In The News

January, 2022

YES on E-H-G 11/4/20

EMS MEASURES G,H & E PASS in Sierra County!!!

Total YES 1,025 75.37% 1,025 75.37% NO 335 24.63%    

Total YES 129 72.07% NO 50 27.93%

SIERRA CITY FIRE DISTRICT MEASURE H                                                           
Choice Party Vote-By-Mail Total YES 120 73.62% NO 43 26.38%

Thanks to all the individuals in the Districts and the County to get this done! It is a major step forward toward integrated, coordinated and team emergency medicine in Sierra County and I am so proud of all the volunteers who make this system work!
Thanks, Frank Lang, Downieville

June 4, 2020

Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship and Yuba Expeditions EMS Donation

The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship and Yuba Expeditions presented a check for $7,340 as a donation to Sierra Frontier Medical Resources on May 21st, 2020 in support of maintaining advanced emergency medical services in western Sierra County. The donation has been an annual pledge on the part of Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship to donate $1.00 per rider for the season. For 2019 Yuba Expeditions had 7,340 riders. 

The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship mission is building sustainable recreation-based communities through stewardship, job creation and world-class events; and is providing quality outdoor experiences through trail construction and maintenance in the Lost Sierra. 

It is their goal to preserve, restore, and enhance trails in the Tahoe, Plumas and Lassen National Forests in an environmentally sensitive and ecologically responsible fashion. They exist to bring a connection between the land and the people who enjoy it by teaching stewardship, restoring historic trail routes and creating new paths through the Lost Sierra. 

Sierra Frontier Medical Resources welcomes the support of this vital community partner and appreciates the funding which will help ensure the continued availability of 24 hour, 7 days per week emergency medical care services to our community residents, businesses and visitors.

May 1, 2020
Notes from SFMR Board of Directors meeting

COVID-19 Mask Project:
Director Mary Nourse, presented our board with the idea of SFMR providing masks to locals and visitors alike during the COVID-19 crisis.  Shaun Price moved, and Ingrid Larson seconded his motion that SFMR support the project.  The motion passed unanimously.  In a second action proposed by Mary and seconded by Shaun, the board approved budgeting $500 as the initial funding for the program. 

Frank and Ingrid agreed to canvas local groups such as Downieville Improvement Group (DIG), the Lions Club, and the Downieville Fire Auxiliary to see if they want to help fund the project. Mary Ervin offered to ask the Sierra County Chamber of Commerce as well.

SFMR board members have jumped into this project with energy.  Frank already ordered 50 paper surgical masks, so Ingrid moved that we reimburse him for $50.  Shaun seconded, and the motion passed. Meanwhile, Ingrid has nearly 50 dust masks that she will donate to the Downieville Grocery Store and the hardware store. 

SFMR will distribute masks which will soon be available at several locations, including the Visitor Centers in Sierra City and Downieville.  

At one time, the sight of masked citizens in a frontier town would have been alarming. Now it is commonplace. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc. is providing free facial coverings to be distributed at businesses and visitors’ centers in Sierra City and Downieville.  SFMR would like to thank the Sierra County Chamber of Commerce and the Downieville Lions Club for their generous contributions of $500 each toward this project.

SFMR is a nonprofit 505 (c) (3) that since 2014 has supported emergency medical care as well as urgent care during the hours when Western Sierra Medical Clinic, Downieville is closed.  The group hires a paramedic, purchases supplies, and trains volunteers to meet community needs.  To learn more about them, visit

December 6, 2019

Sierra County Adult Schools News Release

10 Emergency Medical Responders graduated Saturday, November 23rd at Downieville High School. The graduates are now eligible for Nor-Cal EMS Certification and can work as First Responders for medical and trauma emergencies as a part of the Fire Department Rescue Teams. Emergency medical responders are people who are specially trained to provide out-of-hospital care in medical emergencies. 

Instructors included Frank Lang, NP,  Marty Creel, Paramedic and Bette Jo Lang, RN. Teaching Assistants included Shaun Price, AEMT, Leslie Baker, AEMT, and Steve Folsom, AEMT. 

