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Letter: No place for women in current Pendleton fire station

Published on April 20, 2017 1:07PM

Last changed on April 20, 2017 5:36PM

I am writing this letter in support of the new fire station bond.

Pendleton Fire is currently a combination department of career and reserve staff. There are 21 career staff (one female, 20 male) and 17 reserve staff. The reserve staff includes four students currently enrolled full time at Blue Mountain Community College in the fire/EMS program.

The students are not only full-time college students but also full-time interns that work 24-hour shifts alongside the career staff for real life experiences. While on duty, the students stay in the fire station, utilizing the dorm facility. This is a great opportunity for the students to gain real life experiences in both fire/EMS.

The 17 reserve staff include eight females. Those eight females offer a variety of different patient care levels that range from EMT-Basics, paramedics, nurses and a physicians assistant.

Each of them participate in 9-1-1 calls and interfacility transports. While it is great to have a variety of care, the current fire station does not support the housing for reserves. The current fire station only supports one female on shift comfortably at night.

Currently, regardless of gender, the fire station does not support the supplement of reserves during the night. With career staff and a student, there are no beds available and there is no more room to put beds. The support of the new fire station bond would support the growth of the reserve program and provide the ability to supplement the career staff during the night hours, which often has a higher call volume than the day.

The average age that called for Pendleton Fire in 2016 ranged from 54-72, the most common concern being chest pain. From 2007 to 2016 the call volume has increased by 339 requests for emergency services.

The demand for the 9-1-1 services will only continue to increase. There is a need for additional career staff along with equipment to keep up with the increase in call volume.

The support of the new fire station bond supports a variety of different areas. The health of your firefighters, the ability for additional career and reserve staff, training, diversity, and most importantly having the personnel and equipment available to you in your time of need. Vote yes for your family.

Thank you for your support.

Melissa Griffin



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