Hired as chief of the Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Medical Service Area in January, Jim Dycus quickly saw the need for additional extrication equipment to help remove motorists from mangled vehicles.
“When I had been here two months, we’d had six wrecks,” said Dycus of Sterling Highway vehicle accidents to which service area volunteers responded.
The service area applied for and was awarded a $27,504 Alaska State Homeland Security Re-allocation of Funds Grant. At the June 18 service area board meeting, Dycus showed board members the three pieces of extraction equipment those funds purchased from Holmatro Inc. of Glen Burnie, Md.
The service area already had one set of extraction equipment. The new equipment now allows outfitting two response vehicles. Holmatro will provide training on the three new items.
On June 11, the prompt response of firefighters from Anchor Point, Homer, Kachemak Emergency Services and the Alaska Division of Forestry quickly contained to one-acre a wildfire in the village of Nikolaevsk. They also were able to keep the flames away from structures. The community is within the same service area and about 10 miles east of Anchor Point. In 2008, a new fire station was built in the village. Dycus said about five trained volunteers live nearby, but some of them are currently working out of the area.
“We had a recruitment drive out there a couple of months ago and had 60 people from the community come in. We had a lot apply, but we have yet to get that station up and running,” said Dycus.
More emergency medical and firefighting volunteers are needed for the entire service area he said. Volunteers meet for training every Tuesday. In addition, an EMT I class will begin in September and an EMT II class will begin in August. The classes will be taught by Kayt Andrews. Plans also are under way to offer a Firefighting I class in January. Anyone interested in volunteering or taking the classes can stop by the fire station on Milo Fritz Avenue to sign up.
The service area also is in the process of selecting a new assistant chief.
“We had 19 applications and the application process is closed. Interviews will start shortly,” said Dycus, who anticipates having the new assistant chief selected sometime in August.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.