Whether in the fire district, or outside our region, the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District firefighters are happy to serve.
Strike teams are utilized by fire departments to loan out equipment and firefighters to communities in need. Theses teams can be a single resource like a paramedic or dozer boss; or an engine or a brush truck with 4 personnel. TDFPD sent a strike team to Santa Rosa/Napa last month. Strike team members were Battalion Chief Rich Nalder, Captains Bryce Cranch, Chris Lucas, Chuck Salerno, and Brian Zabel, and Firefighter/Paramedics Dusty Gooch and Greg Koeck.
Currently, we have seven firefighters in Southern California: Battalion Chief Rich Nalder, Captains Bill Romanowitz and Chuck Salerno, and Firefighter/ Paramedics Chad Baker, Derrick Bean, Ryan Pruitt, and Scott Vandover.
Tradition in the fire service runs deep and strong, and much of that tradition is shown during fire department ceremonies, such as the Regional Fire Academy Class 17-2 Graduation earlier this month. From the training, to the badges and helmets, to the firefighter's oath, and to aspects of the ceremony itself, there is plenty of tradition to be carried on through these new recruits careers. Below are more pictures from the Class 17-2 graduation ceremony and some of the traditions that were exhibited.
Chairman Kirschner administered the firefighter's oath to FF/P Tajkowski during the graduation ceremony. While oaths vary greatly based on department, many of them call on the firefighter to uphold the Constitution and the state and to faithfully and impartially carry out the duties they are asked to perform in this profession.
Fire Chief Baker and FF/P Tajkowski after being pinned with his badge.
Fire Chief Baker, FF/P Tajkowski, and Assistant Chief Antti. All TDFPD personnel perform their first year on a probationary status, and earn their official helmet shield upon successful completion of their first year and all required testing.
Bagpipes are a tradition at many fire department ceremonies. Heath Burton, who graduated with Carson City Fire Department, played alongside bagpiper Sean Cummings while the colors were presented and while the recruits entered the ceremony.
Each agency involved in the academy provides a Recruit Training Officer. These personnel are in charge of all the training that is conducted to prepare the recruits for their careers in the fire service during the eleven weeks of the academy.
Former Zephyr Crew Member Garrett Hekhuis also graduated from Class 17-2. He will be working for Carson City Fire Department, and he was pinned by his father Dave Hekhuis, who is a retired Battalion Chief from Tahoe Douglas and is currently a Battalion Chief at Lake Valley Fire Protection District.
Another former Zephyr Crew Member, Anil Ratti, also graduated from Class 17-2 and will also be working for Carson City Fire Department. He was pinned by his wife Charlotte (pictured above).
Several recruits folded the large flag that was hanging over the cermony after it was complete.
Congratulations to the fifteen graduates from Carson City Regional Fire Academy Class 17-2.
Congratulations to the fifteen graduates from the Carson City Regional Fire Academy Class 17-2. The recruits endure eleven weeks of training to prepare them for their careers in the fire service. This graduating class had recruits from Carson City Fire Department, Central Lyon County Fire Protection District, East Fork Fire Protection District, North Tahoe Fire Protection District, Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District, and Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District.
Carson City Fire Department: Heath Burton, Justin Claman, Michael Cox, Nick Garcia, Garrett Hekhuis, Joseph Nolan, and Anil Ratti
Central Lyon County Fire Protection District: Cody Mandeville
East Fork Fire Protection District: Nathan Attaway
North Tahoe Fire Protection District: Scott Rice
Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District: Brent Tajkowski
Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District: Shane Bohach, Derek Jackson, Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Rutter, and Anthony Schiro
Below are some pictures from the event.
Celebrating Firefighter/Paramedic Brent Tajkowski's graduation from the Regional Fire Academy Class 17-2. From left to right: Assistant Chief Jim Antti, Fire Chief Scott Baker, Firefighter/Paramedic Brent Tajkowski, Battalion Chief Rich Nalder, Batallion Chief Todd Moss.
The Tahoe Douglas family celebrating Firefighter/Paramedic Brent Tajkowski's graduation from the Regional Fire Academy Class 17-2.
Firefighter/Paramedic Brent Tajkowski entering the graduation ceremony with Scott Rice from North Tahoe Fire Protection District.
The Honor Guard presents the flags at the ceremony. TDFPD Engineer Mark Norwood carried the Tahoe Douglas flag (second from the right).
Honor Guard - Engineer Mark Norwood (fourth from the right).
Honor Guard cords - Engineer Mark Norwood, who carried the Tahoe Douglas flag for the ceremony.
Congratulations to Mark Norwood who has been promoted to Engineer. In 2013, the Fire District applied for and was awarded a SAFER Grant for $2,700,000 over a two year period to maintain staffing and skills levels in the midst of retirements. Norwood, already an experienced firefighter/paramedic, joined TDFPD as part of this SAFER recruitment class, which was the largest single hiring event in District history with thirteen new employees. As a paramedic, Norwood managed emergency scenes and directed the efforts of his fellow first responders. Because of his work ethic and job knowledge, he served as a Paramedic Preceptor to mentor new hires through their paramedic skills testing requirements and prepare them to perform promptly, accurately, and compassionately on the job.
>Norwood is a member of the Quad County Hazardous Materials team, and has assisted with developing and implementing the HazMat First Responder Operations (FRO) training for the District and recently became the program lead. Engineer Norwood serves as a rope rescue and a child passenger car seat technician. He is certified as an American Heart Association ACLS, PALS, and CPR instructor and has been active in providing courses for his peers as well as the public. He also possesses a large selection of wildland qualifications including: Engine Boss, Dozer Boss, Communications Technician, Communications Unit Leader, Faller Class B (trainee), and Wildfire Fire Investigator (trainee).
Engineer Norwood has AA degrees in Electronic Technology and Fire Science and is currently working on his a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science Administration. He has served as an Acting Engineer since 2015 and has now secured the position as a permanent rank.
The Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District has partnered with Kingsbury Hardware again to provide ash cans to the homeowners of the Fire District for the safe disposal of hot ashes. This program is available free of charge to residents of the Fire District who use a wood burning appliance to heat their homes.
To obtain a free ash can, homeowners can visit www.tahoefire.org under Prevention/Burning Regulations and print out an Ash Can Voucher located at the bottom of the page. Vouchers are also available at Station 23 in Round Hill across from Safeway. Completed vouchers can be exchanged for an ash can at Kingsbury Hardware while supplies last.
Full ash cans can be dumped at TDFPD Station #23, 193 Elks Point Road, Zephyr Cove, in the rear parking lot in a bright red dumpster.
In the past ten years, Captain Rossi has consistently grown as a firefighter, as an athlete, and as a leader. Rossi attended the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill on a full-ride scholarship for swimming. While captain of the swim team, he was a Dean’s List student and an Atlantic Coast Conference All-Conference athlete. He earned his BA degree in Management and has since added his AA degree in Fire Science.
Rossi joined TDFPD in 2007 and immediately served on the EMS Steering Committee and earned his certification as an EMS Instructor. As a member of the Insurance Advisory Committee, Rossi researched and reviewed insurance proposals, which lead to the implementation of an H.S.A. plan saving the District money and protecting the coverage levels for the employees. Rossi was a project leader for the fire hydrant maintenance and tracking, which then lead to the tedious project of the updating the manual map books. Every new firefighter must memorize all the streets and the unique firefighting challenges that may exist in the various locations of the fire district. Rossi meticulously maintains accurate map books for studying/testing, for quick reference when a resident calls the stations, and for a manual back up in all our equipment should GPS ever fail. His interest and commitment to physical fitness has never wavered as he now bike rides competitively.
Pratt also joined TDFPD in 2007, quickly gravitating towards the ongoing promotional examination program. For each rank in the fire service, employees must complete required course work, study and master written exams, and then pass live situational scenarios. As a new employee, Pratt took advantage of opportunities to serve as support personnel during theses exams. Volunteering for these assignments gives employees a deeper understanding of what to expect when they desire to promote. Pratt then successfully promoted to Engineer in 2012.
He has been very active with the IAFF Local 2441 serving on the Contract Negotiation Committee, which gained him insight as to how the Fire District tax revenues are distributed throughout the various District budgets. He also eagerly participates in public education events like the school programs for boat safety, winter survival, and the Chamber Business EXPO in an effort to make sure our children and residents know that firefighters are here to help them. His education was obtained locally through the TMCC Fire Academy and Paramedic programs.
