The Northshore Fire Protection District, located in Lake County, CA, created a volunteer logistics company for the fire district in January of 2011. The group of 12 volunteers, known as the Northshore Fire Incident Support Team, responds to calls with a mobile canteen unit and a mobile breathing air support unit. Volunteers provide refreshments, change self-contained breathing apparatus cylinders, and refill the empty cylinders at the emergency scene. In addition, volunteers may be called upon to perform medical monitoring for firefighter rehab.

The Support Team has been called upon numerous times by the Northshore District and by neighboring fire districts. One particular incident required volunteers to establish and staff a staging area during a wildfire response effort for days until the fire was contained.

Support Team volunteers are as resourceful as they are helpful. In 2011, volunteers stripped and outfitted a retired ambulance into a mobile canteen unit. A few months later, they received a newer retired ambulance, and repeated the process. Volunteers were at it again in 2012 when they reconfigured a retired patrol engine and mounted the department's breathing air compressor and cascade system onto the vehicle. They also mounted lights, a generator, and portable canopy shelters.

The Support Team takes great pride in its canteen unit and breathing support unit, but they are also constantly striving to learn new skills. The Team is scheduled to host two ICS courses in the coming months with the goal of increasing assistance for the fire district and to neighboring local, state, and federal agencies.

For more information on the Northshore Fire Incident Support Team, contact James Crabtree at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 707-274-3100.  

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