[ planning index ] [ home ]

Fire Protection, Rescue and Emergency Medical Services

The Diamond Springs/El Dorado Fire Protection District is an “all risk” agency that provides fire protection, emergency medical services and specialized rescue services to approximately twenty four thousand people, in a 93 square mile area.  The District is located on the western slope of El Dorado County.  The topography of the District ranges from rolling hills of grass and oak woodland in the west and oak-timber in the steep drainages of the east portion.  The weather conditions vary from freezing temperatures, with occasional snow in winter, to summer temperatures that regularly exceed 100 degrees.

The District can be divided into three, distinct areas:  The core area encompasses the townships of Diamond Springs, El Dorado and the Missouri Flat Road corridor.  The core area is more urban and contains most of the District’s commercial development and potential for major commercial development.  The north and south areas typically contain small subdivisions and isolated residential developments.  These areas are characteristic of the suburban or ranch environment.  The north and south areas become very isolated and more rural as one moves further away from the core of the District.

The Diamond Springs/El Dorado Fire Protection District is an “all-risk” agency.  The District participates in a sophisticated, automatic aid program and is dispatched, through agreement, by Cal Fire, at Camino.  The resources of the District will respond to, and deal with, any type of emergency.  In this document, the term “fire protection” is broad and includes responses to fires, smoke and odor investigations, alarms, public assist calls, hazardous materials incidents, medical aid calls and specialized rescues.

Structure Fires

The core area of the District contains a variety of commercial, industrial, educational and manufacturing facilities.  These include shopping centers, several public and private schools, mixed occupancy retail and commercial, a centralized hazardous materials receiving facility, a materials recycling facility, government buildings, high-tech manufacturing, pre 1900’s retail and various medical facilities including large, multi-story retirement and convalescent complexes.  Of these occupancies, there are several that are vacant or undergoing transformation from their previous uses.

These buildings vary in construction age and type.  Most of the higher density construction occurred after the adoption of the Fire Code.  As a result, they have adequate water supplies to meet the fire flow requirements.  Many of the commercial structures in the District are covered by the requirement for automatic fire sprinklers.

The single family, residential structure represents the largest single fire problem in the District.  Organized residential development has been within the scope of the California Fire Code and is protected by adequate water supplies and road infrastructures.  Much of the single-family residential development has occurred on small parcels and has not been subject to the requirements for water supplies and equipment access.  These isolated structures are also at risk because of their exposure to the wildland fire environment.

Vehicle Fires 

State Highway 49 and U.S. Highway 50 quarter the Fire District.  These thoroughfares support large volumes of civilian and commercial traffic.  As a result, the potential for fires involving vehicles and their contents is significant.  Commercial vehicles frequently present the additional hazards of the cargoes they carry, be they hazardous materials or simply large volumes of common combustibles. 

Vegetation Fires

Vegetation fires occurring within the prime watershed area of the State of California are the jurisdictional responsibility of CalFire, while the District maintains jurisdiction due to the threat to structures and civilian life.  Due to the increase of residential construction in the rural, foothill environment, structures are frequently threatened by and/or lost to vegetation fires.  The potential for major fire losses, like those seen in Malibu and Oakland, is very real.  To a similar extent, this County has recently suffered these losses.  To a lesser extent, the citizens of this District have experienced this type of loss, also.  As a result, vegetation fires and residential structure fires require large-scale dispatches of firefighting resources and participation in an aggressive automatic aid program.  Vegetation fires are a major threat to the property and safety of our community and take a toll on the human and equipment resources of the Fire District. 

Rescue Services 

The Fire District has long been the primary provider of rescue services and has utilized state of the art equipment and training to conduct all types of rescues.  The statute requirements for firefighter training in the rescue disciplines continually increases.  As a result, the District is well on its way to training volunteer and career personnel in advanced rescue skills, e.g. confined space, high and low angle rope and heavy rescue.  The District deploys the Counties only medium duty rescue unit to accommodate the necessary equipment for this task.  This unit is unique in its capabilities and has proven an asset to all of El Dorado County.  As the population of the county increases, the potential for industrial rescues and mining accidents increases.  Development of this unit is a proactive step toward protecting the entire community.

Emergency Medical Services

Approximately 70% of the District’s responses are related to emergency medical and non-emergent aid requests.  This percentage is slightly higher then the national average.  This number may be partially attributed to the demographics of the community.  The District is home to a significant population of retired and senior citizens residing in one of several, senior or retirement communities and one large skilled nursing facility.  These citizens are at risk for medical and injury related problems.  The District was involved with the inception of advanced life support in El Dorado County and has participated in the countywide ambulance service, funded through El Dorado County Service Area 7, since 1974.  District personnel and resources have traditionally responded as first responders.  The District added semi-automatic defibrillators to fire engines at each station.  Additionally, Engine 49, located in Diamond Springs, and Engine 46, located in El Dorado, is equipped with an advanced life support cache and function as part-time advanced life support engines.  During the last plan cycle, several defibrillators were added to the District’s fleet of vehicles. 

[ return to top ] [ planning index ] [ home ]