Besides responding to fires, medicals and vehicle accidents, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District responds to many more types of calls. Some of these includes swift water rescue and large animal rescue. These types of calls require more specialized training and equipment.
SWIFT WATER RESCUE
Nevada County Consolidated Fire District is challenged with a very diverse response area requiring us to be prepared for any number of emergencies. One of our scenic wonders that attract people from around the world is the South Fork of the Yuba River, which in turn generates a number of unique emergencies for us year round. The Yuba is world renowned for its white water kayaking with sections of up to class 5 White Water. Nearly every year, that white water is underestimated, and we are tasked with either, a rescue attempt, or body recovery. Our personnel have been successful with a number of rescues and unfortunately, had to bring closure to a number of tragedies. Nevada County Consolidatedhas made training for these unique incidents a very high priority, a number of our personnel are trained to the Swift Water Rescue Technician level, and are provided the best equipment available. There can be no mistakes.
Summer swimmers are the other frequent users of the Yuba, that also, quite often, underestimate the hydraulic forces of nature. If you are planning on a visit to the Yuba, please understand how deceiving it can be, and educate yourself, family members, and friends, on proper river safety. The canyon air temperature can be in the 90’s but the water temperature can be in the 30’s. It may look crystal clear and reasonably calm, but it can sweep you away in a flash.
Diving into unfamiliar pools have resulted in a number injuries and deaths, the river bed is an ever-changing, dynamic of nature. Rocks the size of cars are re-arranged constantly during high flows. A deep diving pool last year, may now have a new boulder in the way. Large logs create another major danger when they are jammed between rocks under water; they then become a hidden death trap. There have been a number of people swept against logs, and the hydraulic force of the water will pin them against the entrapment until they drown, the pressure of the water against them is simply too much
LARGE ANIMAL RESCUE
In 2008 Nevada County Consolidated Fire District was bequeathed twenty thousand dollars from the Linda O’Carrol estate specifically to fund a large animal rescue (LAR) program. In 2009 NCCFD purchased a horse trailer and all the equipment necessary to meet the very specific needs of dealing with large animal emergency rescues. In addition, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District hosted a comprehensive specialized LAR training course that a number of our personnel participated in.
Over the years it has been common place for NCCFD engine crews to be dispatched to LAR incidents where an animal has fallen in a creek or canyon, been stuck in mud, a mine shaft, or old well, where the animal and its owner were unable to remove themselves without additional assistance. These incidents have long proven to be very dangerous, require significant manpower, and can be rather extended in nature.
This generous donation and the advanced training will help our personnel meet these challenging incidents with the proper equipment and safety component critical to a successful outcome. This program is totally funded through donations, should you be interested in supporting our program you may make a donation to NCCFD attention LAR program.