Pinion Pine Fire Capt. Danny Zandvliet is handed a fire ax as he trains members of the Yucca Fire Department on how to extricate patients at a crash scene, in this case a tour bus donated by SA Recycling in Kingman.
KINGMAN - Members of the under-funded and under-trained Yucca Fire Department have recently benefited from a variety of public entities and private businesses in an effort to bring up standards.
The department recently hired veteran firefighter Edwin Cheser as an assistant chief.
"We've got our work cut out for us," said Cheser last week at SA Recycling in Kingman, where General Manager Jed Holley donated a couple of scrap tour buses local fire departments could use for rescue and extrication training.
"But I also know I've got men and women who want to be firefighters and they're willing to work hard to make that happen.
Chief Jimmylee Todd directed Cheser to provide structure and discipline to the firefighters on staff - and also to help each of them obtain FFI AND FFII level certification.
He is far from a man alone in the desert.
"Other departments, such as Desert Hills, Northern Arizona Consolidated, Golden Valley and Kingman have given me plenty of help," he said. "Local businesses like SA Recycling that provided vehicles and a facility to train."
Chief Patrick Moore has given Yucca firefighters use of a classroom and the tools used to assess their fitness levels.
Chief Bill Weber of Desert Hills mapped the mutual aid agreements each department has with the others and Assistant Kingman Fire Chief Joe Dorner has explained radio technology. Pinion Pine Fire Capt. Danny Zandvliet taught extrication.
Desert Hills and Golden Valley squared them away on the next academy they must attend that will bring each of them up to the National Firefighters Standard. Kingman Regional Medical Center will help them get their EMT-B level training.
Also, Cheser was given authority to hire three basic EMTs, which will allow the department to provide 24-hour coverage for the first time.
"Chief Todd gave me the go-ahead to revamp this department and that's exactly what I'm going to do," said Cheser, "with a lot of the mentioned help."
Posted: Monday, June 16, 2014
Article comment by:
Interesting article. Much to the dismay of many who have volunteered for years on the Yucca FD, though as they have had to work, and yes train themselves on their own time and dollar. Maybe if the author had done some more background work on the department staff, the article would not have appeared to dismiss over a decade of dedication for many of the volunteer crew. But it's quite possible that Mr McMurdo has had to learn his craft on his own and personally fund his career in journalism. I'll give him time to come up to speed.