Engineer Petersen has nearly 16 years of fire service experience, consisting of two seasons with the U.S. Forest Service, four years with Las Vegas Fire & Rescue, and ten years with TDFPD. He attended the Northern Nevada Fire and Rescue Academy in 2000, earned an AA degree from TMCC in Fire Technology in 2001, and completed the REMSA Paramedic program in 2009. He was promoted to Engineer in 2015.
Petersen’s contributions to the District thus far have been as the Station Supply Manager working with vendors to order, deliver, and approve expenses for the station needs like paper products, cleaning supplies, and equipment; as an American Heart Association CPR Instructor teaching internal and external classes to his co-workers and the public; and as a vendor liaison for computerized staffing programs to improve departmental overtime availability, acceptance, and tracking. He spent hundreds of hours testing, training on, and refining the software. Currently, Petersen is serving as a Paramedic Preceptor and as the Uniform Coordinator. The latter gave him an opportunity to design a new logo for the agency, and he continues to work with vendors on the selection and ordering of the firefighter daily uniform as well as the Local 2441 Union apparel needs.
We are proud to acknowledge their dedication and commitment to the residents and visitors of the fire district over the past ten years.
Tahoe local Kyle Fine (Center with son, Cash) considers it a privilege and an honor to serve and protect the beautiful basin where he grew up. Engineer Fine graduated from Incline High School, earned his AA in Fire Science Technology at TMCC, completed Cal Fire Wildland Academy and Northern Nevada Fire Rescue Academy, and graduated from the REMSA paramedic program. In 2012, he was hired as a firefighter/paramedic for TDFPD and promoted to Engineer in 2015. He possesses an exceptional mechanical aptitude and has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to stay calm and act decisively in hectic emergency situations. Fine has embraced his responsibilities as an Engineer and stepped up to keep maintenance and repairs running smoothly when a medical situation sidelined our mechanic. He was part of the apparatus team that reviewed the specs for a new fire engine that was just put into service this fire season. The committee spent hours reviewing our current equipment, other agency equipment, and new design options available from the manufacturer. The committee was also responsible for inspecting the engine periodically during the build. It gives him tremendous pride to be able to drive the engine he helped design and bring into service.
As a Field Training Officer (FTO) at the Regional Fire Academy, Engineer Justin Reddig (right) is guiding the knowledge and skill development of the next generation of firefighters. Currently assigned to an intense ten-week fire academy, Reddig coordinates with FTO's from six other agencies to review curriculum, conduct physical conditioning, set up situations for skill testing, and prepare recruits for a broad field of training topics. He brings ten years of experience as a firefighter/paramedic and engineer to this position, and this is Engineer Reddig's third assignment as a FTO. Reddig began his career with the U.S. Forest Service as a wildland firefighter/EMT. He volunteered with Storey County as a reserve firefighter, and after completing the TMCC paramedic program in 2007, he was promoted to a full-time position. Reddig joined TDFPD in 2012, successfully working through his probationary year, then earning designations as a paramedic preceptor and dozer boss, and promoting to Engineer in 2015.
Scott Vandover (left) came to TDFPD in 2012 as a highly skilled and knowledgeable paramedic having been involved in emergency services since 2005. This experience earned him the responsibility of acting as a paramedic preceptor while still on probation as a TDFPD firefighter/paramedic. Vandover has actively participated in creating a program and standard for EMT-Advanced firefighters and updating TDFPD medical protocols as needed. His instructor skills have been utilized to develop, administer, and evaluate testing scenarios for lateral testing of candidates. He also served as part of the team to launch a new Continuing Quality Improvement (CQI) process, which made substantial improvements in our medical care and charting. Firefighter/Paramedic Vandover represents Local 2441 on the Insurance Advisory Committee, Negotiating Committee, and the Post-Retirement Trust Board. He graduated from the Northern Nevada Fire and Rescue Academy and earned his EMT-Basic and Paramedic certifications as well as an AA in Fire Science from TMCC. Staying current on the ever-changing advancements in patient care is a high priority for Vandover, and he is constantly pushing himself and his crew forward.
We are proud to acknowledge their dedication and commitment to the residents and visitors of the fire district over the past five years.
The 2017 fire season has proven to be very demanding for the Western states with up to 40 fires burning at one point last month. TDFPD participates in mutual aid agreements that provide district resources to our neighbors in the Lake Tahoe Basin and Northern Nevada. TDFPD, in turn, receives similar support for fires within our district. Under these agreements, the TDFPD provides a structure engine or brush truck with a crew of four for inital attack and short duration fire assignments. TDFPD also receives requests for fire assignments up to 14 days for engine/brush crews and individual resources like dozer bosses, incident command team members, and fire line paramedics. The Zephyr Crew is a Type 2 Initial Attack hand crew of 20 members that can hike into remote areas with the equipment needed to cut fire lines and remove fuel in advance of a fire.
This summer, TDFPD personnel have responded to 45 out-of-district fires as close as Gardnerville and as far away as Utah and Arizona.
Why does the Fire District do this? Like many other fire agencies, TDFPD typically has up to 15 firefighters on duty. Stopping a wildfire quickly is critical, so the first priority is to get as many resources lined up as possible and ready to respond if needed. Secondly, while TDFPD responds to approximately 2,000 calls per year, eighty percent (80%) of these calls are EMS related. Responding to out-of-district fire provides critical live fire experiences for our personnel, giving them an opportunity to put their training to use and develop their skills to better serve our residents at home.
Engineer and EOD Technician Nathan Johnson (center) has completed Hazardous Devices School (HDS) - Basic Course and is a fully certified bomb technician. Nationwide, only ten percent (10%) of the bomb technicians come from the fire service, and Johnson attended the six-week course with 23 law enforcement and FBI technicians.
Johnson identified the render safe procedures as the most interesting part of the training. The HDS training grounds simulate an actual bus station, farm house, hospital, and fire department where instructors set up situations for four-person technician teams to solve. For this aspect of the training, they are not permitted to use technology like computers and robots, and must rely on each other and manual techniques to solve the problems.
He explained that his training as a firefighter/paramedic lead him to approach a potential EOD situation from the perspective of what the chemical compounds could do to a human victim or the potential exposure risk from hazardous materials if detonated. Law enforcement and FBI trainees take a completely different approach. Enforcement leans towards dealing with how to secure the area and protect others, where the suspect who placed the item is and how to stop him or her, and how to secure the evidence and investigate following an explosion. Engineer Johnson appreciated the opportunity to gain insight from his law enforcement classmates, who good-heartedly gave him handcuffs and a badge to memorialize the course.
Johnson's parents, Elaine and Don Johnson, traveled from Durand, Michigan to attend the graduation ceremony at the FBI Hazardous Devices School at Redston Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama (pictured above).
Engineer Paul Apple has the unique distinction of being the only TDFPD employee to have been raised in the fire district and to have graduated from GWHS. Currently, he is serving as an engineer, which is the position responsible for safely driving the fire engine and providing water at a fire from the engine storage tanks or fire hydrants on site. An engineer's responsibility at a fire is to keep consistent and powerful water flow to the firefighters fighting the blaze.
Apple attended LTCC Fire Academy, received "Top Academic Awards," and was selected to speak on behalf of the class at graduation. To gain experience, he volunteered with Lake Valley Fire and South Lake Tahoe Fire establishing career relationships that continue to serve him today. His first position was with Lake County Fire in Clearlake, CA, which provided his most memorable call to date when he delivered a baby in the back of an ambulance.
He says that he acquired his "dream job" in 2012 when he was hired with TDFPD and attended his third fire academy to learn Tahoe Douglas procedures. He has served as a paramedic preceptor, SCBA technician, Peer Fitness trainer, and member of the Honor Guard. This past spring, he completed 88 hours of Truck Company Operations training, which allows him to incorporate lessons learned into TDFPD ladder truck training.
Apple has four AA degrees in Fire Science, Health, Social Science, and Liberal Arts, and he is working towards his bachelor's degree. Shown here in full dress uniform for an Honor Guard presentation, we are happy to acknowledge his five years of service to the Fire District.
GWHS graduate Aspen Kidd was awarded a $500 TDFPD scholarship for her continued education in the medical field. Her school activities included National Honor Society, Academic Team - captain, Key Club, Science Bowl - captain, S.T.E.M. Camp - mentor, and assisting other students as a math tutor. Kidd lettered in varsity volleyball for four seasons. She volunteered as a teaching assistant, Barton Hospital nursing assistant, at the annual Festival of Trees event, and worked the Hard Rock Marathon. Aspen graduated with a weighted GPA of 4.38 and passed all of her AP exams.
