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Matt Will Plaque
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History Of Mid-Coast Fire Brigade
Prior to 1979, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection was solely responsible for fire protection in the wildlands. Unfortunately, they provided their services only during fire season (June to October). So in June of 1978, the Mid-Coast Fire Brigade was formed in order to provide year-round fire protection and emergency services for our community.
Currently, the Brigade is made up of community members, all of whom volunteer their time. Five men and one woman serve on the Brigade and utilize three fire fighting and emergency service apparatus. These volunteers have received emergency medical training, including CPR and defibrillation, and continually update these emergency medical skills. All members have also received formal fire-fighting training. The Brigade trains twice a month to maintain their skills. All Brigade members live in the served community and are dedicated to provide the public with the essential services of fire and life safety.
The Brigades response to "911" calls includes traffic and pedestrian accidents, coastal incident, smoke checks, structure fire, vegetation fires, improvement fires, medical emergencies, hazardous conditions, residential alarms, hazardous material, public assistance, and vehicle fires.
However, the Brigade does more than just respond to medical emergencies, traffic accidents and fires. The most significant accomplishment of the Brigade occurred in 1998's El Nino storms when Highway 1 was broached in fourteen locations between Palo Colorado Road and Carmel, cutting off the community from the outside world. In addition, rain, mudslides, wind, downed trees, and power lines severed Palo Colorado Road in several locations adding further to the community's problems. The Brigade coordinated disaster relief, evacuation, and food deliveries. The Brigade also organized work parties to start repairing the damage. As a part of this effort, the Brigade divided the community into sections and appointed a neighborhood coordinator for each section. The neighborhood coordinator program continues today and all coordinators are now on call to answer questions and assist in relief efforts in the event of any emergency.
In addition to its emergency services, every Halloween the Brigade makes sure the children of the community have a safe way to trick or treat when it provides its annual fire engine Halloween Ride. The engines stop at designated locations where the children receive their treats and ends with a community get-together at the fire station.