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Firefighter News -November 2016


Firefighter News - November 2016

Fire Safety for Seniors

In October, during Fire Prevention Week, the fire service focuses on teaching fire safety to youths. However, older adults (age 65 and older) are more than twice as likely to die in fires than the Nation’s population as a whole. Individuals aged 85 or older are more than four times likely to die in a fire than the general population. Here are some tips to help seniors and their caregivers learn about fire safety.

Smoke is poisonous. If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out. If you can’t get out, keep the door of your room closed, and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out. If you can’t get out and there is a phone in the room, call 911. Stay where you are, and signal for help at the window.

Practice how to get to your outside meeting place quickly. In a fire, you may have only seconds to escape safely after you hear a smoke alarm. Stay calm when the smoke alarm sounds. Get out fast and stay out. Never go back inside for people, pets, or things. Feel the doorknob and the cracks around a door before opening. If you feel any heat, leave the door closed and use another way out.

• Install and maintain smoke alarms

• If you smoke, smoke outside. Never smoke in bed, while drowsy, or while under the influence of medication or alcohol. Before you throw out cigarette butts, make sure they are completely cool and place them in water or a can filled with sand.

• Candles are pretty to look at, but remember that a candle is an open flame and can easily ignite anything that burns around it. Only burn candles when you are in the room. Never light candles if you are tired and might fall asleep. Consider using battery-operated, flameless candles.

• Practice electrical safety. Electrical work should be only done by a licensed electrician. Check all electrical appliances often. Replace cracked, damaged, and loose electrical cords. 

For more information, please visit for fire safety guides and checklists.

Burn Permits

Fire season will end in the coming weeks and open burning will again be allowed.  You must have a current burn permit in your possession during the burn and it must be a burn day.  The name of the property owner or occupant and the address of the property where the burn is located must be on the permit.  In other words burn permits are specific to the property of the bun and the individual conducting the burn.


The Bodega Volunteer Fire Department which has been in existence since 1949 continues to have strong community support. Our average response time has been less than 5 minutes and we have responded to over 150 calls so far this year (which is up from last year). 

Our neighbor,  Bodega Bay Fire District, is studying the feasibility of a new coastal fire district, also our Volunteer Association representing CSA 40 is completing a district formation study.   BVFD remains open to participate and listen to all proposals but will not make any decisions until all studies are completed and input is received from our local members.  We have an active voice in the new Fire Service Advisory Council through our Board President Bill Newman, who is an alternate to the council and remains active in the meetings to look out for the best interests of Bodega Volunteer Fire Department. 

We want to welcome our new volunteers; Wesley Albini, Silvia Rodriguez , Daniel Ito-Lutz, and Vaughn Higginbotham.  Our active volunteer roster is now 14 men and women. 

We have worked hard at grant writing, Thanks to Volunteer Josh Perucchi we are pleased to have been awarded recent grants: $1000 Sonoma County TOT for advertising of our fundraising events, $10,000 Sonoma County TOT to upgrade Station 2 (McCaughey Hall)  and a combined grant to purchase a Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) to access trails, parks, beaches and rural areas in our district and adjoining districts that fire vehicles can’t access. The 2 grants were combined from the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival ($7,500) along with a grant from Sonoma County Fire Advisory Council ($20,000).  

As one of the few fire departments in Sonoma County that doesn’t have a special fire tax we rely on multiple fundraisers throughout the year. We encourage you to attend our annual crafts fair to find your family and friends a holiday gift. The event takes place November 25th and 26th at McCaughey Hall, 17184 Bodega Hwy, Bodega, CA. For all the up to date information visit our website at


A big thank you to everyone that attended our annual fire prevention week kickoff event, “A Night at the Fire Station”.  This year we were able to add a couple of different demonstrations such as using the “Jaws of Life” and other extrication tools.  We were also able to lift a car using air bags. We look forward to a bigger event next year.

Last month was very busy.  Lou Stoerzinger was appointed to Captain of B-shift, a well-deserved appointment; Congrats Lou!  Jesse Gomez was promoted to Reserve Firefighter/EMT and was also offered a temporary assignment as a FF/EMT on B-Shift; Congrats to Jesse as well.

The Board chose the vender of our new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (MSA), with a lot of input from staff and work from Captain Lou Stoerzinger and Firefighter/Paramedic Josh Menzies who compiled all the data points into an easily understood report and recommendation.  

And finally our two Firefighter/EMT’s have completed all of their Paramedic training and will acquire their State Licenses soon.  Congratulations Jacob Reding and Ryan Hamilton.


Graton Fire Christmas Tree Farm – Opens 11/25 

We are celebrating our 11th year of serving the community in a different way… selling Christmas trees. As many of you know, we purchased the Del Davis Tree Farm on Highway 116, just below Green Valley Road, to be the location of our new fire station. For the 4th year, we will feature pre-cut Noble and Nordmann trees from a certified, sustainably-grown tree farm in Oregon. They are kept in water so they will last significantly longer and be safer in your homes. We will be open Thursday-Sunday from 9am to 5pm after Thanksgiving Day. We invite you to come and enjoy homemade apple cider as you wander through our natural tree farm. Did you sponsor a tree seedling in the past? Come find your tag in the nursery or out in the plantation. Did you know that each acre of Christmas trees generates enough oxygen for 18 people? 

We realize several long-standing tree farms have retired and with them the traditions of family togetherness, holiday smells, and all the “little” things that make a fresh tree and Christmas so special. We look forward to continuing to give our community these special times and our volunteer firefighters enjoy the opportunity of seeing each of you, year after year. Please come and say hello to Heather O’Dell, our tree farm manager, who continues to nurture and maintain the trees on our behalf. With her efforts, our firefighters, and the support of our community, we anticipate another great season! Always remember to breathe deeply....


Daylight savings comes to an end on November 6th, remember to set your clocks back 1 hour. With that in mind, it is also a good reminder to change the batteries in your smoke detector. Don’t take a chance with old batteries!

With the holidays fast approaching, please remember to use care when preparing holiday meals. Unattended or improper use of ovens and fryers can lead to injuries and fires.

As a reminder, the Russian River Fire Protection District Board of Directors holds their regular meeting on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:00pm. We hope you’ll consider attending.