Aspen spent six months in Spain, which ignited a desire to someday volunteer internationally. Her passion is journalism and she also aspires to become a novelist. Aspen is attending UNR this fall as an Honors Student with the prestigious Presidential Award, and she plans to acquire a degree in nursing.
Pictured here (left to right) Fire Chief Scott Baker, Sean Noyes, Aspen Kidd, Jeff Kidd, and Fire Marshal Eric Guevin.
Recipient of a $500 TDFPD scholarship, Zephyr Crew member Kaven Peck (center) is shown here with his parents, Steve and Eva Peck. Born and raised in Lake Tahoe, Peck was the youngest member of the Zephyr Crew this season, turning 18 in early June. While attending GWHS, Peck earned varsity letters for football and ski team for four years, and qualified individually for state ski team three times. He was selected for the Rotary Leadership Camp in the summer of 2016 and graduated with a weighted GPA of 3.3.
Entrepreneurship runs in the family. Mom, Eva, owns Bright Beginnings Day Care, and Dad, Steve, works at Edgewood Water and owns a landscaping business. Kaven has had a landscaping business for three years. To his credit, he was able to maintain Kaven's Landscaping client base this summer while working full-time with the Zephyr Crew and being out of district on fire assignments. Kaven is currently enrolled in EMS classes at WNC and plans to complete an EMT course next semester. He will work ski patrol through the winter. His long term goal is to become a structure firefighter.
The "Community Service - The Protection of Lives and Property Scholarships" that Kidd and Peck have received were provided by proceeds raised at the annual Firehouse Pancake Breakfast. The fire district maintains a Community Involvement Fund to provide educational scholarships to local students, assistance to fire victims, and support to families of firefighters recovering from injury or illness. The fund is 100% funded by donations.
New this year at the Pancake Breakfast is a blessing of the fleet by Father Oliver of Our Lady at Tahoe, TDFPD t-shirts and hats for sale, and refurbished fire hydrants for sale.
In March 2017, the Board of Trustees approved a Fire Flow Initiative (FFI) program with the vision to expand capabilities for water supply and water rescue operations, to provide fire flow to underserved areas of the district, and to provide an alternative to private fire pumps.
Fire flow is required for Certificate of Occupancy at a minimum of 1,500 gallons per minute for 30 minutes when existing homes are remodeled or when new homes are built. Our fire district has 128 homes located in areas where fire flow is insufficient. Underserved areas are the locations where there is inadequate (fragile water systems) or no water (no hydrants) available for firefighting operations. Working together with homeowners and stakeholders, the Fire District has created a Fire Flow Initiative to address alternative resources to aid in fire suppression.
An independent Fire Engineer Report conducted in 2016 recommended a combination solution of a fire boat, water tender, and fire sprinklers with monitored fire alarm systems in each of these homes. A separate fund in the budget was created to accept donations and to apply fees from the homeowners involved to sustain the program in the future. The FFI program will aid in controlling costs and in standardizing service requirements and operations of the individual systems.
If you would like more information on the Fire Flow Initiative, please contact Fire Marshal Eric Guevin at 775-588-3591.
As part of the Fire Engineer's recommendation, the District has ordered a new fire boat, which is currently being built to our specifications in Wisconsin. The new boat will be equipped with a Skyhook digital anchoring system and joystick steering in the wheelhouse and on the bow, which are safety features that make piloting the boat earier during an emergency response. It will be capable of pumping 1,500 gallons per minute, is designed to allow anchoring on the beach and connection to standpipes. The boat willl have a fast response time, as it will be powered by twin 350HP Mercury Verados capable of traveling up to 45 mph. Other features are GPS, sonar, search lights, and Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR). Fallen Leaf Lake Fire has FLIR on their boat which they have used to assist Search and Rescue efforts in the water and on land by locating missing hikers from the water with the infrared. It will also have a landing-craft door, which lowers into the water for safer rescue of victims.
A project team of firefighters reviewed specifications for the design, will continue to monitor the construction, and will coordinate training when the boat is delivered in November. The cost of the boat is approximately $500,000 and has been paid for by donations and fees from homeowners opting to participate in the FFI program. The manufacturer, Lake Assault, said that the boat will be well-built and if properly maintained, should last 20 years.
The boat will initially be docked at the Zephyr Cove pier in agreement with U.S. Forest Service and Aramark. Eventually, it will be moved to a new public safety pier; one of three approved by TRPA for Incline, South Lake, and the west shore - exact location TBD. The District will share the cost of the pier with four other agencies.
Will Morgan grew up around the fire station with his father, Steve, who retired as an Operator with Carson City Fire in 2015. Will began his career with the Zephyr Crew in 2008 after graduating from Douglas High School, which was the year the community approved a tax referendum to allocate funds for thirty years to support fuels reduction in our fire district. As a Zephyr Crew wildland firefighter, he mastered the Sawyer position and was responsible for chainsaw repairs/replacement. He enrolled in the TMCC Fire Academy in 2008 during the off season and was selected as Academy Class Leader. By 2012, he had acquired his AA in Fire Science Technology, completed the REMSA Paramedic Program on a TDFPD scholarship, and was gaining valuable experience with North Lyon Fire Protection District as a reserve, Northstar at Tahoe as ski patrol, and REMSA as a paramedic. Morgan returned to Tahoe Douglas Fire in that year in a full-time Firefighter/Paramedic position. Immediately following his probationary year, he served as a preceptor for new paramedics, began training as a communication technician (radios), and set his sights on the Engineer rank. He ultimately tested #1 on the Engineer test. Determination and commitment earned him the Engineer shield in 2013, and perhaps on the shortest track in TDFPD history, he became a Captain in 2016. He continues to expand his skills as a certified water rescue and rope technician. Pictured here with Chief Scott Baker, Morgan is congratulated for his five years of service.
The 5th annual Community Work Days program has wrapped up for the season. Thank you to our homeowners who got out and took advantage of the Zephyr Crew resources to help complete their defensible space. The response was so positive that several of the neighborhoods were expanded to two work days this year.
If you missed the work days, consultations on defensible space, residential chipping, and residential pile burning and wood shake roof options are available at no cost to homeowners in the fire district. Evaluators are TRPA certified to mark and permit hazard trees for removal. Call our office at 775-588-3591 to schedule a Defensible Space Evaluation appointment.
The Fire District welcomes Brent Tajkowski as our newest employee. Tajkowski has an Associate's degree in Paramedic Technology and a Bachelor's degree in Fire Science from Lake Superior State University in Michigan. He attended St. Louis County Fire Academy in Missouri and has served as a Firefighter/Paramedic with Alpena Fire Department in Michigan, St. Louis County Fire in Missouri, and most recently as a paramedic with Cal-Tahoe Emergency Services Operations Authority in South Lake Tahoe. We are very excited to be adding another experienced FF/P to our seasoned crew and are happy to welcome Brent into the Tahoe Douglas Fire family.
"Charles Barkley became a beacon of hope and support for the firefighters and the recovery efforts of the community," TDFPD Fire Marshal Guevin told the crowd on the tenth hole of the American Century Golf Championship in July. He was acknowledging Barkley's generous donation to aid the recovery efforts following the Angora Fire devastation ten years ago. Barkley posed for a photo with local agencies, including TDFPD's Chief Scott Baker, his daughter Mackenzie, Captain Brandon Brady, Captain Chris Peterson, Fire Marshal Eric Guevin, Battalion Chief Rich Nalder, Foreman Matt Fogarty, his son Logan, and Engineer Kevin Crebs.
Photos taken by Zephyr Crew Members Colton Hughes (top) and Austin Evans (bottom) at the Preacher Fire in Gardnerville, NV.
Eighteen Zephyr Crew wildland firefighters and Brush 21 with four TDFPD personnel provided support on the fire for six days in July.
Tradition in the fire service runs deep and strong, and one of those traditions is to never forget the sacrifice of others. In July 2016, BLM firefighters Jacob O'Malley and Will Hawkins lost their lives in a BLM truck rollover accident on SR140, about 37 miles north of Winnemucca. A year later, TDFPD Captain Brian Zabel stopped while heading to a fire assignment to pay respects to our former fire district resident, O'Malley, and Hawkins. Our prayers go out to their families and friends, and we hope they know they are NEVER FORGOTTEN.
