Emergency Medical Services
Our Emergency Medical Services Division provides EMS leadership to the South Lake Tahoe region. In September 2001, Lake Valley Fire administrators headed the creation and implementation of our fire protection district's first Advanced Life Support Ambulance Service in County Service Area (CSA) #3. Lake Valley Fire Protection District was one of three fire agencies, which include South Lake Tahoe Fire Department and North Tahoe Fire Protection District, who formed a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) and successfully won the bidding process in 2001, proposed by the Health Services Department in the County of El Dorado, California. The recent contract renewal and bidding process has been successfully awarded to Lake Valley Fire Protection District for 2011 implementation. The term of the contract is five (5) years in length with a one year extension for every year the district remains in compliance with the contract requirements, for a total of ten (10) years. Lake Valley Fire Protection District met all compliance requirements contained in the previous contract with El Dorado County and was extended to its full term of ten (10)years.
The Fire Prevention Division performs a multitude of tasks designed and intended to reduce the number of fires and other non-specific emergencies that occur in our community. They include wildland-urban interface safety inspections, public education and training for the local school district, public education & awareness programs including fire extinguisher training for the business community, review of construction plans for residential and commercial buildings, fire sprinklers, and major project renovations; inspections for new construction, special events, as well as training other divisions of this department with respect to inspections and code enforcement.
In 2000, Lake Valley Fire Protection District, enacted, through grant funding, a Fire and Fuels Management Service Program. The LVFPD’s fire and fuels management program goal is to protect life, property and the environment from the effect of a catastrophic wildfire. The LVFPD’s objective is to work closely with experts in resource management and return the forest to estimated native conditions. Without fire in the ecosystem, the forest in Lake Tahoe Basin has experienced a high amount of dead or dying trees as a result of overstocking, drought, insects and diseases. Fire management personnel must take an active role in the restoration process to create a forest remnant of pre-fire management in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The LVFPD offers a broad range of wildland fire prevention and forestry services for our community, including:
- Defensible Space Education
- Shaded Fuel Break Construction
- Defensible Space Inspections
- Curbside Chipping
- Defensible Space Tree Marking
- Prescribed Fire and Pile Burning
- Defense Zone Construction
The Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) developed for the California Side of the Lake Tahoe Basin was approved in 2005, by California Department of Fire and Forestry, our El Dorado County supervisor and the Lake Valley Fire Protection District Fire Chief. The CWPP was developed with the guidance of the Wildland Fire Leadership Council. The CWPP identified eight communities-at-risk in the Lake Valley Fire District and assessed structural ignitibility and defensible space and performed fire behavior modeling. Also, recommended fuel reduction projects are described in the CWPP for Defense Zone, Urban Lot, Meadow Restoration, and Roadside Protection Projects. These projects cross all types of land ownership including private, state, county, city and federal lands.
In 2006, The Lake Tahoe Basin Fire Academy was founded. The fire academy is a Regionally Accredited Training Program through the California State Fire Marshal's Office and the State Board of Fire Services. The Lake Tahoe Basin Fire Academy is a collaborative effort between Lake Tahoe Community College, Lake Valley Fire Protection District, South Lake Tahoe Fire Department and Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District. The academy has been a no-budget program, relying solely on the generosity of the fire departments for equipment and apparatus.
The Fire Science and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) Certification Program at Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC) is designed to give students the required knowledge to pursue entry-level municipal or wildland fire service careers. Lake Valley Fire Protection District has been instrumental in providing the necessary instructors as affiliate faculty for LTCC. Students gain a broad working knowledge of the many aspects of fire service organization and operations, proper use of fire equipment, tactics and strategies of fire fighting, specialized job skills, and management techniques. The Fire Science program emphasizes critical thinking skills in the examination and analysis of modern fire service issues and the strengthening of effective written and oral communication skills.
Community Education - Safety Training Trailer. Community education programs are important to Lake Valley Fire Protection District and provide our community the opportunity to educate adults and children about fire safety and injury prevention. Lake Valley Fire Protection District (LVFPD) has been instrumental and successful in writing for grant funding, through FEMA's Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, in order to implement a regional mobile fire and disaster education safety program. In 2003, LVFPD was awarded grant funds for the purchase of a Safety- Training Trailer. The Safety-Training Trailer provides a hands-on educational approach to fire and emergency preparedness by taking the educational program directly to specific high-risk populations in our community on an annual basis.
CPR Saturday. Less than one-third of sudden cardiac arrest victims receive immediate CPR from bystanders. Through a variety of programs, Lake Valley Fire Protection District offers free Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training to the public, through the American Heart Association and helps equip people and businesses in our community, in how to act during emergencies and ultimately save lives.
Community preparedness programs provide citizens with the required training and education to become self sufficient following natural or human made disasters. LVFPD is an active member with South Lake Tahoe's Emergency Management Community Council (EMCC) which was established in 2006. The EMCC is a multi-disciplinary group of emergency responders in the Lake Tahoe Basin which includes El Dorado, Douglas and Alpine Counties. The council members collaborate for the community benefit to identify emergency management issues, develop plans based on the National Incident Management System exercises, and work with local agencies to develop a unified community approach to emergency management. To view a copy of the Emergency Preparedness Guide go to: http://www.southtahoeemergencyguide.com/
Fire Fest is an annual event hosted by our local fire agencies, including Lake Valley Fire District, the U.S. Forest Service, the Tahoe-Douglas Fire District, Fallen Leaf Fire District, South Lake Tahoe Fire Department and the Nevada Fire Safe Council, and sponsored by the Lake Tahoe Kiwanis Club. This event highlights Fire Prevention Week and includes local safety agencies, creating a day celebrating fire and life safety for children and families.
Activities include fire engines and equipment, roll over and vehicle extrication, police dog demonstrations, demonstration of fire resistant building materials and systems, home safety ideas, free hand out material and lots of special attractions for kids, for example water fights, face painting, bounce house, as well as, Smokey Bear, Sparky and other friends.
Over the past 17 years, officials have distributed hundreds of smoke detectors and fire extinguishers for local homes, reduced incidents involving children and matches, met the people who help us in emergencies, fingerprinted hundreds of our children, provided bicycle and car seat safety inspections & information and overall, created safer homes, vehicles, streets, and neighborhoods, as well as, a safer forest.
Fire Safe Council. Development in California has created wildland-urban interface communities amid the state's fire-dependent landscapes. The corresponding increased demand for fire services in the wildland-urban interface can only be met with a proactive community based response. The solution to the state's wildfire crisis is creating communities that can stand against wildfire, because for residents and businesses, living in California means learning to live with fire. The Fire Safe Council empowers communities to become fire safe and provides avenues in which these communities can collectively protect their properties .
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). Lake Valley Fire Protection District is proud to offer training to our community that helps prepare them for emergencies which supports their local agencies in kind. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for 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. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.