The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette
| more

Photo Gallery

Firefighter News - February 2015


Firefighter News - February 2015

Smoke alarms

Test Your Alarm for Life!

 Your smoke alarm has the power to save your life. Or does it? If you haven’t tested your smoke alarm lately, it may not be working. And that’s a risk you can’t afford to take. Working smoke alarms give us early warning of a fire, providing extra time to escape safely. But they can’t do their job if we haven’t done ours - monthly testing to make sure they’re working. Test all the smoke alarms in your home. For the life of the alarm and for the lives of your loved ones.

When was the last time you tested your smoke alarms?

Last month? Last year? Can’t remember? If you’re not sure your smoke alarms are working, then how can you be sure you’ll be protected if a fire breaks out? Don’t gamble with your life and assume your smoke alarms are working. Test each one, every month, so you’ll know they’ll be ready to protect you and your family if there’s a fire. Test your alarm for life.

Do you have the time?

Can you afford to spend a few minutes each month to test the smoke alarms in your home? Can you afford not to? Going without the protection of a working smoke alarm is a risk too dangerous to take. In a fire, you’ll need every second to get out safely, and the early warning from a smoke alarm can make the difference between surviving a fire and dying in one. Test your smoke alarms today. You can’t afford not to.

Escape planning

How much time do you have to get out of a fire?

Not as much as you think. Real fires are hot, smokey and dark. You may have only a very few minutes to safely escape from fire. If you’re ever in a fire, don’t spend time getting dressed or trying to gather valuables. Just get out and stay out. Then call the fire department from a neighbor’s telephone.

If you have a fire tonight, will you get out safely?

You’ll have a better chance of getting out safely if you’ve planned ahead. Develop a fire escape plan and practice it with the whole family. Everyone should know two ways out of each room and know where to meet outside. Make sure everyone understands that getting out is the first priority. And remember, once you’re outside, stay out.

“Get Out, Stay Out” - Your fire safe response

What would you do if your home caught on fire? Would you know where to go if smoke or flames blocked your escape? There is no time to think about these questions in a real fire. It’s hot, smokey, and so dark you may not be able to see your own hands. Know ahead of time what to do if there’s a fire. Develop an escape plan with two ways out of every room. You’ll need a second way in case your primary exit is blocked by smoke or flames. And make sure every exit is accessible, including windows. Getting out is your first priority in a fire. And once out, stay out!


Bodega Bay incidents - 2014

Type Total

Medical Aid 294
Traffic Collision 48
Assist/Service Call 117
Fires 15
False Alarms 17
Hazardous Condition 31
Rescue- cliff / water 28

Total 550

2014 was unusually busy out here on the Coast.  We ran 550 calls for service, which is about 75, more calls for service over the average for the last few years.  The case of Young Sebastian, the 4 y/o boy who fell 240 feet down a cliff at Bodega Head and survived is a proud moment for our fire district.  Our efforts to rescue Sebastian were assisted by State Parks Rangers and Lifeguards, the US Coast Guard, Sonoma County Sheriff, Bodega Volunteer Company, Occidental Fire Department, REDCOM Dispatch, and Verihealth Ambulance.  Sebastian is well on the road to recovery.

As always, you can keep up with us at


Our daytime temperatures have been favorable, so let’s not forget about the fog and potential icy conditions that may exist in the evenings. On behalf of all fire departments and EMS responders, please consider leaving a little sooner for your destinations than you normally would, allowing for slower and more cautious driving. Please drive safely!!

Forestville Fire Alarm Recap 2014

Type Total

Assist/Service Call 62
Auto/Mutual Aid 80
Debris Fire 6
Fire Alarm 18
Strike Teams 4
Hazardous Condition 91
Haz-Mat 0
Investigation 58
Medical Aid 334
Traffic Collision 75
Rescue 4
Structure Fire 14
Vehicle Fire 4
Vegetation Fire 14

Total 764

The Forestville Fire District’s paid and volunteer staff participated in 1,039 hours of in house training and logged over 12,143 hours responding to 764 calls for service during the 2014 calendar year. The District’s volunteer staff provided coverage for the District’s first out engine company to assure that it was staffed by a total of 3 personnel, 2 paid and 1 volunteer, at all times. Total fire damage for the year was $834,200. In 2014 members of the District also served the community by donating to local civic, youth groups and charities as well as, setting up for the Youth Park Barbeque, Toys for

Tots and local toy giveaways, installing the new banners in town, delivering Santa Claus to the tree lighting, assisting with the town cleanup, EMT standby at El Molino football games and a host of other events and charities. The Forestville Fire District Board of Directors would like to thank all of the members of the Forestville Fire District and their families for another year of Service and Sacrifice.

A big congratulation to the following FFPD personnel for reaching a tenure milestone:

• 40 years – Dave Franceschi

• 30 years – Max Ming

• 25 years – Josh Nultemeier

• 15 years – Travis Wood

• 0 years – Garrett Northern, Mike Franceschi, Mason Lewis and Chuck Franceschi



2014 in Review

Type Total

Public Assist 17
Mutual Aid 72
Debris Fire 2
Fire Alarm 24
Gas Leak 3
Tree/Power Lines Down 49
Hazardous Material Spill 2
Fire Investigation 19
Medical Aid 288
Other 27
Water Rescue 7
Structure Fire 12
Traffic Collision 48
Vegetation Fire 4

Total 574

As 2014 ended, the firefighters of the Graton Fire Protection District completed 574 calls – A New Record! Each year, the average number of calls grows by 3-5 percent.  This may not seem like much when compared with larger city departments, but Graton Fire still runs every call with volunteers – from the Fire Chief to the Trainees...  they interrupt their paying jobs and personal lives to serve the community.  Graton is one of the busiest volunteer fire departments in Sonoma County.  Thank you to all of our volunteers, employers, and families for their understanding and support.

Sleeper Program

In order to support the ever-growing call volume, we are starting a sleeper program! Our goal is to have 2 firefighters at the station every night. This will improve our response times at night. For fires, traffic collisions, and other significant calls, everyone will still respond (as available); however, the in-house firefighters will handle the rest of the calls and reduce the burden on everyone else.


Keep your eyes open for our brand new 2014 Leader ambulance!! Russian River Fire Protection District will be accepting the new ambulance in mid February. We are very excited for its arrival!

Please join us on February 11, 2015 for our next regularly scheduled Board meeting to be held at the fire station, 14100 Armstrong Woods Rd. starting at 6pm.