Captain Green (left) was acknowledged recently by Fire Chief Scott Baker (right) and the Fire Board for his 10 years of service. Green has been instrumental in developing the next generation of firefighters and paramedics for TDFPD. Throughout his career, Green has actively pursued opportunities and taken on collateral duties to make significant improvements and contributions to the Fire District. By serving on the EMS Steering and Protocol Committees, making equipment purchase recommendations, establishing medication controls, and creating patient care standards and protocols, Green has greatly improved the patient care experience, has acquired top of the line EMS equipment, and has found ways to control costs for the EMS program. He has been the lead on several ambulance re-chassi projects, and just returned from reviewing specs for the purchase of a new ambulance.
He is a certified technician in Swift Water Rescue, Low/High Angle Rope Rescue, Hazardous Materials Incident Command, Bioterrorism, and Weapons of Mass Destruction. He has taught numerous classes as a certified instructor in multiple medical specialties, both internally and externally. Captain Green was Lead Field Training Officer for the Regional Fire Academy. He has served our regional community on multiple wildfire field assignments around the region and is currently a Medical Unit Trainee.
Captain Green is a US Army Veteran, having served our country as an Infantry Officer. He worked as a Flight Paramedic/EMS/Critical Care Support Service Manager; an experience which gave him insight for his current role as first responder delivering patients to flight crews. Kevin has an AA degree in Business & Fire Science, and is working towards his BA in Public Administration. There is also a Mrs. Captain Green; his wife Carol is a Captain with North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District.
The Zephyr Crew has been busy fighting fire as a nationally recognized and in demand Type 2 Initial Attack (Type 2IA) hand crew and getting work done here at home.
The Community Work Days Program has been another success and the Zephyr Crew has assisted over 100 residents who needed help cutting brush and small trees and chipping piles. Neighborhoods remaining are Logan Creek, Cave Rock, Lakeridge and Hidden Woods scheduled for July 29 and 30. Uppaway Estates and Glenbrook are scheduled for August 5 and 6. The Crew is also nearing completion on a 100 acre forest thinning project near Zephyr Cove.
The Zephyr Crew has also been busy protecting our community this year! Since mid-May, the crew has participated in eight wildfires in our region, and was on the initial attack (first on scene) on three of those incidents. They also assisted with two rescues on the Tahoe Rim Trail.
The Zephyr Crew gains invaluable firefighting experience assisting our regional partners with wildfires in their district. This is important because we know one day we will be fighting fire right here at home with these same agencies. The Zephyr Crew has been fighting fire on the East Side of the Sierra and has nearly a month of firefighting under their belt this year. The Zephyr Crew was also called to assist on fires in Utah and New Mexico. This is a testament to the quality of the crew and their national recognition as a hardworking and skilled fire crew.
Congratulations to Captain Chris Lucas who recently earned a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership with a dual focus on Fire and Rescue Executive Leadership and Public Administration. We asked Captain Lucas:
Q. What did you find to be the most challenging aspect of going back to school as a husband, a father of three school age kids, an avid cyclist and a fire captain?
“I underestimated the course work challenge at the graduate level. It required virtually every evening for two years.
Fortunately, I had family support and when my kids were doing homework, I was doing homework. It was a huge sacrifice for all of us, but it was really good for the kids to see me setting a goal and working hard to achieve it.”
Q. What was the biggest benefit of getting your master’s degree?
“Learning how to research, and how to read and analyze informational text are great skills that I now use every day as a Captain. Writing a paper every single week and then actively participating in topical discussions has greatly improved my written and oral communication skills.”
Captain Lucas has been with TDFPD for 13 years: he is certified as a rope rescue and a water rescue instructor; and as a hazardous materials and car seat installation technician. He has a BA in Economics from St. Mary’s and is a licensed paramedic.
zephyr crew members graduate from ltcc fire academy
Congratulations to Zephyr Crew Members Wade Norberg (left) and Jered Mondragon (right) who graduated from the LTCC Fire Academy program – Class 11. Both are wildland firefighters; Norberg is in his second season with the crew, and Mondragon his third. Norberg and Mondragon are pictured here with their very proud Fire Chief, Scott Baker (center). The weather challenged the cadets in this academy as outdoor training continued even in the midst of record snow fall. Class 11 was also unique in that it was an international class with students from France and Poland. TDFPD Retiree Terry Hughes serves as an instructor with the fire academy.
Battalion Chief Rich Nalder (right) awarded Captain Chuck Salerno (left) a bronze helmet to acknowledge Salerno’s 25 years of Service with TDFPD. Salerno grew up with family friends in the fire service and knew at 18 years old that he wanted to become a firefighter. After high school, he enrolled in community college as a math major, and after completing an EMT class, immediately started testing for fire agencies. At 20 years old, he attended Fire Academy at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. With his Firefighter I certificate, he continued testing and realized that agencies were looking for firefighter/paramedics. He secured a position as an ambulance attendant for Santa Clarita Ambulance service, and applied to paramedic school at Daniel Freeman Paramedic School. Before he could attend paramedic school that year, he was hired by TDFPD. He later attended paramedic school and served in the position of Firefighter/Paramedic for more than 11 years. Always an avid learner, Captain Salerno has an AS Degree in Biology, AS Degree in Fire Science, a Certificate of Achievement - Fire Technology and a BS Degree in Fire Administration.
A call that was particularly memorable for Captain Salerno happened early in his career when his crew was called to Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino to aid a window washer who had “frozen” while hanging on a rope and washing windows and could not get himself down. Using the ladder truck, the crew was able to secure the man and lower him down to safety. Once on the ground, the guy dropped to his knees, kissed the ground, and declared that window washing was NOT the career for him! “After having spent hours training and conducting drills with the ladder truck, it was rewarding to be able to put those acquired skills to use to bring a scary situation to a positive close” said Captain Salerno.
Governor Sandoval signed into law a bill strengthening penalties for willful crimes against first responders. The signing was witnessed by local fire agencies. In this photo is TDFPD Engine 25 – B Shift (front row left) Engineer Ben Pratt, Firefighter/Paramedic Scott Vizzusi, and Captain Chris Peterson (rear row left).
SB 541: Penalties for Willful Crimes Against First Responders
Provides that any person who willfully commits certain crimes against a first responder, because of the victim’s job as a first responder, may, in addition to the term of imprisonment prescribed by statute for the crime, be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of no less than 1 year and a maximum term of no more than 20 years. (NRS 193)
First responder is defined as any peace officer, firefighter or emergency medical provider acting in the normal course of duty. (NRS 193)
Effective: October 1, 2017
The 2017 Zephyr Crew began work in the fire district in late May, supporting fuels reduction projects like Compost Your Combustibles and Community Work Days. Each season, a 10-man crew conducts project work and responds to wildland fires in the district, and a 20-man crew is available for fire assignments out of district aiding neighboring communities and gaining valuable experience with live fire situations to help them protect the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Battalion Chief/EOD Commander Todd Moss has been appointed to the Nevada Homeland Security Working Group. This committee has the responsibility to review state-wide policy decisions and grant requests for communications, mass medical equipment, cyber security and safety equipment. Organizations supported by these grants are typically hospitals, law enforcement, and fire service agencies for counties, cities and the state.
In the past four years, the Tahoe Douglas Bomb Squad has acquired over one million dollars for bomb trucks, a total containment vessel, bomb suits, robots and EOD technician training.
Engineer/EOD Technician Will Darr has completed the Hazardous Devices School – Basic Course, which is a six week program conducted at the FBI Hazardous Devices School at the Red Stone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. Darr successfully tested for and was selected as an EOD technician trainee in 2014. Through this course, he trained and tested on EOD skills topics like render safe procedures, diagnostic equipment, demolition procedures and robotics to achieve his certification. Darr serves as member of the Tahoe Douglas Bomb Squad, which is comprised of two Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies and six TDFPD firefighters. The Bomb Squad conducts approximately 30 response calls and 65 pre-event sweeps per year in the Reno/Tahoe area.
