North Tahoe Fire receives grants for equipment, cancer screening for firefighters |

North Tahoe Fire receives grants for equipment, cancer screening for firefighters

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — North Tahoe Fire Protection District accepted a pair of grants during its September meeting that will be used for a rescue apparatus, extrication equipment and advanced cancer screening for firefighters, the district announced on Monday.

The North Tahoe Fire Board of Directors approved acceptance of the 2021 Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighters Grant, along with an El Dorado County Transient Occupancy Tax grant which totals $528,673.

“The North Tahoe Fire organization is committed to seek funding from multiple sources in an effort to continually improve our services without passing those costs onto our residents,” said North Tahoe Fire Board Vice President Luke Ragan, who presided over the meeting. “The rescue apparatus is a great asset for responding to rescues across our 37-square mile service area, and the extrication equipment will improve our ability to rescue victims of auto accidents, which can be severe given our alpine environment. 

“The real home run for me is funding for the advanced cancer screenings,” Ragan added. “We often think of the bravery of these men and women running into the face of danger to protect total strangers. In reality, we are only just understanding the long-term impacts that these heroes carry with them, not only from the toxins that are released during a fire or other hazmat incident, but the personal protective gear that was designed to protect them. We’re learning now that gear actually exposes firefighters to carcinogens the entire time they are in contact with it – before the gear has ever even been on a fire. It’s bone chilling to think of the exposures these men and women have every time they train, every time they drill, throughout their careers. The health and welfare of our firefighters is our highest priority, and receiving AFG funding for this advanced cancer screening is an absolute blessing.” 

NTFPD Board Vice President Luke Ragan (from left), Fire Chief Steve Leighton and Engineer Chris Bartow pose with a cardiac monitor funded by the Truckee Tahoe Airport District.

The Galleri multi-cancer early detection test finds more than 50 types of cancer through a simple blood draw, and identifies the organ system that is the source of the cancer with approximately 90% accuracy.

El Dorado County awarded funds for a squad/quick response rescue apparatus ($350,000) and equipment to upfit it to the advanced life support level ($53,625) for a project total of $403,625. FEMA’s AFG funding, which helps firefighters obtain critically needed equipment to protect the public and emergency personnel, was awarded for extrication equipment ($11,158) and advanced cancer screenings ($113,880) which requires a match of non federal funds for a project total of $125,038. 

NTFPD will purchase four DC bank chargers, four chain sets with Clevis lock and hook to complement its existing extrication equipment, and priority 1 cancer screenings for all NTFPD firefighters over a two-year period using the Galleri test. 

This follows a grant awarded by the Truckee Tahoe Airport District for heart monitors and AEDs ($90,905), bringing 100% of NTFPD’s engines to the ALS level, giving firefighters the equipment necessary to provide ALS paramedic level cardiac care in the event the engine arrives on scene before an ambulance.

Source: North Tahoe Fire

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