New fireboat at Fallen Leaf Lake | TahoeDailyTribune.com

New fireboat at Fallen Leaf Lake

Fallen Leaf Lake firefighters no longer have to rely on a 17-foot boat converted from a type of fishing vessel to respond to emergencies around the lake. The Fallen Leaf Lake Fire Department received a new 28-foot fireboat Wednesday that makes it far easier for crews to respond to rescues, fires, boat accidents, medical calls and more, according to Fire Chief Gary Gerren. Personnel with local fire districts took the time Friday to familiarize themselves with the new watercraft, which comes with a variety of special features. They also received training from Lake Assault Boats, the vessel's Wisconsin-based builder and designer. Included with the boat is a large water gun capable of pumping 1600 gallons of water per minute at a pressure of 160 pounds per square inch. The range of the water stream reaches about 350 feet. Built-in sonar and radar are installed to help track objects in the water, and infrared cameras allow for better night vision. Meanwhile, two 225 horsepower engines allow the boat to hit speeds up to 42 mph. At full speed, the vessel burns through about 55 gallons of fuel per hour. However, its main purpose isn't to zip around the lake, said Jerry Atherton, founder of Lake Assault Boats. "It's a floating fire hydrant," he said. "And that's primarily what it's used for." Gerren said having a boat capable of supplying large amounts of water is critical to protecting the mountainous region, especially since several lakeside houses can only be accessed on foot or by water. With the new boat, firefighters can douse a fire from the lake or connect hoses to it while attacking fires on land. The department's old boat didn't provide firefighters with a sufficient water supply and was more the 20 years old, Gerren added. But that's not a problem anymore. "We needed to upgrade," he said. The new fireboat cost about $268,000, of which $250,000 was funded by El Dorado County. Gerren said the department will keep the old fireboat, but that it will be mostly used for additional support to help protect the 3-mile-long, 1-mile-wide lake.

Seedlings to be given away today

The Tahoe Resource Conservation District and the University of California Cooperative Extension will hold a native Jeffrey pine seedling giveaway from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the Lake Tahoe Demonstration Garden at Lake Tahoe Community College, One College Drive, South Lake Tahoe. Home-landscaping guides, “Living With Fire” guides, packets of wildflower seeds and free landscaping materials from Tahoe Sand and Gravel also are among the giveaways at the event. The U.S. Forest Service has donated 850 seedlings to give away to homeowners affected by the Angora fire. If your property was affected by the Angora fire, you also can sign up to receive up to $500 of native vegetation and receive $1 per square foot for planting water-efficient landscaping. For more information on the plant giveaway and vegetation plans, contact the Tahoe Resource Conservation District hotline at (530) 543-1501, ext. 113, or Susie Kocher at (530) 542-2571.

Fire department changes approved

The South Lake Tahoe Fire Department has made moves to be more easily accessible. Tuesday night the City Council approved a recommendation from Brad Bennett, safety services director, to make a division chief into an administrative division chief. This chief will work typical Monday through Friday office hours and give other agencies and the public one fireman of whom to ask questions. Bennett said the move is temporary at this point and he wants to see how it works before implementing a more permanent strategy during the council’s budget hearings this summer. Council member Bill Crawford said he’d like to see the fire department move directly into Bennett’s tentative proposal for department restructuring, as he said the need is there now. Bennett is tentatively proposing a structure of three division chiefs and a battalion chief to take the place of three division chiefs and a management analyst. Bennett said that while his final plan may look a lot like what Crawford wanted done Tuesday, he wants more time to evaluate the situation. “I want a little more time to look at it,” Bennett said. “I’ve only been here two months.” Back to Front Page

New wheels for fire department

Central States Fire Apparatus, of Lyons, S.D., had the successful bid of $271,528 for a new fire engine for the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department. The South Lake Tahoe City Council voted to allocate the funds Tuesday. Police and Fire Chief Dave Solaro said the new engine has four-wheel drive and an enclosed cab. He said it will be purchased to replace outdated equipment. Central States was the low bidder. Only two of the six bids were from California or Nevada and neither was from the local area. According to Nancy Jones, purchasing agent for the city, the triple combination pumper engine was purchased with Proposition 172 funds totaling $300,000. Jones said the remaining funds will be used to outfit the pumper with required equipment and accessories. Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com Visitors Guide | News | Diversions | Marketplace | Weather | Community Copyright, tahoe.com. Materials contained within this site may not be used without permission. About tahoe.com…