Assistant Chief Jim Antti (left) was recently acknowledged for his 25 Years of Service to the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District. Shown here with Battalion Chief, Rich Nalder (right), Chief Antti became a volunteer firefighter while still in the Marine Corps. He served our country as a Mountain Warfare Instructor and found that while teaching rock climbing, skiing and other outdoor survivor skills to combat troops, his desire to acquire medical training developed. His wife Susan introduced him to East Fork Fire paramedics who provided EMT classes; they in turn recruited him to volunteer with EFF. The only paid firefighter positions at the time in Minden/Gardnerville were paramedics, and he was sponsored by the volunteer programs in the valley to attend paramedic school.
His greatest sources of pride from his career are his 20 years of service as a Tahoe Douglas Bomb Squad Tech and as the Bomb Squad Commander, as well as knowing that he works for a highly trained and professional agency and that through his leadership positions, he has been part of continuing the highly regarded reputation of TDFPD and its employees.
This summer, TDFPD will be conducting the 5th Annual Community Work Days program. We are looking forward to this year's Community Work Days and the opportubity to help residents create and improve defensible space. Please see the flyer below for more details and this year's schedule.
Is yard work on your schedule this weekend? Here are some options for discarding the pine needles and pine cones from our epic winter.
South Tahoe Refuse will pick up six 32 gallon bags of yard waste from May 23-25 for Nevada Customers,
Spring open burning should be approved in 5-10 business days. A notice will appear here on this site.
Compost Your Combustibles for free dumping of yard waste at the Heavenly Boulder Lodge parking lot will be open from May 26-July 4.
Curbside chipping will be available from the Zephyr Crew after May 24. Community Work Days will also be returning this summer. Watch this site for more information on dates and locations.
Recruit Derrick Bean took his firefighter oath at the Regional Fire Academy graduation in March. Fire Chief Baker looks on as the swearing in is administered by Board Trustee Ann Grant. Firefighter/Paramedic Bean was class valedictorian for the multi-agency graduation Class 17-1 of 22 recruits. Engineer Justin Reddig served as the Recruit Training Officer for this academy.
February 23, 2017
Media Contact: Eric Guevin, Fire Marshal/Public Information Officer
The Tahoe Douglas FPD is pleased to announce the promotion of Captain Ralph Jones to the position of Battalion Chief. Jones has been in the fire service for over 30 years and is an accomplished and respected peer.
Chief Jones has been married to his wife Julia for 37 years, and has 3 daughters, 3 sons, and 5 grandchildren. He resides in Minden, where his service started as a volunteer firefighter in 1984.
Chief Jones has served the residents of the Tahoe Douglas FPD for 17 years. He was hired as a Firefighter/Paramedic in July 1999; his prior fire service was with the East Fork FPD. Chief Jones has promoted up the ranks to Battalion Chief. In this capacity, he will oversee the daily operations for C-Shift and be responsible for the Training Division and Special Services, including Hazardous Materials, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Rope Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, and Water Rescue.
Chief Jones has an Associate's of Applied Science Degree in Fire Science Technology, is a Certified Company Officer, is an Emergency Medical Technician II, and is a Hazardous Materials Technician on the Tahoe Douglas Bomb Squad. Jones is experienced in Fire Investigation and Interview, Advanced Explosive Investigation, Large Vehicle Bomb Investigation, and Homemade Explosives Disposal.
Chief Jones has served as Local 2441 Union President, assisted in establishing department policies, and is involved in the district radio communications program.
Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District is an "all risk" department providing fire prevention, fire suppression, advanced life support, explosive ordnance disposal, forest fuels management, and emergency rescue. The dedicated professionals respond to approximately 2,000 emergency calls annually. The Fire District currently holds an ISO rating 3/3Y.
November 8, 2016
Media Contact: Eric Guevin, Fire Marshal/Public Information Officer
Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District is pleased to announce the promotion of Jim Antti to the position of Assistant Chief. Antti has served the Fire District for 24 years; was hired as a Firefighter/Paramedic in June 1992, promoted to Captain in February 2003, and to Battalion Chief in June 2013.
Chief Antti has an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science and a Fire Officer’s Certification from the California State Fire Marshal’s Office. He is a certified EMT II, hazardous materials technician/specialist, and hazardous device technician. He has also participated in courses on fire/post-blast investigation, high/low angle rescue, vehicle extrication, sub-surface water rescue, and ice rescue. Chief Antti was the first certified ice rescue technician for the department and has played a large role in the ice rescue program development and training of all other department personnel. He has served on the Health and Safety Committee, as a peer fitness trainer, as Bomb Squad Commander and as the Fire District’s Terrorism Liaison Officer.
As a Battalion Chief he was responsible for the purchase and maintenance of apparatus, vehicles and radio inventory; he has served as the liaison with Douglas County dispatch to maintain the communications systems. His new responsibilities include organizational training, operations and administration.
Throughout his career, Antti has developed and taught courses to the Fire District, neighboring jurisdictions, local businesses, schools, the U.S. Military, and other government agencies nationally and internationally. The course topics covered emergency medical services, explosive ordinance disposal, fire investigation, post-blast investigation, and hazardous materials. This has included teaching fire investigation at Lake Tahoe Community College, IED awareness for the U.S. Marine Corps, and post-blast investigation for the U.S. State Department overseas.
Chief Antti and his wife Susan have raised three girls and a son in Gardnerville and have one grandson.
Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District is an “All Risk” Department providing Fire Prevention, Fire Suppression, Advanced Life Support, Explosive Ordinance Disposal, Forest Fuels Management, and Emergency Rescue. The dedicated professionals respond to approximately 2000 emergency calls annually. The Fire District currently holds an ISO rating 3/3Y.
Nevada Department of Public Safety's Division of Emergency Management's Interview with Chief Todd Moss, Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District/Bomb Squad
Nevada Division of Emergency Management (DEM): What area do you cover? What sorts of calls are in your squad's mission area?
Chief Todd Moss, Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District/Bomb Squad (TM): Tahoe Douglas Bomb Squad covers Douglas County, the City of South Lake Tahoe, Carson City, the Capitol, and State Legislature. We are contracted with these areas and provide EOD related training for IED/WMD awareness, search procedures, SWAT booby trap scenarios, EMS procedures after hostile events, and explosives awareness through demonstrations.
The majority of our calls for service are explosives sweeps for political or special events. We have seen an increase in these requests due to the awareness of hostile events seen nationally. We have access to Explosive Detection Canines (EDCs), which make the sweeps more efficient and timely. During peak times, these assets can be stretched thin across northern Nevada. We are currently exploring avenues to acquire more EDC assets as the need increases. We also respond to suspicious packages, hoax devices, military munitions, and recovered explosives (old dynamite and commercial fireworks). We also provide support to the local SWAT teams with explosive breaching and robotic capabilities.
DEM: What organizations does your squad partner with to achieve its mission?
TM: We are part of the Northern Nevada Bomb Technicians Task force. This includes Tahoe Douglas Bomb Squad (Tahoe Douglas Fire District and Douglas Country Sheriff's Office), Consolidated Bomb Squad (Washoe County Sheriff's Office, Reno Police Department, and Sparks Police Department), Elko Bomb Squad (Elko Police Department), FBI, and the ATF. Together, we have 16 Bomb Technicians that provide service to 13 of the 17 counties in Nevada - approximately 69,500 square miles with 600,000 residents. All of the Northern Nevada Bomb Squads are part-time, which means our primary mission is as police officers, deputies, investigators, and firefighters. When there is a bomb call, we retrieve the EOD vehicles and respond whether on duty or off.
DEM: What are the training requirements for a member of your team?
TM: Once appointed to the bomb squad, the wait to go to Hazardous Device School (HDS) is between 18-24 months. The reason for the wait period is that there are 466 accredited bomb squads with 3,054 certified bomb technicians nationally, and only one school. During this time, the candidate must be able to obtain a secret clearance from the FBI and take the one week Hazardous Technician course. The candidate is held to the same hourly training requirements as a bomb tech. We are mandated to train a minimum of 16 hours a month in EOD related scenarios, which does not include maintenance of equipment or explosive inventory checks. Also mandated is a 40 hour class in advanced or special EOD procedures every year. HDS is located in Huntsville, AL., at the Redstone Arsenal and is a six week program. Every three years, the bomb tech must go back to HDS for a one week recertification program. As one can see, the additional time requirement for the bomb squad can create a time management juggling act between work and family life.
DEM: How is your squad funded?
