Let’s Work Together To Keep Our Community Safe and Prepared
By Ryan Peters, Fire Captain Aptos-La Selva Fire District
Happy 2018 everyone! In this month’s column, I wanted to offer a preview of some of the safety messages we will be presenting throughout the new year as well as speaking briefly about how your 911 system works better when we have a strong collaborative relationship with the community we serve.
The county’s 911 system has been very busy the last few months. Fire crews, Paramedics and EMT’s from American Medical Response, Law Enforcement personnel, Emergency Dispatchers from Netcom, State Parks personnel, and the staff of our local Emergency Departments at Dominican and Watsonville Hospitals have all been working tirelessly to keep our communities safe, protected, and healthy.
Even after 25 years (and counting) of work in EMS and public safety, I’m still intrigued and fascinated at how our system of allied agencies work seamlessly to provide a quality end product to those in need. The system relies on a cast of hundreds to report to duty each day, and those individuals really do show up ready to bring their “A” game at a moments notice.
I should also mention the supporting cast of hundreds more who are just as important to the success of the 911 system: our kids and family, our significant others, and our network of friends.
They collectively provide the framework to a strong platform from which our first responders operate. While the job is stressful and at times requires great sacrifice, we positively love what we do and are privileged to serve this great area on the Central Coast.
I’ve always believed that a strong and collaborative bond with the community is key to the success and effectiveness of any public safety organization. Just as you depend on us, we depend upon you for gaining new insight on the changing needs of your community. One critical piece of the Aptos-La Selva Fire District mission statement is to consistently innovate and identify new ways to provide service as the community changes and grows. From the implementation of Fire Service based Paramedics in the 80’s to the Aptos Aquatic Rescue Team in the 2000’s, our agency has always grown with you and offered improved services to ensure a successful and safe community.
Throughout 2018 I will be featuring new safety messages with a focus on how you and your family can work with our fire crews to create a safer more prepared community. We would like to offer you new ways to look at our services and offer new insight as to how we can work together during times of emergencies.
While being prepared for emergencies and disasters is always important, I want to focus on what we can do when we find ourselves in the middle of a real emergency. For example, what do we do if we wake up at night in the bedroom and notice extreme heat and thick black smoke down to the floor? What do we do if we’re involved in a vehicle accident where power lines are involved?
What should we do immediately after a large earthquake or flood? If we need to call 911 for any reason, what can we expect to be asked by the Emergency Dispatcher? What do we do if we or our loved ones suffer a major medical emergency? What information or action will the fire crews or paramedics require from us once they arrive on scene? These are all critical scenarios which, with a little information and insight, can become more manageable and safer for everyone.
The modern 911 system and allied agencies train from a standpoint that nearly anything can and does happen. “All Risk” is a moniker we use to describe that our services truly know no boundary. We train to mitigate or address nearly any type of emergency incident you can think of. We depend on you to help us so that we may help those in need as quickly and as efficiently as possible. We appreciate your willingness to be proactive and prepared! Our crews look forward to working with you and, if you should see them out and about, they’re always happy to talk safety and answer questions.
Let’s bring our “A” game in 2018 by staying prepared, proactive, and safe!