Mattole Valley Thanks Rio Dell Fire, REACH Air Ambulance
This is a press release from the Honeydew Volunteer Fire Company:
After a successful 29th Roll on the Mattole, a Fundraiser for the Honeydew Volunteer Fire Company, volunteers were cleaning up the Mattole Grange, and campers were slowly waking up at A.W.Way campground. Bacon was cooking. Meat bees were ready. A young camper was stung after swatting a bee from her much younger friend. The sting on her finger quickly led to swelling on her face, and a red rash all over. The Parents quickly notified emergency services, Petrolia Fire, Honeydew Fire, with personnel close by at the Grange, and Rio Dell Fire responded.
A.W.Way Campground is a long way from Rio Dell. Why was Rio Dell responding? CalFire resources are extremely drawn down fighting serious fires all over Northern California. Both Briceland, and Rio Dell Fire, among others have helped by providing fire engines, and crews to cover local CalFire stations. Briceland was at Mattole briefly before being asked to go to Mendocino County.
Due to the distance from a hospital, and the patient’s age, REACH Air Ambulance accepted the mission to transport the patient. The Helicopter arrived just before the ground ambulance, but because of concerns over the chance of weather diverting the aircraft somewhere other than Eureka, thus complicating family reunification, the decision was made to transport via ground ambulance.
Now keep in mind: just to respond in, and land the helicopter is risky for the Pilot, Flight Nurse, and Medic onboard. The crew of REACH 18, out of Willits, were extremely gracious, and offered a five minute patient loading training to Firefighters on scene. This is a rare and valuable opportunity, and our Community appreciates it. REACH 18 departed towards Lakeport to standby as the community was facing evacuation from wildfire.
We also appreciate Rio Dell Fire for sending us some fine folks to cover Mattole Station for CalFire. The Rio Dell Crew assisted Honeydew Fire as judges for the famed Mattole Wildland Firefighters’ Challenge on Saturday, ( Whale Gulch taking the trophy for 2018!) then, of course were here for us Sunday with this medical aid. We appreciate the sacrifice of these men and women, spending time away from their families, and community. Honeydew Fire also appreciates a brave patient, who we think would make a great firefighter or helicopter pilot sometime in the future.