TM: The parent agency of each bomb tech is financially responsible for their employee(s). Local public safety organizations have to budget for the overtime or creatively staff during training days and calls for service. We rely heavily on grants, specifically the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP). With the development/implementation of Homeland Security Presidential Directives 17 and 19 in 2007 (Countering Improvised Explosive Devices and Combating Terrorist Use of Explosives in the United States), national bomb squads saw an increase in grant funding. With the aid of the HSGP, we were able to increase our capabilities with additional equipment and obtain FEMA Type I status. The majority of these equipment grants came in 2008-2010. From 2010 until now, HASP funding for Northern Nevada bomb squads has been minimal to nonexistant. Another concerning trend seen is the ability of Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) grant recipients having the ability to obtain further funding through the HASP, while non UASI areas continue to go unfunded. The inability to have routine funding for equipment updates, repairs, and advanced training decreases our ability to provide Nevada with progressively developed practices and techniques.
DEM: What are the biggest challenges facing your squad going forward?
TM: First, the ability to purchase and sustain existing equipment. Second, succession planning. We have four of our six bomb techs eligible to retire from one year to five years out. Losing over forty years of experience, coupled with finding the "right person for the job" is concerning.
DEM: How can others learn more about what you do? Do you provide demonstrations?
July 21, 2016
Media Contact: Eric Guevin, Fire Marshal/Public Information Officer
Former National Guard Chief Navigator now guiding the path for TDFPD
Fire Chief Scott Baker
July 1 began a new chapter for the TDFPD when Scott Baker took over the controls as Fire Chief.
Chief Baker joined the fire district in December after an extensive national search for an Assistant Chief. Former Fire Chief Ben Sharit retired last month, and the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to promote Baker to Fire Chief. Baker was previously with the Reno Fire Department where his most recent position was that of Division Chief of Fleet and Facilities. His fire service career expands over the past 20 years from Firefighter, Operator, Captain and Battalion Chief. He has served as Incident Command on numerous large all-risk incidents including the Washoe Fire in 2012.
Chief Baker is originally from Illinois, and has served in the Nevada Air National Guard for over 27 years in various positions - Mission Commander, Detachment Commander, Flight Lead, Safety Investigation Board President, Flight Commander, and Senior Navigator. As an Officer in the USAF, his responsibilities included managing tactical aircrew personnel and equipment for flying, maintenance and intelligence squadrons. He has had the opportunity to travel the world and work in a variety of challenging situations before he retired as Chief Navigator and Lieutenant Colonel in 2013.
Chief Baker has a Bachelor of Science in Finance/Accounting, and is currently working on his Master of Science degree in Public Safety and Law Enforcement.
Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District is an “All Risk” Department providing Fire Prevention, Fire Suppression, Advanced Life Support, Explosive Ordinance Disposal, Forest Fuels Management, and Emergency Rescue. The dedicated professionals respond to approximately 2000 emergency calls annually. The Fire District currently holds an ISO rating 3/3Y.
US Forest Service Engine 44 Fire Safety
Tahoe Douglas Marine 24 Water Safety
CalStar 6 Medical Helicopter
Tahoe Douglas firefighters conducted live fire training this month in the old KGID pump building, Stateline, NV. This was a rare and unusual opportunity for the fire district.
This live fire training is necessary for crews to better learn how to combat fire in the most realistic training environment possible. Crews can watch the fire develop and have a realistic feel for the conditions they meet in this high risk, low frequency situation.
Firefighters go through a rigorous training academy before being assigned to a fire company. As with any training, you must continue to practice and to learn new techniques in the industry. This Live-Fire training is one of the best forms of training available. The opportunities for this type of training are rare today. The Fire District would like to thank KGID and the public for this opportunity.
IAFF Local 2441 donates toys and cash for local community needs.
Routine Friday Supporting Christmas Cheer. On the first, second and fourth Fridays of the month, TDFPD firefighters help load food for distrubtion.
Christmas Cheer is a non-profit organiziation under the leadership of a community board of directors and funded soley by donations from the community. For more information call 530-542-4934.
Start creating defensible space by utilizing the following free programs:
South Tahoe Refuse Curbside Yard Waste Pick up:
Nevada residential customers can place one bag of yard waste at curb side for each can of weekly “per can” service, i.e., 1-can service equals 1 bag of yard waste; 2-can service equals 2 bags of yard waste at no extra charge.
Bags exceeding the “per can” service will be charged as extra or left until the next week. The yard waste recycling program is not available to Nevada on-call customers. -Tahoe Living-Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Also, on the week of May 23, 2016 only: STR will pick up six - 32 gallon bags of yard waste for Nevada customers on their regular scheduled pick up day.
Compost Your Combustibles:
The popular "Compost Your Combustibles" program will re-open Memorial Day Weekend through July 4th, 2016. Homeowners can dump yard waste materials such as pine cones and pine needles for free at the Heavenly Boulder Lodge parking lot. This program is made possible by the cooperative efforts between the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District, South Tahoe Refuse, Heavenly Mountain Resort, Kingsbury General Improvement District and the Tahoe Village Homeowners Association. See details below:
Curbside Chipping for District Residents:
Over the past eight years TDFPD has spoken with thousands of homeowners about defensible space and wildfire prevention and we heard that disposing of slash, cut limbs, brush and pine needles is the most significant impediment people have to creating adequate defensible space. In response the Zephyr Crew will run our community chipping program from May 25th through early October. Please note the following guidelines when requesting this service:
Requests can be made by clicking the link below:
Defensible Space Evalautions:
Tahoe Douglas's staff forester, prevention staff and Zephyr Fire Crew leadership can evaluate your defensible space, provide evaluation documentation consistent with Nevada State Law and acceptable by most homeowners insurance companies. We can also issue TRPA Tree Removal Permits when tree removal is necessary for fire safety. Defensible space consultations can be scheduled by calling 775-588-3591 or by clicking the link below:
January 19th marked the anniversary of the 2012 Washoe Drive Fire which was caused by the improper disposal of fireplace ashes. Remembering the devastation of this fire event, gives us an opportunity to remind our residents that we are still in drought conditions even with the snowfall this winter.
The Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District has partnered with Kingsbury Hardware to provide ash cans to the homeowners of the Fire District for the safe disposal of hot ashes. This program is available free of charge to residents of the Fire District who use a wood burning appliance to heat their homes.
To obtain a free ash can, homeowners can go to Tahoefire.org under the PREVENTION tab - BURNING REGULATIONS and print out an Ash Can Voucher. Vouchers are also available at Station 23 in Round Hill across from Safeway. Completed vouchers can be exchanged for an ash can at Kingsbury Hardware while supplies last.
Full ash cans can be dumped at TDFPD Station #23, 193 Elks Point Road, Zephyr Cove, in the rear parking lot in a bright red dumpster.
264 Kingsbury Grade
Stateline, Nevada 89449
TDFPD recently promoted Captain Todd Moss to the position of Battalion Chief. In his new capacity, Moss will be responsible for the day to day operations for A Shift; he will also serve as the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Chief and Custodian of Records. Chief Moss will be the NV PERS Chief Officer Representative, a member of the Employee Benefits Committee and he will oversee the GASB 45 and 68 compliance requirements.
Chief Moss joined the TDFPD in 1997 as a firefighter/paramedic, promoted through the ranks to Engineer and Captain working on numerous special projects. Moss was instrumental in securing the fire district’s first Hazardous Materials Response Trailer, instituting a wellness/fitness initiative with workout equipment and certified peer fitness trainers; and serving on the Health and Safety Committee which reviews firefighter equipment, safety gear, uniform standards and injury prevention efforts. Chief Moss is also a member of the Quad County HazMat Team.
Moss has been a member of the Douglas County Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team since 2006 and was appointed to the leadership position of Commander in 2014. In that capacity, he has had the opportunity to train with the U.S. Department of Justice – Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
He is a graduate of South Tahoe High School (Go Vikings!). Chief Moss lives in Gardnerville with his wife and daughters. Congratulations Chief Moss!
While some sites at Halloween can be scary for preschool aged children, Teacher Shelly’s class learned that there is nothing scary about the Firehouse. Check out the pictures and see what the children learned from their firehouse tour.
To support a select group of local community organizations, the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District offers FIREHOUSE BIRTHDAY PARTIES as fundraiser donations. Those organizations in 2015 were – Zephyr Cove Parents Club, Tahoe-Douglas Rotary, Soroptimist International Tahoe of Sierra, Soroptimist International South Lake Tahoe and Live Violence Free.
FIREHOUSE BIRTHDAY PARTIES are for 10-12 children, and are best for 8-12 year olds. As part of the party package TDFPD provides a firehouse tour, fire extinguisher training, firefighter games, fire apparatus awareness, fire safety education and lunch/dinner.
