emergency services

ACLU of Washington

The lack of sheriff's deputies in Josephine County creates issues for emergency workers who are NOT officers of the law.  Because the situations that lead to medical and fire calls are often police situations as well. 

And with no police around, emergency crews can find themselves in danger.  That's why the chief at the Wolf Creek Rural Fire Protection District wants body cameras on his firefighters... to keep a record of potential problems, if not help prevent them. 

Steve Scruggs is getting some help from BodyCameraDonations.com

Oregon.gov

Talk about your high-pressure jobs: 911 dispatchers have to stay calm while people are often coming unglued on the phone with them.

It might not be the easiest job in the world to fill. 

In fact, Oregon's Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, which trains emergency dispatchers, reports a shortage of them in rural areas. 

Infrogmation of New Orleans/Wikimedia

Novels are still a rarity on The Exchange, but we could not turn down Ellen Urbani

Her latest work of fiction, Landfall, is based on events in the real world, including Hurricane Katrina. 

Urbani's work as a therapist adds a dimension of trauma and recovery to the work. 

Simon & Schuster

Many people wanted to contribute to society in the days after the 9/11 terror attacks. 

Kevin Hazzard decided to take an EMT course in saving lives.  The course wasn't enough. 

He plunged full-time into working on an ambulance, in some of the toughest parts of Atlanta. 

His book A Thousand Naked Strangers relates the frequently grim and occasionally funny parts of the job. 

In Case Of Disaster, Enhanced Mitigation Plans

Mar 25, 2015
NOAA/Public Domain

Out of the 50 states, only 12 have Enhanced State Mitigation Plans making them potentially eligible for additional federal funding in a disaster. 

Oregon and California are two of the dozen. 

So what kinds of natural hazards and disasters are covered in the plan? 

Waiting For Disaster With CERT

Feb 10, 2015
courtesy of Cal Fire

Recent heavy rains and winds reminded many of us of the need to be prepared for disasters of all kinds. 

It if for just such situations that many communities host Community Emergency Response Teams, or CERTs. 

Ashland started a CERT after a devastating flood in early 1997. 

Talking Computers To Help Dispatchers

May 22, 2014
Oregon.gov

Think about the stress levels incurred by emergency dispatchers: they need to dispatch emergency workers WHILE they are still taking details of the incident over the phone. 

Seconds count in emergency services, and that overlap costs time. 

Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon dispatches first responders in Jackson County, and ECSO has a new tool. 

The State Of The Art In Saving Lives

Mar 24, 2014
U.S. Navy/Public Domain

The people we once called "ambulance attendants" became "firefighters," and "EMTs," and "first responders."

The mission--saving lives--remains the same. 

But the titles and the equipment evolve over the years, and the people involved in emergency medical work train and compare notes frequently. 

Who And How: Emergency Preparedness Summit

Jan 27, 2014
Mark Lincoln/Wikimedia

There's a fine line between encouraging preparedness and creating panic. 

Our region sits atop a major earthquake fault, the Cascadia Subduction Zone.