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Elk Grove Citizen

CSD Fire Trains with New Bailout Gear

May 16, 2024 11:13AM ● By Matthew Malone

Here is an example of the bailout kits to be provided to Cosumnes Fire Department personnel. Photo by Matthew Malone

ELK GROVE, CA (MPG) - Cosumnes firefighters will soon have equipment to help them escape buildings during life-threatening situations, a Cosumnes Fire leader said recently.
Deputy Fire Chief Dan Quiggle presented the information at the Cosumnes Community Services District’s May 1 board of directors meeting. He explained the program to supply agency personnel with bailout kits, aka fire escape kits. The meeting also included a presentation on dogs helping maintain the district’s golf course and an appearance by local Girl Scouts.
Described as “a last-resort tool in a critical life-safety situation,” a bailout kit includes tools that allow a firefighter to rappel down the side of a building when conventional exits are blocked. These tools are a belt that the firefighter wears, a rope with an anchor, and a descent-control device. The rope is 70 feet long, which Quiggle said is long enough for nearly any building in the district.
Quiggle said the kit is mainly intended to help a firefighter escape, but it can also provide additional options for rescuing others.
The purchase of kits was originally planned for the 2019-20 fiscal year, but it was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The next year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency gave the agency a grant with money for 160 kits, which were delivered in March last year.
Quiggle said the department trained its current academy students in the use of the kits, noting that the trainees are often best at learning new techniques “because they don’t have any preconceived notions about how things go.”
The deputy chief said the department plans to finish training its firefighters and give out the bailout kits by the end of September.
He said firefighters would repeat hands-on training once a year because the kits will be needed in rare but high-risk situations.
“This is something, hopefully, a firefighter may never do in their career, but if they have to do it, their life absolutely depends on the equipment,” Quiggle said.
Parks and Recreation director Traci Farris said that, for 15 years, the district’s K-9 program has been its “most effective” method of keeping nuisance wildlife out of Emerald Lakes Golf Course.
The most troublesome wild animals that frequent the golf course are geese, Farris said: “Geese can be a nuisance to any golf course and cause damage by foraging, and their droppings are very problematic. Repairing damage and cleaning up droppings costs time and money and can impact the quality of the golf course.”
Farris said the dogs are trained to “harass” the geese and drive them away, not to harm them. Currently, a district employee serves as the K-9 handler, but Farris said it is possible to outsource the service.
Other wildlife methods, such as spray repellents and decoys, have proved labor-intensive or else ineffective in the long term, Farris said.
Farris said staff are developing a professional services agreement for the K-9 handler, as well as a wildlife monitoring program. She added that the K-9 program will be included in the district’s Parks and Golf Maintenance Management Plan.
Girl Scout Troop 1691 opened the meeting by leading the Pledge of Allegiance. 
Amanda Chehrezad, the district’s administrator of general services, said the troop “really does embody the value of friendship, leadership and empowerment” through its projects. 
It partnered with the district to plant 13 trees in honor of Arbor Day and educated Elk Grove Regional Park visitors about wildlife. 
The troop created “Don’t feed the wildlife” signs now posted around the park, as well as a Little Free Library there.