In October, Walker celebrated his 5th birthday with family and friends at Station 23. His party was purchased at the Soroptimist International Tahoe of Sierra 25th Elegant Evening event in April. We have TDFPD firefighters today, who had FIREHOUSE BIRTHDAY PARTIES like this as a child – is there a future firefighter in your life?
Firefighter/Paramedics Kelly Pettit and Chris Wade were on hand at the Douglas County Senior Health Fair at the Kahle Recreation Center this month. Pettit, a seasoned veteran, teaches CPR and AED classes, ask about her upcoming schedule at the desk at Kahle. Wade, is our newest firefighter at TDFPD, and joined the team with over 14 years of experience as a paramedic from REMSA. Look at those smiles...they love what they do!
Ryan Sanders started his career at TDFPD in 2006 as one of the very first employees hired for the Fuels Management program. It was a seasonal position and Sanders returned every year there after advancing from a crew member to a squad leader in 2009. In 2010 he was accepted into paramedic school with REMSA and was awarded a TDFPD scholarship for the program. He continued to work part-time with the Zephyr Crew as much as his school schedule would permit, and was promoted to the position of full-time firefighter/paramedic in 2013. Sanders just completed an engineer program which included a task book, written exams, arduous skills testing and an interview to earn a promotion to Engineer. Sanders is a second generation firefighter as his father, Glenn Sanders, retired from TDFPD as an Engineer after a 34 year career with the fire district.
Sanders and his wife Krysi are the proud parents of a baby boy, Sawyer. Congratulations to Engineer Sanders on his promotion and fatherhood!
Twenty years to the day after he was hired, Assistant Chief Tim Allison celebrated his retirement. After serving in the USAF, traveling the state as a Nevada Highway Patrol State Trooper, owning his own business and working as a seasonal firefighter/paramedic at NLTFPD, Allison joined the TDFPD as a firefighter/paramedic recruit on October 16, 1995. In 2000, Allison earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Fire Science (Summa Cum Laude) and promoted to Engineer in 2005. He advanced to the rank of Captain in 2006 and earned a Bachelor of Science in Fire Administration (Summa Cum Laude) in 2009. Allison continued to advance to Battalion/EMS Chief 2012 and Assistant Chief 2015. Allison’s leadership was evident early on, when he researched, drafted and implemented the first fire district EMS policies and procedures. He was involved with the recruitment and selection of the fire district’s first medical director; and throughout his career remained active with EMS training and updating protocols to keep our paramedics at the forefront of patient care.
He was elected by his peers to serve on the Negotiations Committee, and as Vice-President and President of IAFF Local 2441. Also, under his guidance, the TDFPD was awarded the designation of a Heart Safe Community by the Nevada Project Heart Beat acknowledging our CPR and AED training programs and AED placements in our fire district.
Chief Allison served the fire district and the Lake Tahoe community well in his career overseeing the hiring, training and assessment of a entire generation of highly skilled and compassionate firefighter/paramedics. Thank you Chief Allison, enjoy the next chapter!
Tahoe Douglas Fire and Kahle Community Center will be offering flu vaccinations for Douglas County residents. Most private insurances, Medicaid and Medicare are accepted OR payment of $25 per shot. The dates are:
Flu season is right around the corner so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity!
This first annual event will be held on Monday, October 19, 2015 from 8am-12pm at the Kahle Community Center Gym-236 Kingsbury Grade, Stateline, NV. This event is free for all Douglas County seniors! Multiple vendors will be available to answer questions, and provide limited health services for free or at a low cost.
Community outreach and public education were highlighted at the annual Fire Fest held in September at the Lake Tahoe Airport. Tahoe Douglas Fire was pleased to participate with our partner agencies to raise fire safety awareness and provide family fun. Local celebrities on hand were USFS Smokey Bear, USFS Super Scooper and Sparky the Fire Dog.
A new fire house tradition, which started in 2014, is the annual Retiree Luncheon. It was created to give our retirees an opportunity to stay connected to the fire district, to hear about the changes and improvements underway and to meet the next generation of fire fighters for TDFPD. This year over 25 local retirees joined us for lunch! Assuming that the average service life is 25 years, that is 625 combined years of service to the residents of the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District. Thank you for your service guys!
Thank you to all the local residents and businesses who support the TDFPD blood drives at Station 23. On Tuesday our drive started out a bit soft but 15 walk-ins saved the event and helped us deliver 43 units of blood of which 12 units were red blood cell donations which go immediately to local hospitals. TDFPD blood drives have provided close to 1000 units of blood since 2012 when the fire district first began hosting blood drives every two months at the request of a local resident. SAVE THE DATE- Tuesday, November 10, 2015 12:00pm-5:30pm for the next drive.
“Our doors are open every Labor Saturday at Station 23 for our residents to feed on a hot breakfast, find out what’s happening at the fire district, learn about fire safety and fund support for fire victims and future firefighters” said Fire Chief Ben Sharit. All the proceeds from the event support local needs in our fire district. Over the years the event has funded support for injured firefighters and their families, the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation, WHS Soccer – Girls, WHS Boosters and ZCES Parents Club.
Next week the University of California – Davis will welcome Sabrina Trachsel, a standout 2015 Whittell High School graduate and recipient of the TDFPD Protection of Lives and Property Scholarship. Trachsel served as Student Body Vice President, Soccer Co-Captain and was a member of Key Club while working part-time during the off-season. She was honored athletically in 2012 for 1st Team All-League and in 2014 for 2nd Team All-League after rebounding from knee surgery her junior year. Trachsel was a member of the 2014 Nevada Division IV Soccer State Championship team and was selected for the NIAA All-Academic Team all four years of high school. Trachsel was awarded scholarships and grants totally 55% of her out of state tuition for her freshman year at UC Davis. TDFPD is proud to support her career in biomedical technology and aspirations to be a doctor or surgeon. Sabrina is the daughter of Thomas Trachsel and Carla Trachsel and is pictured here with Fire Marshal Eric Guevin.
Nathan Johnson has been preparing to become an Engineer and his hard work and dedication to that goal has paid off. Johnson joined Tahoe-Douglas in 2010 as a Firefighter/Paramedic; in 2012 he earned his AA degree in Applied Fire Science Technology; in 2013 he was certified as a Hazardous Material Technician; and in 2014 he was selected as an Explosive Ordinance Technician for the Tahoe Douglas Bomb Squad. Johnson is currently serving as the Negotiations Chairman for Local 2441 of the International Association of Fire Fighters. He is certified as a Rope Technician and an instructor for Water Rescue. Johnson plans to attend the National Fire Academy in Maryland this fall to continue his education. Congratulations to Engineer Johnson.
Choosing a career as a public servant and first responder comes with risks. That harsh reality has touched the fire service industry hard this summer. TDFPD was honored to stand guard with fallen USFS fighter Michael Hallenbeck, to hang the flag he would pass under on HWY 50 as he left Lake Tahoe and to salute him as his family took him home. “Thank a firefighter no matter where they are and what agency they work for.” - Washington State Governor Jay Inslee
Montrashay Worley, a 2015 Douglas High School graduate, was awarded the TDFPD Protection of Lives and Property Scholarship. Shay served as Junior and Senior Class President, Team Captain for her Nevada Division 1 Volleyball State Championship team and was selected for National Honor Society all four years. Shay excelled academically and athletically at DHS, while working part-time and earning over 300 hours of community service. She has chosen a career in biochemistry. Cancer has touched her family deeply igniting her hopes to be on the team that finds a cure for cancer. Worley is pictured here with Fire Chief Ben Sharit.
TDFPD is pleased to announce the promotion of Will Darr to Engineer. Darr joined Tahoe-Douglas in 2013 as a Firefighter/Paramedic and has special certification as a paramedic preceptor and has been selected as a trainee for the Tahoe Douglas Bomb Squad. Congratulations to Will Darr!
After being housed for 4 1/2 years in a temporary trailer off of a dirt road on a former dump site, they now have a fantastic location at 205 Kingsbury Grade.
Check out our photos from the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony held on July 29, 2015.
The Community Work Day program is coming to a close very soon. Residents of Skyland (Saturday August 8th), Logan Creek, Cave Rock, Lakeridge and Hidden Woods (Saturday August 15th) can expect the Zephyr Fire Crew to be in their neighborhoods for FREE chipping and defensible space work over the next two weekends.
