‘Lights and Sirens’ trivia night and auction to raise money for KESA membership association

The event will take place at Alice’s on Friday with an auction starting 5 p.m.

Kachemak Emergency Services Membership Association’s fundraiser, Lights and Sirens Trivia Night, will take place at Alice’s on Friday with an auction starting 5 p.m and EMS and firefighting-themed trivia event at 6:30 p.m. Fee for the event is $10 for a team with a maximum of seven people. The membership association is the volunteer component of the Kachemak Emergency Service Association, located in Fritz Creek, next to the McNeil Canyon School.

The facility was built in 2005 after the borough service area was expanded in 2000, with a range of emergency fire and medical facilities for vehicles and equipment, a training room, a small kitchen and two small bedrooms. The original facility was built with funds from a Denali/Rasmuson Grant.

Wendy Bales, administrative firefighter technician, has been working at the station for approximately 10 years. Bales talked to the Homer News about services the station provides and other details of the facility.

“The station is budgeted to have eight paid firefighter techs and two chiefs, a senior and deputy. And then, about 14 volunteers on the roll,” Bales said.

The type of training volunteers receive depends on the services they’ll provide. Some join with no experience at all and the station works to get them trained as an EMT1 and firefighter1 as quickly as possible, unless they just intend to volunteer as support staff; it depends on what they want to do.

The station provides service to approximately 300 calls each year and according to Station Chief Robert Cicciarella, over the past couple of years service has been increasing by about 30% each year. Cicciarella has been chief at the station since 2009.

“There was one point in time when we would never get a back-to-back call and now we’re getting about four on a busy Saturday. There is a lot of construction happening out here and people moving into the area and that’s what a lot of the calls are for. It’s made a really big difference. We cover a service area of 214 square miles and a lot of our calls are challenging because we have to get on an ATV or a snowmachine and go get somebody. Sometimes we have to use a helicopter. They’re very manpower intensive calls,” Cicciarella said.

He noted that if the station gets a call for service on Basargin Road, where the community of Razdolna is located, it might take as long as four hours for the crew can reach the location, bring the patient to the hospital and then clean up. Sometimes this component turns down volunteers quickly, he said.

Voznesenka is located at the end of East End Road and Kachemak Selo is at the bottom of the switchbacks on the beach.

Ciccarella said the service area also includes Caribou Lake and Anchor Point, which is about 30 miles from the station.

Ciccarella said that some of the calls the station receives are very serious search and rescue events because the snowmachine trail system in the region.

“Those can be very manpower intensive calls,” he said.

The Kachemak Emergency Services Member Association is nonprofit comprised of volunteers and paid staff and the purpose of fundraiser on Friday is to support the member association.

“The funds are used to purchase equipment for Search and Rescue. Because the member association is a nonprofit, separate from the KESA, the purchase of used equipment is available. KESA cannot do that because they follow borough policies.

Another reason for the nonprofit is in the case of fallen firefighter or fallen EMT, KESMA can step in and help with what the station might need, even if it’s just like groceries. Or, when someone is injured, sometimes it takes awhile to get benefit checks going and in the interim we want to be there for them,” Bales said.

The fundraiser is specifically intended to raise funds to support an injured or incapacitated worker fund.