Community Services District Meeting Includes Recognition of Firefighters and Tim Sweet; Fire Department Unveils New Ambulance

CPR Lifesaver Ribbons were awarded to Firefighters David Tharp, Andrew Crane and Dan Nunes from Chief Jeff Willis.

Big Bear City, CA — The Big Bear City Community Services District celebrated three firefighters of the Big Bear City Fire Department in last night’s meeting of the CSD Board, overseen by President Marge McDonald. In a presentation by Big Bear City Fire Chief Jeff Willis, firefighter/paramedic Dan Nunes and firefighter/EMTs David Tharp and Andrew Crane were recognized for their life-saving efforts and awarded the CPR Lifesaver Ribbon. In October of 2009, Nunes, Tharp and Crane joined Big Bear Lake firefighter/paramedics Jonathan Barbour and Jeff Schwing on an emergency call, attending to a 74-year-old man who had stopped breathing, and then flat-lined, while at Carl’s Jr. restaurant. Chief Willis explained that, using a defibrillator and medication, the firefighters restored the man’s breathing—and, all, told, he was air-lifted to a hospital off the mountain and has since returned home, where he continues to enjoy a good quality of life. This restoration of the patient’s health earned Nunes, Tharp and Crane the CPR Lifesaver Ribbon.
In other good news from the Big Bear City Fire Department, their brand new 2010 Chevrolet Type 1 ambulance has arrived (see below), and was parked outside the March 15 CSD meeting for attendees to see. This one, paid for with $140,000 in funds from the department’s 2009/2010 budget, says Chief Willis, “is bright red, and a change for Big Bear City Fire. It’s victory red.” The new coloring adheres to findings of the National Fire Protection Association, which has concluded that the red is important for color recognition, and replaces the 1970s’ studies that suggested that lime green vehicles were best in terms of day and night visibility. The new red ambulance replaces a 1998 model, which will be moved to reserve status given its high mileage; Big Bear City Fire now has five active ambulances in their fleet of emergency vehicles.

Tim Sweet, during employee recognition at a 2008 CSD meeting

This week’s CSD meeting was light on agenda items, all of which were covered within half an hour, though Directors did take time to acknowledge the contributions of Tim Sweet, a foreman in their sewer department and 27-year CSD employee, who passed away last Monday, March 8. Vice President John Day, who, as a chaplain, had been with Sweet and his wife Kim at Bear Valley Community Hospital last week, recognized the Sweets during the invocation at last night’s meeting, which was then dedicated to Tim Sweet, per a suggestion from Director Rick Ollila. President McDonald noted that the Sweet family asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations could be made to the American Heart Association in Tim Sweet’s name. It was also noted that the family may choose to do a private ceremony, per McDonald, who said of Sweet, “Not only has CSD lost a valuable employee, but the community has lost a valuable historian.”

Big Bear City Fire Captain Mike Maltby takes time after the CSD meeting, to show meeting attendees the department's new, red ambulance; old models are still lime green.

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