Frequently Asked Questions
Who should I call first in an emergency?
Call 9-1-1 before calling anyone else. Other local agencies, such as TSRA Security, can be called next (or from a second phone) and can often provide assistance, but it is best to get the emergency services system in motion as soon as possible.
In an emergency should I call 9-1-1 on a cell phone or on a land line?
When possible you should use a land-line, or "wired" phone as it is a faster way of getting emergency medical help than using the cell phone. Since the cell phone is most often used for people who are in vehicles, cell phone 911 calls go directly to the California Highway Patrol dispatch center in Vallejo, which just adds an extra step before there is contact with the dispatch center for an ambulance or the fire department. If using a cell phone, it is quicker to call 707-565-2121 (Sonoma County) or 707-463-4086 (Mendocino County) so that the call goes immediately to the local county's dispatch center.
Why do so many people show up to a 9-1-1 call?
It is not always evident from the initial dispatch information what exactly is going on or how many firefighters may be needed. Even on apparently simple medical calls, it sometimes requires a number of people to move a patient (e.g. down a narrow stairway, or up to the bluff from a beach). Or, what initially appears to be a "small fire" could quickly turn into something larger. All available volunteers always respond to a call, and the initial responders cancel incoming resources once it is known that additional help is not needed. Better to have too many hands than too few in a real emergency!
How many people are on the fire department?
TSRVFD has 11 active members and 2 support members. There are four officers on TSRVFD: the Chief (Michael Scott) and three Captains. A minimum of two permanent CAL FIRE staff are on duty at all times.
Are people on duty 24 hours a day? How are the stations staffed?
The South Station on Annapolis Road is staffed 24x7 by CAL FIRE personnel. A minimum of 2 CAL FIRE staff are on duty, but sometimes 3 or 4 firefighters and/or engineers may be available depending on availability and season. On-duty CAL FIRE staff live at the South Station, and usually work 72-hour shifts. Besides the CAL FIRE staff specifically assigned to Sea Ranch Fire, seasonal state CAL FIRE personnel and one additional wildland fire engine are in residence at the South Station during fire season. The seasonal staff has responsibility beyond the TSR area and may respond to a wider area, or be moved for days or weeks at a time to fight fires or staff other stations anywhere in California. When the usual seasonal engine and crew are moved elsewhere, a different engine and crew will be temporarily assigned to the Sea Ranch South Station. When the seasonal crew is present, they will respond to local emergencies along with the permanent Sea Ranch Fire staff.
How often do the volunteers train?
The VFD trains three times a month at regularly-scheduled sessions, with occasional additional training sessions or classes depending on the season. The VFD also participates in training sessions with nearby agencies such as the Annapolis, Timber Cove, Fort Ross, South Coast, or Redwood Coast fire departments, or the Coast Life Support District.
How many calls does the fire department get each year?
TSRVFD responded to 211 calls in 2009, 258 in 2010, and 284 in 2011. The call distribution over the last three years is 50% medical aids, 6% fires, 10% vehicle accidents, 4% rescues, and 31% other (alarms sounding, smoke checks, public assists, or hazardous conditions such as trees or power lines down). More details can be seen here.
How is the funding obtained to provide fire and emergency services by the fire department?
Information about department funding can be found here.
Who can join the fire department?
Information about joining TSRVFD can be found here.
Is the fire department associated with TSRA?
The fire department and The Sea Ranch Association (TSRA) are completely separate. TSRA has no authority over the department.
Where are the fire stations located on The Sea Ranch?
Read about the fire stations here.
What type of equipment does the department have?
Read about fire department equipment here.
How do I get a burn permit?
If it is your first time requesting a burn permit you need to fill out an Application for Open Burning and send the application and a fee to Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District (NSCAPCD). Applications can be obtained in person at the fire station on Annapolis road. NSCAPCD will mail your permit to you. If you have already obtained a permit in prior years then you can just call the NSCAPCD to reactivate your permit each year. Burn requirements change with each burn season so it is a good idea contact CalFire (785-2648) to obtain information for the current year.
How do I know whether it is a burn day?
Call 707-565-BURN (2876) to determine Burn Day status and any special retrictions and conditions. You must call to register your burn, each day that you burn.
Who does inspections to determine compliance with California Public Resources Code 4291 (Defensible Space) laws?
The CAL FIRE personnel permanently assigned to the Sea Ranch Fire Station perform the inspections.
How often are homes inspected for compliance with 4291?
The CAL FIRE staff attempts to inspect about 1/3 of the TSR properties each year. The amount of inspections actually done is dependent on available staff, fire season activity, and other activities that may preempt inspections. Anyone can request an inspection by calling the South Fire Station at 707-785-2648.
What if I have a concern about a neighboring property's condition?
You are welcome to call CAL FIRE with any safety concerns. In a situation where someone requests an inspection of someone else's property, CAL FIRE will perform inspections on the entire neighborhood.