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Firefighting force to grow by three in 2001

ABHUTCHISON, Sierra Sun

The Truckee Fire Protection District staff of full-time firefighters will increase just after the first of the year. TFPD boardmembers approved district administration to hire three new firefighters effective Jan. 1, 2001 at Tuesday’s meeting.

As the community grows, emergency response incidents are increasing. At the end of 1999, the district responded to a total of 1,629 calls. TFPD Chief Mike Terwilliger expects the district will respond to close to 2,000 calls by the end of 2000.

“We want to achieve an adequate response for structure fires,” Terwilliger said.

Under a California Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandate, four firefighters are required to respond to any structure fire so there can always be two firefighters in the home and two firefighters outside of the home for safety.

“If we’re committed to a vehicle accident in central Truckee and we get a call for a structure fire, it can be a challenge to get four firefighters to respond to the scene,” he said.

“With the amount of calls we’re receiving it is getting more difficult to insure we get four people to the scene,” Terwilliger said. “We’re just trying to bring our staff levels up to the same kind of standard to protect our staff and protect our community.”

Each of the three shifts currently have five firefighters on-duty. As of Jan. 1, one new full-time firefighter will be added to each shift.

The district also relies on help from part-time and volunteer firefighters and mutual aid from other local fire agencies.

“The growth in this community is only going to continue,” Terwilliger said. “There’s just so many calls, you just can’t muster the amount of response time it takes.”

The district hired three firefighters this past July as well.

Three new firefighters, at a cost of $10,000 to the district, will bring the district to a total of 25 full-time fire personnel, 16 part-time and three volunteer firefighters.

The district is currently accepting five applications to its fire academy. For information, call 582-7850.

Honoring 20 years of service

On Tuesday, Truckee Fire also commended longtime Truckee local Judy Mohr, who recently retired from the position of administrative officer, for her 20 years of service to the district.

“I worked with Judy as a Truckee Fire employee since the Spring of ’96, but for almost 10 years in total,” Terwilliger said. “I will miss her. Judy was an excellent and very knowledgeable employee who was very dedicated to her community.”

Joyce Engler, formerly administrative assistant for the district, has taken over the administrative officer position. Maria Martinez was hired as the new administrative assistant.


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