed extremely well despite the fact that the extraordinary efforts are not reflected fully in monthly numbers.

Calls for the month of November 2008:
2 Wildland Fires
31 medical aids
4 public service
2 smoke checks
7 traffic collisions
2 vehicle fires
1 Electrical Hazard
1 Gas Hazard

Over 85% of the call load was medical calls. Year to date, approximately 70% of the over calls have been medical calls. (Year to date 433 Calls).

While we all slept on Thursday, November 13, 2008 the Valley averted a firestorm like the Inland Empire experienced. A fire was reported @ 11:40p.m. on a ridge top, near the Gun Range. Winds were gusting over 65 mile per hour and blew a campfire out of control. Incredibly in an area with no water supply, in adverse conditions, Morongo Valley Fire Department and neighboring departments contained the blase to approximately 10 acres and had 100% by 4:00 a.m. Friday, November 14, 2008. Our fire fighters stayed on scene until noon as a precaution ensuring our safety. Great job guys! Let's all help our responders by calling 911 any time you think you see flames or smell smoke. Please do not assume someone else already reported any incident.

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