BLFD 2017 Highlights
33 Calls for service: 6 required Medivac by helicopter.
Debbie Knipe retired as the HOA Secretary/treasurer, but remains an active member of the fire department and functions as our dispatcher for the Bucks Lake area.
Thanks to David Beskeen for taking over the fire training schedule. The 5 half day trainings were well attended. One night training was a joint helicopter medivac exercise with Meadow Valley FD which included a patient hot load. During a hot load, the helicopter remains running at full speed ready for lift off once the patient is secure. The entire group in attendance worked together safely as a team. Well done!
4 of our members are now certified as EMR (Emergency Medical Responders). This certification involves over 40 hours of class and hands on practical work and includes CPR/AED updates. 2 other members were re-certified in this same EMR training.
2 of our members attended the Vehicle Operator 1A class in Quincy and will be certified with a fire fighter endorsement so they can drive our large trucks. We now have 4 certified drivers.
The 4th of July in 2017 fell on a weekday, but we still served 735 meals! Typically, when the 4th falls on or near a weekend, we serve 750-850 meals. Thanks to the firefighters, the Snowdrifters and all the other volunteers for their hard work and dedication to make our annual breakfast happen!
The pancake breakfast raffle hosted by our members, wives, and friends was an enormous success. The prizes were spectacular. This raffle is growing each year! We are already receiving donations for our 2018 breakfast. If you would like to donate a raffle prize, please drop it by the Haskin’s Store. Be sure to clearly write your name on the prize, so we can acknowledge you during the raffle.
The 2018 Pancake breakfast will be held on, Saturday July 7, 2018 from 8-11 am at the Bucks Lake fire station. Come by and enjoy a breakfast, meet the volunteer firefighters, and maybe win a prize at the raffle! Be sure to thank our volunteer firefighters for all they do for our community.
Our 20 year old radio repeater finally expired during 2017. It occasionally works in a very limited capacity and the overall reception has been extremely poor. The good news is we have a new repeater coming in May that will replace our very old and outdated equipment. An $18,000 grant from FEMA was approved and with the help of the Plumas County Sheriff’s Department, the Plumas County Office of Emergency Services, and our Chief, we will be up and running in 2018 with all state of the art repeater communications equipment. With this new repeater, we were told that Bucks Lake will have the best fire service repeater equipment in Plumas County!
A new dish adorns the fire station and we now have our own Hughesnet service. There is also a new camera surveillance system with 1 TB of storage that gives us 24/7 coverage in all directions around the fire station. All the pictures taken by the cameras have a time stamp on them. Current pictures post to: www.buckslakefire.com.
During the winter of 2017-18 there were 4 or more burglaries from the Haskins B&B to Mile High road. Our winter rescue equipment and resources were used to help the Plumas County Sheriff’s Department apprehend one bad guy. Our new cameras also helped identify several suspicious events and recover a stolen nativity scene from a yard in the Countryman Estates area.
Sadly, the Bucks Lake HOA membership has dramatically decreased. Based on the paid member list provided to the fire department by the HOA secretary, membership is down to 143 from 215 the prior year. A decrease in membership directly impacts the Bucks Lake Fire Service budget. The fire department budget is based upon 200 members joining the fire plan at the $130.00 per member fee.
When we have more than 200 people join the fire plan, the excess funds are placed in a savings account for future equipment. A new fire truck is well over $100,000.
We always need new volunteer members! I ask each of you to consider those you know around the lake who might consider volunteering and encourage them to join the fire department…and maybe that is YOU! “Many hands make for light work.” Ask your Bucks Lake neighbor or friend to join. We pay for all needed training, which includes the much-admired Quincy Fire Academy, as well as, all needed Personal Protective Equipment. It is very rewarding to be a Bucks Lake Volunteer Firefighter serving with a talented group of people helping others.