For the Bishop Volunteer Firefighters, August has been a busy month with over 30 calls so far. Bishop Fire Chief Ray Seguine reports that the volunteers have averaged a call a day for a while now. Many of these calls have been routine fire calls, but Seguine explained that there has been an uptick in medical calls.
This was expected after a change in Medicare funding forced Symons Ambulance to shut down a full time second ambulance. This has left the volunteers as the back up medical crew, responding to calls until Symons can get there. Chief Seguine says that the Bishop Volunteers are now running an additional three to four medical calls per month. The firefighters dont have an ambulance, so they roll with an engine if a call comes in when the Symons Ambulance is on another call. The volunteers go to work until Symons becomes available. Big Pine Volunteers also back up Symons, Seguine explained.
While the system has changed, the coverage remains. Seguine says that If someone calls 911 and needs help, somebody will be there to help them.
The rise in medical calls is the reason that people are hearing the fire siren more and more in recent months.
With volunteer firefighters responding at all hours of the day and night to all types of calls, big and small, dont forget to thank the volunteers when you see them. At the recent city council meeting, Chief Seguine said that while he appreciates that the public supports the volunteers with fundraisers, a thank you is always appreciated.