In the mid 1980s the department began to certify and train its first paramedics with former firefighter Doctor Dan Canfield becoming the departments very first. For the first time, all firefighters are now certified in basic emergency medical response and care to supplement the existing paramedic crews. The total number of responses has continued to increase. In 1954, the department responded to 674 total calls for service. Today, the department responds to nearly 5,500 annually.
Structured Incident Management System
In the 1980s the adoption of a structured incident management system allowed for even more efficiency in command and control. The fire chief who had become a fire ground commander is now called an incident commander (IC) and must coordinate the functional areas under his command.
1993: Eliminating the Gamewell System
During 1993, our Fire Alarm Dispatch closed, thus eliminating the old “gamewell system” fire alarm telegraph and created the county wide E-911 system we have today. The alarm system had been in place since 1904 and originally provided for 11 alarm box locations strategically located in the downtown area and the big sawmills. The heart stopping gongs that once sounded in the fire stations have now become audible tones and warbles to alert the crews. Medical and CPR information is now given over the phone line prior to the aid crew arriving on scene.