Residents in Julian now have access to a new paramedic engine staffed by CAL FIRE firefighters that will help provide more emergency services in the rural, backcountry community.
CAL FIRE officials say the Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD) recently entered into a pact with the San Diego County Fire Authority to place a new paramedic engine staffed by CAL FIRE near downtown Julian.
Now, residents and visitors to the rural town have 24/7 access to the emergency service – an upgrade that adds to the ongoing efforts to raise fire and emergency medical services staffing across the East County backcountry.
Julian is one of eight rural communities to receive new paramedic engines since 2014, joining Jacumba, Descanso and Jamul, to name a few.
This new engine joins CAL FIRE’s Station 50, located just outside downtown Julian. The engine will be staffed by six CAL FIRE firefighters, including a fire captain paramedic, two fire apparatus engineers and three firefighter paramedics. At least two members of the engine’s team, including at least one paramedic, will be on duty around-the-clock, CAL FIRE officials said.
“This big boost in paramedic service is not only good news for Julian residents, but for all those who visit our beautiful backcountry each year,” said County Supervisor Dianne Jacob in a press release Tuesday.
JCFPD Chief Rick Marinelli said the addition of this new paramedic engine to the Julian community will help officials handle increasing emergency call volumes better, as well as raise the level of emergency support for residents and visitors.
Station 50, along with the JCFPD’s Station 56 and Station 57, serve a 50-square-mile area that is home to about 5,000 residents.
Julian also sees a high volume of visitors from San Diego and other parts of California daily. CAL FIRE officials say high traffic into the community results in many accidents along State Route 78 and State Route 79, and many of those incidents require emergency response. The new engine from Station 50 will help with those calls.
County Fire and CAL FIRE San Diego Unit Chief Tony Mecham said placing this paramedic engine in Julian will help advance cooperative fire protection services in the area and, in the long run, benefit many communities.
“This places an engine in a strategic location that is going to help us respond more quickly to not only Julian but to nearby areas like Banner Grade, Shelter Valley and Cuyamaca,” Mecham said. “This could help save lives.”
Station 50 also currently houses two full-size fire engines, two rescue vehicles and one smaller fire engine staffed by JCFPD volunteer firefighters.