A joint local effort of CalFire, Placer County Sheriff, California Highway Patrol, Alta Fire Department, Dutch Flat Fire Department, and Placer County.
Fire and law enforcement officials working with Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) in the Alta and Dutch Flat area are attempting to compile a database of special needs citizens and their locations. This information will be utilized in the event of a rapidly escalating emergency to contact, and if needed, evacuate these individuals. We would also wish to identify people who are self sufficient but may need help or to be checked upon during inclement weather. Examples of this would be an individual that is prepared for a power outage due to snow, but after a few days, may need help refueling their generator and cannot do it themselves because of age or fragility, or perhaps needs weekly medical treatment and can not get transportation to the medical facility.
What is a special needs citizen?
A special needs citizen is a person of our community that may need assistance in a situation that is outside of their normal daily living experience. It could be an adult or child not capable of driving, or that has a physical or mental disability or condition. It could be an individual that when faced with overwhelming environmental conditions such as several feet of snow can not help themselves because of health issues or lack of four wheel drive. These individuals often live their lives with modest adjustments or help from family, friends, support groups, medical professionals, etc.
These members of our community present a special challenge to emergency service personnel such as fire or law enforcement officials during times of emergencies, inclement weather, and natural disasters. The need to know the locations, particular circumstance and situations of these individuals becomes critical and even life threatening during times of rapid escalating emergencies such as a fast moving wildfire or a severe snow storm that lasts for several days.
“I am self sufficient and besides my friends and family will come help and get me. Why would I need this?” We in no way advocate relying on government or others to do for you in regards to arrangements you have made. But, have you considered that during an emergency, the roads will be blocked and your family and friends may not be able to reach you? Local Fire and Law enforcement officials strongly encourage a working community network to help our special needs citizens. What if a train derailed, hazardous spills occurred and your friends and family were all down the hill for the day?
“Well if my family or friends can not get here to help, I will call 911” Definitely, but understand that during an emergency, local fire and law enforcement will be heavily committed trying to mitigate the emergency, and although additional emergency resources will be coming to the area it may be some time before help arrives. If within our community there is a network of people who know where special needs citizens are are during an emergency, we can start making plans to evacuate those closest to the emergency.
“Who will this information be shared with?” The information you provide will only be given to the local heads of fire and law enforcement and their respective dispatch centers for our area in the event of an emergency. With your permission only your information may be shared with other support organizations such as the Senior Living Group or the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). At a minimum we would encourage you to have your name and phone number placed on an emergency phone tree contact list.
“Why do you need to come to my house?” Fire fighters may recognize situations that you are not familiar with that might place them and you at risk during the time of an emergency. An example would be a long narrow driveway with no turn around that a fire engine or ambulance would have to back into so they could drive out quickly in the event of a fast moving wildfire.
“Who will collect the information?” If you wish to be part of the network, representatives of CAL FIRE from the Alta Fire Station, or volunteer fire fighters from Alta Fire Protection District, and/or Dutch Volunteer Fire Fighters will visit your home to collect the necessary information and particular circumstance of the special need citizen.
“Who will compile this information and can they be trusted?” Sierra First Baptist Church in Alta has offered the use of their secretary to compile and maintain this network. Law Enforcement, clergy and Fire officials feel strongly that by limiting the number of people who have access to this information, the possibility of it being exploited by people who wish to prey upon the more vulnerable members of our community will be controlled. Additionally, a law enforcement check will be done on any individual who holds the task of maintaining this network to ensure security. The information will be electronically stored with password protection,. It will be updated quarterly by a phone call to you to ensure information is up to date and accurate, and will only be provided to the local heads of fire and law enforcement and their dispatch centers in the event of an emergency.
If you are interested in being part of this network please call 530-389-2168 and leave your contact information. You will receive a call back within 2 weeks.