Busy season for fire department

The South Lake Tahoe Fire Department was worked over the holidays. It responded to 116 calls during the time from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day. About 40 calls is average for any other week. “It stretched them. We have some tired folks,” said Battalion Chief Scott Douglass. “From my point of view we fared very well.” Two fire calls that stand out came Christmas Eve and just before midnight on New Year’s Eve. Both involved burning homes in the Tahoe Keys. The first blaze was reported at 10:20 a.m. on Dec. 24 at 401 Christie Drive. Fire destroyed the home of Donald and Lorna Cannon after an ember escaped from a living room fireplace and ignited the carpet. Mrs. Cannon was in town doing errands when the fire started. Lost in the blaze was the 23-year-old family cat, Jake, and the couple’s antique collection, among other valuables. The fire caused $325,000 in property damage and $200,000 in content loss, Douglass said. Firefighters fought flames and protected two neighboring homes for about 90 minutes. “It was a difficult fire to deal with,” Douglass said. “There was very heavy smoke, and with the way the building was built, it had concealed spaces that we couldn’t get a water stream to. So we had to cut into those spaces.” A concerned neighbor reported the other fire Dec. 31 at 11:55 p.m. Firefighters were stretched thin because of staffing at Stateline, but with aid from Lake Valley, they contained the blaze to a second-story living room at 399 Wedeln Court. The home is owned by John Ceko, a former fire chief at Lake Valley. He was out of the country and had rented his home to vacationers when it caught fire. Douglass said the department was not able to determine the cause of the blaze other than to say it was accidental, but investigators suspect it was started by a candle or cigarette. The people renting the home left for Caesars Tahoe at 10 p.m. and returned at 2:30 a.m. According to Douglass, the group said they had been burning candles and smoking in the house before they left. They denied smoking in the living room, he said, but firefighters found an ashtray in the room. Property loss in the fire was $10,000, which includes damage to carpet, windows and framing. Content loss was $4,000.

Fire Department Publishes Report

A higher rate of alarm calls and the birth of an ambulance service were some of the events recorded by the Lake Valley Fire Protection District last year, according to a recently released 2001 annual report. The report, the first under chief Brian Schafer, is packed with information concerning statistics, concerns and goals for the fire district located on the western fringes of South Lake Tahoe. “This is really the first report like this,” he said. “What I was trying to do is really show and educate people on the many, many components that go into making a fire department. It’s not what people perceive of polishing fire trucks and waiting for the fire alarm to go off.” LVFPD responded to 858 alarm calls last year. Medical aid consisted of roughly half the calls while there were 109 calls on vehicle accidents and 58 false alarms, the report said. “We track every call,” said Dave Huber, chairman of the LVFPD Board of Directors. “You get a call and it’s 911 and you go.” LVFPD responded to114 fire calls last year. There were 31 wildland fire calls, the most in the category, followed by 28 illegal burns and 24 residential structure fires. Thirty-three structure fires resulted in a loss of $339,600, the highest loss experienced in the past five years, the report stated. The report listed five areas of future concern that included future retirements and wildland fire threat. “I think the most critical in ways of immediate impact is the wildland fire threat and that was evident in the past couple of weeks with the Gondola Fire,” Schafer said. “That will continue to be one of the most important issues we deal with on a continual basis.” Last September, Lake Valley was equipped with three ambulances and medical personnel. Other than the $2 million received by tax revenue, the fire department received $227,000 from the ambulance service last year, the report stated. The 2000-01 revenue totaled slightly over $2 million. The projected income for this year is $2.4 million. With one of the three ambulances stationed at Meyers, the response time in the Lake Valley district has been reduced as much as 75 percent. Those who wish to receive a copy of the report can call Lake Valley Fire Protection District at (530) 577-3737 or e-mail Fire Chief Brian Schafer at schafer@caltahoefire.net

