Unofficial Team Coordinator w/ BLM
November 1, 2015
Editor’s Note: The Emergency Response Team (ERT) now has its own website at: ert.imperialdam.com.
I am writing this as a relatively new member of the Senator Wash Response Team and wish to extend an open invitation for all to come by on any Tuesday morning and join us for coffee and snacks at 8am at the Response Trailer behind the second bathroom (please see Getting There). We discuss our duties and other matters relating to what this team of volunteers does to assist our desert friends in need. We are always looking for new members, so stop by and see what we’re all about and consider joining, no special training required. We have people who wish to help along with retired fire, EMT, police, and medical professionals.
A little bit of our duties: Assisting campers in need of emergency services, such as fire or medical assistance, by making contact with YPG Emergency Response and then meeting their vehicles at Senator Wash Rd and Hwy S-24 and leading them to the campers location. We also have members who are AED/CPR certified (automatic external defibrillator) and a couple of us actually carry an AED when responding. Also the BLM is considering having an AED available near the contact station for all to use (budget permitting & whenever they get approval). This allows for a quicker response in a life threatening situation such as a heart attack. An additional AED has been located at the Christian Center thanks to Preacherman and others.
Our members know the roads and short cuts which allow us to quickly direct emergency vehicles to any scene. We also assist tow trucks locating disabled vehicles or possibly helping stuck vehicles get back on the road.
The primary reason for our team is to speed up the process of getting emergency services to those in need. We call YPG directly and then 911 to inform them of what is needed and then get the emergency personnel on scene safely. This speeds up the response by up to 25 minutes compared to someone calling 911 and then trying to explain how to get to where they need assistance. Our normal response time from the initial call via CB channel 12 to the arrival of YPG personnel is about 7 minutes.
Concerning the 911 system: It is great, but one must be aware that 911 calls from Senator Wash go to the CHP office in El Centro (they may not be familiar with Senator Wash) and then after you answer several questions they will direct you to the Yuma 911 center, who then calls YPG to respond. All this takes time and then the YPG personnel have to find you without our assistance. That adds additional time to the response.
If you need help call EMERGENCY on channel 12. We will ask only if its fire or the type of medical issue and where you are. Our team will be responding to Hwy S-24 and your location while another member calls YPG and 911 on your behalf. Meanwhile our “first on scene” responders are on the way to assist you as needed until YPG emergency crews arrive.
If you decide to call 911 yourself, fine but still call emergency on the CB so that we have half a chance of getting our personnel to Hwy S-24 to meet and direct the YPG vehicles to your location.
Remember if you call an emergency, turn on all your lights, flashers etc., to assist us in finding your specific location. If your vehicle has an alarm system use your key fob to activate it. Don’t have a CB? We have a few loaners, or an inexpensive hand held will do the trick. The team monitors CB channel 12 24/7 during the season.
All personal information concerning a call is kept private.