Friday, June 05, 2009

Timberlake Fire Busy

Yesterday, Thursday, June 4, a fire broke out above the gated community at the end of Cape Horn, on Glacier Loop. Fortunately, the fire was located on a rough steep slope above the last houses on the hillside.

Approximately 2 acres burned, according to Chief Krill, of the Timberlake Fire District. When the department got to the site, they noted the fire was burning in two different, but adjacent spots, which was noted as a suspicious situation. No firm evidence had surfaced as to the actual cause, at the time the fire district retired from the scene.

Idaho department of Lands was called in, since the fire was burning on public lands. They cut a fire line around the location to prevent the blaze from starting up again.

An interesting breakdown in communications, caused a delay last Saturday. A report was received from Bonner county Dispatch, of a serious burn case in Lakeview, which is located due east of Bayview, across the south end of Lake Pend Oreille. A propane explosion had caused a man to experience burns over 30% of his body and face.

Timberlake fire District, which is located in Kootenai county, has the responsibility for Lakeview and the west shore, up to Maiden Rock, in Bonner County. With the fire district caught between two jurisdictions, confusion sometimes occurs. In this case, the response was sent to Bunco road, which would have taken an hour to get to Lakeview overland. Its was then changed to a boat rescue with the land transportation furnished by the Happy Hermit. When the EMS crew reached the patient, it was determined that a helicopter rescue was needed. Bonner county failed to respond.The request was then relayed to Kootenai County Dispatch, who then sent Med Star. The patient was rescued successfully, but with multiple delays. In burn cases such as this, enormous pain usually is experienced.

We must remember, that when it appears that the fire department is running in circles, they are being controlled by a dispatch center and though they are the ones that may look foolish, it's not them, folks. It has been made very clear, through their actions in emergencies, that they have performed magnificently in recent fire and other emergencies. It is the coordination between the two counties that needs to be studied for improvements are needed to prevent the inevitable lose of life, due to the various jurisdictions crossing up the smooth flow of the responders.

1 comment:

Zach Hunt - Spokane Fitness Trainer said...

Excellent observation on the communication issue. Let's hope that this is their observation as well, this way they can study it to determine the best solution.