Great job Zephyr Crew for yet another sucessful year of community work days!
The Tahoe Douglas Fire District's annual Pancake Breakfast is coming up this Labor Day Weekend.
Come on out and enjoy a morning full of food and fun!
Congratulations to Chris Lucas on his recent promotion to Captain. Lucas joined TDFPD in 2004 as a Firefighter/Paramedic, promoted to Engineer in 2010.
Captain Lucas is responsible for Ice Rescue Training and serves as a Car Seat Installation Technician, a HazMat Technician, Rope Rescue Technician and an EMS Instructor.
Lucas resides in South Lake Tahoe, CA with his wife, Shaina and their three children.
Vaccinations will be available at the Douglas County Community Health Center from August 10th-14th 9:00-11:30 AM and 1:00-4:30 PM.
The Health Center is located at: 1329 Waterloo Lane, Gardnerville, NV 89410.
No appointment necessary. Medicaid and most private insurances are accepted. To view a list of billable insurances, please visit www.douglascountynv.gov
For more information, please call (775)782-9038.
Attention Tahoe Douglas District Residents! Tahoe Douglas Station #23 at 193 Elks Point Rd. in Zephyr Cove, NV will be hosting a Household Hazardous waste disposal day on Sunday, August 16, 2015 from 10:00am – 3:00pm.
We accept: paint (oil based), oil, antifreeze, flammable liquids, cleaning supplies, batteries, garden chemicals and pesticides. All materials must be in a sealed and labeled container.
We do not accept: radioactive materials, medical waste, tires, explosives, electronics, or unidentified materials. Latex paint may be disposed of in your normal trash if it is dry. To dry, leave can with lid off or pour onto a plastic sheet to allow to dry.
Nevada residents only. No commercial.
The Reverse 911 program plays a key role in ensuring effective routine and critical communication to alert local residents of a larger scale emergency situation.
*Note: Charter customers and cell phones do not receive a reverse 911 call unless they are registered with Douglas County Emergency Management.
Register now by following the instructions below:
1. Type: 911 Emergency Services, Douglas County, NV in any search engine on the internet, such as www.google.com .
2. Select 9-1-1 Emergency Services Douglas County NV – Official site from the list.
3. Douglas County, NV 9-1-1 Emergency Services screen will appear. Scroll down to the Lower right and click on: Quick Links/Reverse 9-1-1 Self-Registration Portal
4. Terms and Conditions will appear. Check the box __ “Yes, I agree”. The registration form will come up.
5. Register home phone and cells phones.
6. You will then receive a confirmation e-mail.
Tahoe Douglas district residents may submit applications for grant funding to assist with completing their defensible space work such as tree removal. Funds are limited and will be awarded on a first come first serve basis. APPLY TODAY!
To be eligible for grant funding you must:
• Schedule a full defensible space evaluation completed by a TDFPD evaluator.
• Complete the defensible space application form (downloaded online at http://www.tahoefire.org/fuels-management/defensible-space or picked up at our administrative office located at Station #23 - 193 Elks Point Road, Zephyr Cove, NV.
TDFPD hosted an Outdoor Safety Class for the 2nd and 3rd grade students at ZCES. They learned about Hiker Safety and the proper way to put out a campfire from USFS firefighters.
CALSTAR provided helicopter orientation and backcountry rescue information at the TDFPD Outdoor Safety Class for the 2nd and 3rd grade students at ZCES.
ZCES students learned what to wear, what to pack and how to be more safe while enjoying the summer activities from TDFPD firefighters and Fire Prevention personnel.
USFS educated our young residents on wildfire suppression and equipment giving the ZCES students an opportunity to get hands on with the fire hose.
Fire Chief Ben Sharit presented a Distinguished Service Award to local resident Ann Grant in appreciation and recognition of her years of service as a Fire Board Trustee and as a pioneer in community based wildfire prevention. Grant has served as a fire board member for the past four years as a Trustee, Vice- Chair and Chair.
She formed Skyland Fire Safe Chapter which was one of the first Fire Safe Chapters in the Lake Tahoe Basin, going on to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for the Nevada Fire Safe Council 2005-2012. In 2008, Grant served as Vice Chairman for the Citizens for a Fire Safe Community which created sustained funding for the fire districts wildland fire prevention programs. She has volunteered endless hours performing committee work for Nevada State Wildfire Awareness Week, Tahoe Basin Wildfire Awareness Week, Nevada State Wildland Urban Interface Fire Summit and Tahoe Basin Wildland Urban Interface Fire Summit.
Grant has also been recognized by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Association of State Foresters and the National Fire Protection Association. She will be the first recipient of the Wildfire Mitigation Pioneer Award. “This goes to speak of her continuous dedication to the community, not only in Tahoe Douglas, but throughout the region. She has attended local meetings, as well as, meetings throughout the state to make sure wildfire mitigation carries on,” said former Assistant Chief Mark Novak.
Grant will be receiving the Wildfire Mitigation Pioneer Award on March 25, 2015 at the Peppermill Casino.
Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District is an “All Risk” Department providing Fire Prevention, Fire Suppression, Advanced Life Support, Explosive Ordinance Disposal, Forest Fuels Management, and Emergency Rescue. The dedicated professionals respond to 2000 emergency calls annually. The Fire District currently holds an ISO rating 3/3Y.
Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District is committed to making blood donations easy for our residents.
May 19, 2015
12:00pm - 5:15pm
July 21, 2015
12:00pm - 5:15pm
September 5, 2015
12:00pm - 5:15pm
November 10, 2015
12:00pm - 5:15pm
Located at Tahoe Douglas Fire Station 23, 193 Elks Point Road, Zephyr Cove. Call 775-588-3591 for an appointment or, visit www.unitedbloodservices.org to book it yourself!
Our blood drives are scheduled every 56+ days, so you don't have to count the days between donating. Waiting periods between donations are White Cells (56 days), double red cells (112 days).
Creating defensible space has been proven to reduce the chance a home will ignite during a wildland fire. Yet many residents do not complete work on their own property even when exposed to consistent education and outreach campaigns. The reasons many homeowners do not create defensible space are numerous but include cost, difficulty of disposing of material and in many cases simple fatalism. Many homeowners state that there is no reason to complete defensible space work if their neighbor hasn’t also done the work because their house is just going to burn anyway.
Beginning in 2013 Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District began a Community Work Days program to address the barriers to creating defensible space, such as cost, slash disposal and fuel loading on undeveloped lots that sit in many Lake Tahoe communities. The Tahoe Douglas Fire District is composed of eight regions with each region having one Saturday a year designated as its Community Work Day. During a Community Work Day, the Fire District’s Zephyr Fire Crew drives each street in the designated region and does general brush clearing or small tree removal for homeowners who flag them down. A separate squad drives each road in the community chipping any piles of brush, limbs or small trees that homeowners pile beside the road. A third squad completes a defensible space prescription on one of the many undeveloped parcels intermixed throughout the community.
The program helps motivate people to work on their properties during the Community Work Day by supporting them when they lack the tools or skills. Many homeowners have the tools to do basic yard work, but lack the chain saws or pole saws necessary to cut native brush or small trees. Additionally, homeowners have been especially appreciative of the fuel reduction work that has been completed on the undeveloped lots during the Community Work Day.
The Tahoe Douglas Fire District is trying to design the most efficient system for managing the time spent on one parcel while delivering services to all of the people who request assistance. If homeowner’s call prior to the Community Work Day then the Fire District’s defensible space inspector can evaluate the property and estimate the time commitment to complete the work. If, however, the resident flags down the Zephyr Crew, which is encouraged, the Fire District have to help manage the resident’s expectations for what can be accomplished that day, versus hiring a professional landscaper or arborist to do the work.
Funding for the program is being provided by the Fire Safe Community Fund, an ad valorem tax passed by the voters in the Fire District in 2008 for community fuels reduction. The program is in its infancy, however initial indications are that the program is being well received by the community and the Fire District is committed to maintaining the program for future years and working out the details of how to best manage the program.
Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District is pleased to welcome you to our new online home with the launch of our new website Spring 2015. The new site represents the evolving need for online tools and information, allowing us to vastly expand our content and ability to deliver online information across all modern desktop and mobile platforms.
Among the new site’s key features:
The new web site was built using a state-of-the art, secure content management system, making updates exceptionally easy, even while mobile.