Fire Wire: South Lake Tahoe Fire Department calls

Total calls: 44 3/8/10 — Medical aid, 1000 block Ottawa Drive. 3/8/10 — Medical aid, 1000 block Marconi Drive. 3/9/10 — EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 3/9/10 — Dispatched and cancelled en route, 200 block Manor Drive. 3/9/10 — Medical aid, 1000 block Heavenly Village Way. 3/9/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Crest Road. 3/9/10 — Medical aid, 700 block Emerald Bay Road. 3/9/10 — Dispatched and cancelled en route, 2000 block 10th Street. 3/9/10 — Medical aid, 2000 block Dunlap Drive. 3/9/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 3/10/10 — Medical aid, 2000 block Kubel Ave. 3/10/10 — Assist invalid, 3000 block Spruce Ave. 3/10/10 — EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 3/10/10 — Medical aid, 4000 block Manzanita Ave. 3/11/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Spruce Ave. 3/11/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Saddle Road. 3/11/10 — Water or steam leak, 1000 block Rancho Drive. 3/11/10 — EMS, Interfacility transfer, 3000 block Saddle Road. 3/11/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Forest Ave. 3/11/10 — Carbon monoxide incident, 2000 block 12th Street. 3/12/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Saddle Road. 3/12/10 — Medical aid, 1000 block Julie Lane. 3/12/10 — Assist police or other agency, 3000 block Saddle Road. 3/12/10 — Medical aid, 1000 block Rufus Allen Blvd. 3/12/10 — Dispatched and cancelled en route, Mt. Rainier at N. Upper Truckee Road. 3/12/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 3/12/10 — Medical aid, 700 block Lakeview Ave. 3/12/10 — EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 3/13/10 — Medical aid, 800 block Merced Ave. 3/13/10 — Vehicle accident, Pioneer Tr at Pony Express Road. 3/13/10 — Vehicle accident, 3000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 3/13/10 — Medical aid, 2000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 3/13/10 — Vehicle accident, Bonanza Ave at F Street. 3/13/10 — Medical aid, 1000 block Bowers Street. 3/13/10 — Medical aid, 4000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 3/13/10 — Medical aid, 200 block Kingsbury Grade. 3/13/10 — Medical aid, 700 block Emerald Bay Road. 3/13/10 — Medical aid, 1000 block Rufus Allen Blvd. 3/14/10 — Public Service, 700 block Emerald Bay Road. 3/14/10 — Dispatched and cancelled en route, 3000 block Pioneer Trail. 3/14/10 — EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 3/14/10 — Cover assignment, standby, 900 block Elks Point Road. 3/14/10 — EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 3/14/10 — Vehicle accident, Lake Tahoe Blvd at Tallac Ave.

Fire Wire: South Lake Tahoe Fire Department calls

Total calls: 48 3/1/10 — Medical aid, 800 block Clement Street. 3/1/10 — EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 3/1/10 — Medical aid, 1000 block Glenwood Ave. 3/1/10 — Medical aid, 900 block Tahoe Keys Blvd. 3/1/10 — No incident found upon arrival, 700 block Emerald Bay Road. 3/1/10 — Public service assistance, 1000 block Julie Lane. 3/1/10 — No incident found upon arrival, 900 block Tahoe Island Drive. 3/2/10 — EMS, interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 3/2/10 — Medical aid, 800 block Lakeview Ave. 3/2/10 — Medical aid, 2000 block South Ave. 3/2/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Spruce Ave. 3/2/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Saddle Road. 3/2/10 — Vehicle accident, Pioneer Trail at Ski Run Blvd. 3/2/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Spruce Ave. 3/3/10 — Dispatched and cancelled en route, 2000 block South Ave. 3/3/10 — EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 3/3/10 — Malicious false call,, 2000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 3/3/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Forest Ave. 3/3/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Saddle Road. 3/3/10 — Smoke detector activation, 900 block Ski Run Blvd. 3/3/10 — EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 3/3/10 — EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 3/3/10 — Medical aid, 4000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 3/3/10 — Medical aid, 2000 block Patricia Circle. 3/4/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Saddle Road. 3/4/10 — Medical aid, Kirkwood. 3/4/10 — Vehicle vs. Pedestrian accident, 2000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 3/4/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 3/5/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Aspen Street. 3/5/10 — Medical aid, 2000 block Sutter Trail. 3/5/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Saddle Road. 3/5/10 — Medical aid, 3000 block Saddle Road. 3/5/10 — Dispatched and cancelled en route, Ski Run Blvd at Pioneer Trail. 3/5/10 — EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 3/6/10 — Smoke detector activation, 1000 block 3rd Street. 3/6/10 — Medical aid, 800 block Roger Ave. 3/6/10 — Vehicle accident, 2000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 3/6/10 — Medical aid, 1000 block Heavenly Village Way. 3/6/10 — EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 3/6/10 — Medical aid, 1000 block Rufus Allen Blvd. 3/6/10 — No incident found upon arrival, 2000 block South Ave. 3/6/10 — Medical aid, 4000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 3/6/10 — EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 3/7/10 — Medical aid, 4000 block Manzanita Ave. 3/7/10 — Public service, 3000 block Edna Street. 3/7/10 — Medical aid, 2000 block Ponderosa Street. 3/7/10 — Medical aid, 1000 block Echo Road. 3/7/10 — Medical aid, 700 block Hazel Drive.