Graduates include:

Christine Acuna - Goodyears Bar
Painter Baarsma - Downieville
Robert Baker - Downieville
Chris Campbell - Sierra City
Karen Livingstone Campbell - Sierra City
Taylor Epstein - Downieville
Kathy Fischer - Goodyears Bar
Laurie Kelly - Downieville
Michelle Lozano - Downieville
Dylan Martinelli - Downieville


September 4, 2019

EMR Course Offered at Downieville School

DOWNIEVILLE, Calif. September 4, 2019 – Sierra County Adult School is offering an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) Course, Starting October 1st, 2019. Emergency Medical Responders are usually the First Responders to a medical or trauma event. They are able to do an emergency assessment and use life saving skills to intervene in a medical or trauma emergency until EMTs, Paramedics, Nurses or Doctors are able to get to the scene. The EMR Course is an entry level course that can help you decide if you want to pursue other health careers.
The Course is free except for the cost of the book which is “Emergency Medical Responder” by Chris LeBaudour, 11th Edition published by Pearson.
The Course will be held at Downieville School, Room 5 on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting, October 1st from 6PM to 9PM and ending November 26th, 2019. The instructor will be Frank Lang, NP,JD. The Course is open to everyone and our communities desperately need your help and your skill. You can also take this course if you just want to better understand your body and your health for personal or family reasons.
If you are interested in more information or have questions, please contact Frank Lang at 530-289-3644 or send an email to To register for the class call Wendy Jackson at 1-530-993-1660-180 or email at You can also register online at We will also be doing an EMT Course starting in January, 2020.

May 21, 2018

May 9, 2018
Ambulance Paramedic Hired
Downieville Fire Protection District and Sierra Frontier Medical Resources are pleased to announce the hiring of Wayne Martin (“Marty”) Creel as a full-time paramedic. The new paramedic position will be funded by donations to SFMR for one year.

Marty has extensive experience as a paramedic/firefighter and has been employed by both public and private ambulance services. His emergency services and firefighting career spans 24 years, and along with a vast amount of volunteer work, includes teaching EMS and Fire Science both at the department and the community college levels. He was employed full-time as the EMS officer for South Lake Tahoe Fire and Rescue.

Marty and his wife Jackie have two grown children, and the couple share a fondness for alpine settings.  Marty expresses a strong volunteer ethic and enjoys participating in fundraisers.  He pledges to, “attend events to promote the continued ability of Downieville Fire Protection District to meet the needs of its communities and visitors to the area”.

Marty will be based on the Downieville Ambulance and will work with the dedicated volunteer EMTs and advanced EMTs of the Downieville and Sierra City Fire Departments. The paramedic position was developed by Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc., a local-non-profit whose goal is to expand life-support services and ultimately sustain year-round, 24/7 community-wide emergency medical coverage.

The first paramedic, Rachel Defibaugh, was hired in 2017 under a six-month pilot project. She completed the project, extended her stay by a few months, and then moved on to pursue career goals. After the new paramedic’s one-year commitment funded by SFMR is fulfilled, the group hopes the community will support Measures B & C to continue the program.

February 21, 2018

Yuba Expeditions Donates $6,600 to Sierra Frontier Medical Resources.  Downieville bike shop commits to annual funding for full-time Paramedic
Yuba Expeditions, a mountain bike-specific shop and shuttle service based in Downieville recently presented Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, (SFMR) with a check for $6,600 to help fund a local, full-time Paramedic servicing the emergency medical needs of the community. A non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, SFMR’s specific purpose is “to acquire and support the development of financial and other resources to assure the availability of medical and health services, including primary, urgent and emergency care to the residents of and visitors to western Sierra County.”

In 2014 western Sierra County lost 40 years of integrated 24/7 EMS Services after Western Sierra Medical Clinic (WSMC) reduced clinic hours and terminated emergency services, SFMR was formed to address the lack of emergency care, but depends on the financial support of residents, organizations and businesses in Sierra County to employ a full-time Paramedic.

This lack of emergency care couldn’t come at a more critical time, as Downieville has grown into an international destination for mountain biking thanks to the legendary Downieville Downhill and the Downieville Classic held annually the first weekend in August. Not only is it legendary for its 16-mile, 5,500 vertical foot descent, but it’s also legendary for claiming rider injuries in need of emergency medical care.

