Volunteer Fire Departments Rule

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of volunteer firefighters have more than 5 years of service. There are an estimated 29,727 fire departments in the U.S. Of these, 2,651 departments were all career, 1,893 were mostly career, 5,421 were mostly volunteer and 19,762 were all volunteer.


Come join us as a Volunteer or as a Reserve.



San Diego’s back country volunteer fire companies were first organized after the huge 1970 Laguna Fire that burned 175,425 acres and 382 homes and killed eight people. The Julian Volunteer Fire Company and Lake Cuyamaca Fire Company were two of those formed. In 1983,


Checking in with Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District by Ann Reilly Cole

By Ann Reilly Cole – Julian Journal• Thu, May 19, 016
This may be Julian’s prettiest time of year, with rolling green hills and wildflowers in bloom from recent rains.

Backcountry residents — especially those who have lived through multiple wildfires and evacuations — know, however, that it is just a matter of time before the dry hot summer turns the landscape into a potential tinderbox. Local firefighting organizations are busy all year long, working to protect life and property and laying the groundwork that increases the odds that an emergency situation will not become a tragedy. Fire Chief Rick Marinelli of the Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District reports on the progress of the new fire station, new equipment and resources, and what residents can do to protect themselves and their homes in an emergency. Plans have been drawn and a loan has been waiting at the bank, while the process to build the new JCFPD fire station slowly works its way from concept to completion. At the Julian Library, project architect Jeff Katz opened sealed bids from seven contractors seeking a shot at building the new firehouse. The station’s design had already been determined, and the competing bidders each prepared their proposals using the same criteria and with equal access to information regarding the project. The highest bid came in at $3,888,764, and the lowest was $2,036,873, with others at $2.5 to $2.2 million. Law requires that the contract be offered to the lowest qualified bidder. After announcing the bids, Katz then reviewed each bid to eliminate any if they did not meet qualifications before making his recommendation to the JCFPD Board on May 10. Since the lowest bid was also a qualified bid, it was the only bid presented to the board, which voted to award the contract to Southwest Construction Services of Lakeside. Owners Sam Smith and Dan Smith are well established in the region as fourth-generation residents of Lakeside and the third generation in the construction business. The long list of their projects includes government buildings, hospitals, and private and commercial construction. The next step is to draw up the contract, with work set to begin sometime in June. Meanwhile, an agreement among the San Diego County Fire Authority, the JCFPD and Cal Fire recently put an extra structure fire engine, staffed with a paramedic, at the Cal Fire station on Highway 78. This addition, at county expense, means an increase in around-the-clock availability of firefighting resources and advanced life support (ALS) services for residents and visitors to the backcountry. ALS services include administering medications and IV fluids, and emergency cardiac care. Six professional Cal Fire firefighters will staff the new engine, including at least one paramedic, two fire apparatus engineers, and three firefighter paramedics. Two or more will be on duty around the clock, with at least one qualified as a paramedic. In September, the department is set to receive a brand-new ambulance. The $200,000 vehicle has been ordered and is being built for the local station with lots of bells and whistles, including an automatic chain system so the vehicle can easily navigate the varying weather and road conditions typical to Julian. In addition to the new ambulance, the department has purchased a used ambulance from the Borrego Fire Protection District at a cost of $4,000. This vehicle, currently being refurbished with new tires and radios, will be a backup ambulance. The two ambulances currently in service will be returned to the county when they are replaced with the locally owned vehicles. The ambulance program at JCFPD, which is in its third year of a six-year contract with the county EMS for advanced life support, responds to some 500 to 600 calls per year. Where many folks see the beauty of the blooming wildflowers and green hills as they look out at Julian’s vistas, Marinelli knows that by summer’s end, the brown and brittle vegetation is an inevitable fire risk. According to Marinelli, now is the best time to get clearing work done, before the vegetation turns brown and sparks from operating machinery increase the risk of starting a wildfire, and before Cal Fire begins issuing non-compliance notices in June. “Don’t wait until it gets too hot to start weed whacking and create that defensible space,” he says. Another advantage of clearing early in the season is the chance to get free or low-cost assistance with chipping or creating the mandated 100 feet of defensible space. Fire safe councils offer this help on a first-come, first-served basis to those who apply. The websites below offer information about being ready for wildfires and other emergencies. • www.calfire.ca.gov • www.cuyamacawoodsfsc.org • www.harrisonparkassociation.org • www.ready.gov • www.readysandiego.org • www.wefsc.com In addition, www.firesafesdcounty.org provides education and information about fire prevention and safety, including details on a no-cost chipping program and defensible space assistance for low-income seniors and disabled residents. Those without computer or Internet access may visit the Julian Library at 1850 Highway 78, where computers are available at no charge. From an article in the Julian Journal

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County, CAL FIRE Add Paramedic Engine Service to Julian



Jan. 5, 2016

Contacts: Capt. Kendal Bortisser (CAL FIRE) 619-922-4528

Michele Clock (County Fire) 619-929-8601


County, CAL FIRE Add Paramedic Engine Service to Julian Agencies join with Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District to boost backcountry service

Julian residents and visitors now have around-the-clock access to paramedic engine service, thanks to an agreement reached among the region’s lead rural fire agencies and Julian fire officials.

The Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD) recently entered into a pact with the San Diego County Fire Authority to place a new paramedic engine staffed by CAL FIRE near downtown Julian. The upgrade builds on County and CAL FIRE efforts in recent years to raise the level of professional, 24/7 firefighter staffing across rural East County.

“This big boost in paramedic service is not only good news for Julian residents, but for all those who visit our beautiful backcountry each year,” said County Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “It’s great to team up with the Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District on this latest initiative to strengthen fire and emergency medical services in our rural areas.”

The new engine joined CAL FIRE’s Station 50, located just outside downtown Julian, on New Year’s Eve.

Julian is one of eight rural communities to receive new paramedic engines since 2014, joining Jacumba, Descanso, Otay, Jamul, Lake Morena, Pine Valley and the Intermountain area northeast of Ramona.

The new paramedic engine in Julian joins two full-size fire engines, two rescue vehicles and one smaller fire engine staffed by the Julian fire district volunteer firefighters.

The improvement is part of a broader agreement recently struck between County Fire and the Julian district to bolster fire and emergency medical services.

Six professional CAL FIRE firefighters will staff the new engine, including a fire captain paramedic, two fire apparatus engineers and three firefighter paramedics. At least two will be on duty around-the-clock, including at least one paramedic.

They are trained and the engine is equipped to provide “Advanced Life Support,” meaning patients will be able to receive a sophisticated level of emergency medical services, such as a variety of medications, as well as IV and emergency cardiac equipment including EKG monitors, pacemakers and chest compression kits.

Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District Chief Rick Marinelli said he is “pleased to welcome this new resource to the community. Firefighters from the JCFPD operate two other fire stations in the area. The addition of this paramedic engine will enhance fire protection and EMS to residents and visitors of Julian Cuyamaca. We will be better able to handle our increasing call volume with both our volunteers and CAL FIRE. This will raise the level of service and provide advanced life support to the area when the ALS ambulance is committed to other calls. We will also have faster response times and increased fire suppression capabilities. The addition of this fire engine will not only benefit residents and visitors of Julian – Cuyamaca, but the entire region.”

The Julian district’s Station 56 and 57, along with CAL FIRE’s Station 50, serve a 50-square-mile area that is home to about 5,000 people. Julian is a popular tourist destination for San Diegans as well as out-of-state visitors, with busy state Routes 78 and 79 leading into the area.

This incoming traffic unfortunately has resulted in numerous traffic-related incidents requiring medical intervention and paramedic response. In addition to Station 50, CAL FIRE’s Station 51 is located near Lake Cuyamaca just off state Route 79. County Fire reserves can back up CAL FIRE’s professional staff when needed.

The upgrade in Julian is a key addition to County Fire’s comprehensive efforts to improve fire protection in the backcountry since it was created eight years ago.

County Fire and CAL FIRE San Diego Unit Chief Tony Mecham said placing this paramedic engine in Julian will help citizens and also advance the cooperative fire protection services in the area.

“This places an engine in a strategic location that is going to help us respond more quickly to not only Julian but to nearby areas like Banner Grade, Shelter Valley and Cuyamaca,” Mecham said. “This could help save lives.”

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Thanks to the Community- Letter from Chief Marinelli

I would like to thank you for your extra support of the Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District through your generous donations.  Through the efforts of the Julian Fire Plugs and your contributions the JCFPD has raised over $30,000.  Most of those donations have been deposited in our new fire station account and will be used directly for the construction and support of the new station.

Update on the new station:  We have totally redesigned the plans for the new station.  The new plans are focused on a smaller, more efficient facility but will still meet the needs of the JCFPD.  Many cost savings changes have been made, but even with these changes, we are struggling to stay in our budget.  Our loan has been secured with a twenty year fixed rate at 3.8%.  Our maximum loan amount was 1.5M.  With the loan and the funds we already have, we put our total project budget at 2.1M.  The latest estimate for the project from our architect is 2.1M.  The project is scheduled to go out to bid in February.  With the project estimate and our available funds being so close we are seeking other ways to increase our project funding.  That is why your contributions are so important.

As always, we are here to serve you and this is your fire department.  You are invited to attend our monthly board meetings and provide input and keep informed on current events of the JCFPD.

Sincerely, Rick Marinelli Chief-JCFPD



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