Our Mission: “To provide effective emergency services for the control and reduction of the impacts from fire, medical emergency, hazardous material, terrorism, and natural or man-made disasters for our community. This mission is carried out through prevention, suppression, training standards, and information & education programs.”
The Colusa Fire Department currently has an ISO rating of 3. ISO stands for Insurance Services Office and rates fire departments across the county based on a number of variables such as water system, communications, as well as the fire department’s operations. The rating has an effect on most homeowner’s and commercial business’ insurance rates.
Fire Apparatus is categorized by types according to the capabilities. Type 1 apparatus is used for structure firefighting. Type 2 is used for both structural and wild land firefighting. Type 3 is used for wild land firefighting. The types are based in part on the size of the water tank on the engine as well as the sizes of hose and the types of equipment carried on the engine. Colusa Fire Department has 6 fire engines. The engine designations and apparatus types are shown below.
E-551 (Type 1) – 2013 HiTech / Spartan Pumper
E-552 (Type 1, 2) – 2002 HME / Westates Pumper
T-555 (Type 1) – 1986 E-One Aerial Truck
E-561 (Type 3) – 2009 HME Ahrens-Fox
C-570 – 2008 Ford Expedition (Staff Unit)
O-571 – 2004 Ford Expedition (Staff Unit)
Colusa Fire Department currently has one aerial device to assist with fire suppression.
Truck 555 is an E-One apparatus with an 80 foot telescoping ladder with a nozzle mounted just beneath the end of the ladder. This apparatus has the capability of pumping 1,500 gallons of water per minute. The truck also has a wide assortment of cabinets allowing it to carry a multitude of equipment for a wide variety of incidents. It also carries a variety of ladders.
Fire Suppression encompasses a wide variety of tactics used to attack and extinguish a fire. Above all, SAFETY is the prime element. Colusa Fire Department uses the “Two In, Two Out” rule for all structure fires. This means that two firefighters will always enter a burning building TOGETHER and two more firefighters will stand by outside the structure to assist the two firefighters inside the structure should the need arise. In the event of a firefighter inside the structure needing to leave for any reason, BOTH firefighters shall leave the structure together. Firefighters also wear special fire resistant protective clothing.
One tactic that is essential in structural firefighting is ventilation. Ventilation is the means by which hot gases and smoke are allowed to escape from the building. One method of ventilation is Positive Pressure Ventilation. In this method, a large fan is placed at the front or back entrance and the building is pressurized with air. Then certain windows and doors are opened which forces the air out of the building. This allows the firefighters to have better visibility within the structure.
An important piece of equipment in suppression is the Self Contained Breathing Apparatus or SCBA. This consists of an air tank worn on the firefighter’s back, a face mask and a regulator piece which attaches to the front of the face mask. A voice emitter can be attached to the side of the face mask to aid in more clear communication.
In addition to providing structure fire protection, the Department also provides protection from wildland fires. During the annual fire season which generally runs from May through November, Colusa Fire Department responds to all grass fires within the City Limits. In addition, the Department also responds to calls for mutual aid by other fire departments for grass fires within the county as well as out of county mutual aid strike team requests.
Emergency Medical Services have become an integral part of the Fire Service. In fact, a large majority of the Department’s calls are for Medical Assistance. The Department’s first out fire engine contains a wide variety of EMS equipment to handle calls from a heart attack to a broken leg. This includes backboards, portable Oxygen, cervical spine immobilization equipment, various types of splints, vacuum suction unit.
A great advancement in EMS is the Automated External Defibrillator or Defib. This allows the rescuer to essentially “jump start” a patient’s heart and has been credited with saving many lives in the field. The Colusa Fire Department was the first fire department in Colusa County to acquire and train its personnel on the use of the AED.
A large number of the Department’s firefighters are certified EMT-B’s, which means they are certified Emergency Medical Technicians with an additional certification in the use of an AED. Those who do not wish to become EMT’s may become first responders. All of Colusa Fire Department’s firefighters are certified in CPR.
Should a vehicle accident occur that requires a patient to be extricated from the vehicle, Colusa Fire Department’s first out engine is equipped with specialized rescue equipment to perform victim extrication.
The Department carries a hydraulic combi-tool which allows the firefighters to both cut metal as well as spread vehicle doors apart. This tool is sometimes referred to as the “Jaws of Life”. The engine also carries a hydraulic ram tool which can be used to spread portions of the vehicle such as the dashboard should a patient’s legs be pinned underneath the dash.
In addition to these two special tools, the engine also carries an assortment of airbags which are used to help lift a vehicle should a person be trapped underneath. An assortment of “Cribbing” which are various sized and shaped blocks is used to help stabilize the vehicle while the rescue is being performed
The Department is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by one of three full-time shift employees. Part-time intermittent employees as well as volunteer Driver-Operators and Volunteer Captains assist in performing shift coverage for the full-time employees during times of illness or vacation.
During the week, the Fire Chief is the Officer in Charge 24 hours a day. On weekends, officers performs the role of “Duty Officer” on a rotational basis.
The Department relies on its volunteer firefighters for increased response to calls. CFD volunteer firefighters carry their protective equipment in their personal vehicles allowing for a full engine company staffing upon arrival of the engine at incidents. Department personnel are dispatched to emergencies via pagers.
Personnel responding directly to the incident upon dispatch can begin mitigation activities immediately upon arrival.
EMERGENCY DIAL 9-1-1