Fire Wire: South Lake Tahoe Fire Department reports

Total calls: 42 10/18/09 – Dispatched and cancelled en route, Lake Parkway at Lake Tahoe Blvd. 10/18/09 – EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 10/19/09 – Medical aid, 100 block Fallen Leaf Road. 10/19/09 – Dispatched and cancelled en route, Highway 50 at Tamarack Ave. 10/19/09 – Medical aid, 4000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 10/19/09 – Medical aid, 3000 block Blackwood Road. 10/20/09 – Medical aid, 4000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 10/20/09 – Medical aid, 4000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 10/20/09 – Vehicle accident, Tahoe Keys Blvd at Utah Ave. 10/20/09 – Assist police or governmental agency, 1000 block Rufus Allen Blvd. 10/20/09 – Vehicle vs. pedestrian accident, 4000 block Manzanita Ave. 10/20/09 – Medical aid, 3000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 10/20/09 – Dispatched and cancelled en route, 800 block Rubicon Tr 10/21/09 – Medical aid, 2000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 10/21/09 – Gasoline or other flammable spill, Lighthouse Shores Drive. 10/21/09 – Medical aid, 1000 block Rufus Allen Blvd. 10/21/09 – Good intent call, Highway 50 at Echo Summit. 10/21/09 – Medical aid, 2000 block Eloise Ave. 10/21/09 – Medical aid, 1000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 10/21/09 – EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 10/21/09 – Electrical wiring problem, 1000 block Carson Ave. 10/21/09 – Trash or rubbish fire, 800 block Clement Ave. 10/21/09 – Vehicle accident general cleanup, 1000 block Reno Ave. 10/21/09 – Fire in structure other than building, Highway 50. 10/22/09 – Medical aid, 2000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 10/22/09 – Medical aid, 2000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 10/22/09 – Medical aid, 1000 block Tata Lane. 10/23/09 – Alarm system sounded, 2000 block Ruth Ave. 10/23/09 – Medical aid, 1000 block Blue Lake Ave. 10/23/09 – Carbon monoxide detector activation, 1000 block Black Bart Ave. 10/23/09 – Medical aid, 600 block Clement Ave. 10/23/09 – Medical aid, 2000 block Catalina Drive. 10/23/09 – Medical aid, 1000 block Rufus Allen Blvd. 10/23/09 – Medical aid, 1000 block Moss Road. 10/24/09 – Medical aid, 4000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 10/24/09 – Medical aid, 3000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 10/24/09 – Alarm system sounded, 2000 block Ruth Ave. 10/24/09 – Dispatched and cancelled en route, 2000 block Ruth Ave. 10/24/09 – Assist invalid, 3000 block Edna St. 10/24/09 – Assist invalid, 3000 block Edna St. 10/24/09 – Medical aid, 3000 block Spruce Ave. 10/24/09 – Medical aid, 3000 block Pickett Ave. – South Lake Tahoe Fire Department

Fire Wire: South Lake Tahoe Fire Department calls

Total calls: 38 11/15/09 – Medical aid, 3000 block Spruce Ave. 11/15/09 – Good intent call, 1000 block Wildwood Ave. 11/15/09 – No incident found upon arrival, Lakeview Ave. 11/15/09 – Alarm system sounded, no fire, 900 block Ski Run Blvd. 11/15/09 – Medical aid, 3000 block Osgood Ave. 11/16/09 – Medical aid, 3000 block Edna Street. 11/16/09 – EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 11/16/09 – Medical aid, College Way. 11/16/09 – EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 11/17/09 – Medical aid, 700 block Hazel Drive. 11/17/09 – Medical aid, 3000 block Forest Ave. 11/17/09 – Medical aid, 2000 block Aloha Drive. 11/18/09 – No incident found upon arrival, 1000 block Fremont Ave. 11/18/09 – Medical aid, 1000 block Melba Drive. 11/18/09 – Vehicle vs. pedestrian accident, 1000 block Sierra Blvd. 11/18/09 – EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 11/18/09 – Medical aid, 2000 block Helen Ave. 11/18/09 – Outside rubbish fire, Reagan Beach area. 11/19/09 – Medical aid, 3000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 11/19/09 – EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 11/19/09 – Medical aid, 2000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 11/19/09 – EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 11/20/09 – Smoke detector activation, 900 block Tahoe Island Drive. 11/20/09 – Power line down, River St at Lodi Ave. 11/20/09 – Animal problem, 1000 block River Street. 11/20/09 – Power line down, 3000 block Mackedie Drive. 11/20/09 – Power line down, 3000 block Ruby Way. 11/20/09 – Power line down, 1000 block Wildwood Ave. 11/20/09 – Power line down, 1000 block Glenwood Ave. 11/20/09 – Power line down, 1000 block Dedi Lane. 11/20/09 – Medical aid, College Way. 11/21/09 – Medical aid, 800 block Tallac Ave. 11/21/09 – Medical aid, 800 block Nahane Drive. 11/21/09 – EMS, Interfacility transfer, 2000 block South Ave. 11/21/09 – Medical aid, 2000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 11/21/09 – Medical aid, 3000 block Saddle Rd 11/21/09 – Assist police or other agency, 2000 block Lake Tahoe Blvd. 11/21/09 – False alarm or false call, 900 block Ski Run Blvd. – South Lake Tahoe Fire Department http://www.sltfd.org