Twain Harte Village, Tuolumne County, CA
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TH Fire & Rescue Department

 

A Letter to the Community  from Twain Harte Past Fire & Rescue Chief Bob Kempvanee

Twain Harte Fire and Rescue is a division of the Twain Harte Community Services District. The district fire station is staffed on a full time basis. The current membership includes a combination of 26 paid and volunteer personnel. An Operational Support Unit (OSU) has been developed to assist firefighters at emergency scenes. OSU members are not certified firefighters, but are trained and used to provide various support services at emergency scene, e.g. traffic control, logistics, documentation etc.  There are also two support and fund raising groups associated with the district. These are the Firefighters Association and the Auxiliary Association. 

The district maintains an Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating of 4, which is excellent for a rural fire protection organization. This favorable ISO rating frequently equates to lower fire insurance rates for homeowners within the district. The district provides a full array of emergency services, which includes structural and wildland fire protection, Basic Life Support emergency medical services, Automatic External Defibrillation, vehicle extrication, and rope rescue services. 

Advanced Life Support (ALS) medical services are provided by Tuolumne County Ambulance. The ambulance that serves our area is stationed in Mono Vista, approximately 5 miles west of Twain Harte. An ALS air ambulance is stationed at Columbia Airport and there are emergency room facilities at Sonora Regional Medical Center and Tuolumne General Hospital, both located in Sonora. 

The district operates 4 engines and 2 administrative vehicles out of a single station located at 18791 Cedar Drive. The district responded to 400 emergency incidents in 2003. Medical emergencies accounted for about 2/3 of these responses, with the remainder being fires and other types of emergencies. The district is a participant in a regional Automatic Aid Agreement with the Mi Wuk– Sugar Pine Fire District, the Tuolumne Fire District, the Tuolumne County Fire Department and CDF. The philosophy behind this arrangement is to immediately dispatch the closest resources to any fire or emergency in the area, regardless of jurisdictional boundaries. This results in citizens of the area receiving the highest possible level of service. 

The district is very active in pre-suppression activities. District personnel have completed pre-fire plans for nearly all of the assembly and commercial occupancies. There is an active Defensible Space Program that, among other things, requires 30’ of clearance of vegetation around buildings. The district is also a key player in a regional wildland fuels-reduction program that is being developed for the greater Twain Harte area. 

The district recently was awarded a $225,000 FEMA grant for the purchase of a new engine. The new engine is being designed to meet the district’s firefighting needs in a wildland environment and will also serve as the Rescue unit. Delivery of a new all-wheel-drive apparatus was accepted in 2005. 

For more information, contact the station at (209)586-4800.

-Bob Kempvanee, Past Fire Chief of Twain Harte