Fish Camp now has a full-time fire departmentFree Access

Tenaya Lodge footing bill for 24-hour fire protection
Shown is the crew which mans the fire station in Fish Camp 24 hours a day, seven days a week. From left are Darrold Swallow, Ricki Murano, Kelly Lucero, Josh Willis, Don Ubben, Jonas Gonzales and Johnathan Morris. (Not shown is Larry Weise.)

Shown is the crew which mans the fire station in Fish Camp 24 hours a day, seven days a week. From left are Darrold Swallow, Ricki Murano, Kelly Lucero, Josh Willis, Don Ubben, Jonas Gonzales and Johnathan Morris. (Not shown is Larry Weise.)

Thanks to a unique public-private partnership, Fish Camp and surrounding areas now have a dedicated emergency response team to service the community.

Staffed and operated by Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, Company 33 is the result of a collaborative agreement between Tenaya Lodge and Mariposa County and provides year-round, 24-hour emergency service to Fish Camp and areas north to county lines.

“We are thrilled to play such a significant role in providing our community with essential safety and emergency services,” said Paul Ratchford, Tenaya’s general manager. “This innovative solution is among the first of its kind and ensures near immediate response for all types of 9-1-1 situations including fire, medical, chemical and road incidents.”

Headquartered at the county-owned firehouse located directly across the street from Tenaya Lodge, Company 33 currently consists of eight first responders who come from a mix of backgrounds and experience including military and firefighting. The station is equipped with a Type 1 Fire Engine for structural firefighting, a wildland truck and large water truck for wildfire response.

Company 33 responders are employees of Tenaya Lodge and undergo a rigorous training program through Mariposa County. Training prepares them for all types of emergency situations and includes 80 hours with the fire academy, 60 hours of first-responder medical training, emergency vehicle operation courses and hazardous materials response courses. Once certified, responders also must participate in monthly on-going training.

“Prior to Company 33, the Fish Camp fire station was staffed sporadically by volunteers, so the closest 24-hour emergency responders were at least 15 minutes away,” says Jonathan Morris, Tenaya’s facilities director. “With this new arrangement, the station is staffed at all times and emergency response time in the area is drastically reduced. In most cases, we are able to respond to incidents in eight minutes or less, which can make a difference in saving lives or getting a situation under control.”

A minimum of two Company 33 responders are on duty at all times and respond as quickly as possible to emergencies.

According to Morris, examples of recent calls include responding to a person possibly having a heart attack, as well as a 95-year-old resident who had fallen on his property and needed immediate medical care.

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