The Westport Volunteer Fire Department provides year-round initial 911 emergency response service for medical emergencies, traffic accidents, traumatic injuries and fires on the Northern Mendocino Coast. Our response area covers roughly 108 square miles of rugged terrain. We currently have 10 active duty members. Four of our members are EMTs and one is a paramedic. We train four times a month to maintain and sharpen our skills.
Fundraising to support our operations is a constant challenge. We would like to express our gratitude for the generous grants we have received from the Community Foundation of Mendocino County and from the Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation. The Community Foundation grants enabled us to buy new radios, portable scene lighting and a new generator. The Healthcare Foundation grant enabled us to purchase additional personal protective equipment for our responses to emergency calls during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This photo shows three of our EMTs suited up for an emergency response. Captain Jeff Mathias, on the left, is wearing the highest level of protection: A Tyvek disposable suit, a dual cartridge respirator with a face shield and nitrile gloves. John Allison, in the middle, is wearing a Tyvek disposable suit, an N-95 disposable respirator, safety goggles and nitrile gloves. Salvador (“Sal”) Palomar, on the right, is wearing a disposable gown, an N-95 disposable respirator and nitrile gloves. Under current COVID-19 protocols, Jeff would be the EMT making direct contact with the patient. John would be Jeff’s backup and would also help decontaminate Jeff at the end of the call. Sal would provide support and would also help decontaminate John at the end of the call.