To show its commitment to the community, the Yuba Expeditions bike shop – owned and operated by another local 501(c)(3), the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) – recently presented a check for $6,600 to SFMR to help fund a full-time Paramedic.
“The figure came from a percentage of shuttles we drove to the top of Packer Saddle in 2017,” said Christian Feucht, SBTS Managing Director. “We care about the health of the local community that supports us as well as those who visit the Lost Sierra, and we want to do everything possible to make sure critical medical services are offered.”
Yuba Expeditions will continue its commitment to SFMR, taking a portion of proceeds from each shuttle seat sold in 2018 and putting it towards the SFMR fund.
SFMR Chair, Ingrid Larson, said “SFMR is honored to receive SBTS’s generous donation and future commitment to support the Advanced Life Support that a permanent local Paramedic employee and committed emergency medical care volunteers can provide in medical emergency situations,” said Ingrid Larson, SFMR Chair. “It takes the entire community, residents, property owners, and visitors alike to support this vitally need program.”
Further funding of the Paramedic and Emergency Medical Services will be presented to the voters on the June 5th ballot. Measure B in Sierra City Fire District and Measure C in Downieville Fire Protection District each require a 2/3rds vote; both have to pass; if one fails, both fail. The permanent funding of a Paramedic position is of utmost importance. It is a vital necessity for us all!

The Advanced EMT Students pictured below graduated on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at the Downieville High School. The Course ran from November 1st, 2017 through January 30th, 2018 and was sponsored by Sierra Frontier Medical Resources and Downieville Fire Protection District. The eleven students have completed 80 hours of classroom study, 40 hours of Emergency Room, and 40 hours of Advanced Life Support Training on the Ambulance at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, California. Classes were taught at Downieville High School by Frank Lang, NP, MICN and assisted by Bette Jo Lang, RN, Rachel Defibaugh, Paramedic, Downieville Ambulance Paramedic and Steve Folsom, Downieville Fire Advanced EMT. All students will be licensed by Nor-Cal EMS, and Certified by The National Registry of Advanced EMTs. The Course was part of a 3 year plan by Sierra Frontier Medical Resources teaching Homemaker Health Aides, Emergency Medical Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians, Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians and developing the Western Sierra County Paramedic Project.

The graduates are representing three counties; Sierra, Yuba and Plumas Counties. Students are from Downieville, Sierra City, Goodyears Bar, Loyalton, Pike, and Alleghany, Camptonville and Portola.   

It was standing room only at the graduation ceremony.  Over 60 friends, family members and well-wishers attended the event.  A reception was held at the conclusion of the graduation ceremony with refreshments provided by SFMR.  
Instructors:  Steve Folsom, Rachel Defibaugh,Bette Jo Lang, Frank Lang and grads Shawn Felton and Mike Galan

Proud family members watch graduation. Photos courtesy of Frank Lang

June 21, 2017


Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc.,  (SFMR) and Downieville Fire Protection District (DFPD) announce the employment of a paramedic in Western Sierra County for this summer. Rachel Defibaugh from Fairfax County, Virginia has a background in advanced life support and firefighting. This highly qualified woman is a graduate of the Paramedic Program at Virginia Commonwealth University, holds an Associate of Arts degree in Psychology, and is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, with extensive experience as a massage therapist in a chiropractic office and sports industry. Rachel describes the six years working with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department as the most rewarding time of her life, and she feels it’s where she developed her passion for paramedicine.

Rachel enjoys outdoor activities and hopes to spend her days off hiking, trail running, camping, and exploring Sierra County’s many beautiful areas. She recently bought a mountain bike and hopes to “learn a thing or two” about the sport here in Downieville. She’s an avid reader and advocate for health through fitness and nutrition. Her hope is to be engaged with the community and is “excited to meet everyone and explore her new home”.

Rachel was hired through SFMR’s Western Sierra County Paramedic Pilot Project which was created in collaboration with the DFPD and the Downieville Volunteer Fire Department members to expand life-support services and ultimately achieve year-round, 24/7 community-wide coverage with paramedic positions. Rachel and any future paramedics will work with the dedicated volunteer Emergency Medical Technicians and Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians of the DFPD Ambulance System.


Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc. and Downieville Fire Protection District announced the graduation of 14 Emergency Medical Technician-Basic students on January 28 at the Downieville
School cafeteria.  The graduates completed an intensive program which entailed a total of 136 classroom hours, 24 hours in the emergency room, and 16 hours on the ambulance for a total of 176 hours.  The class ran from November 1, 2016 to January 28, 2017.  

Photo Credit - Dave Keyes
Graduates include:    James Asher- Calpine; Leslie Baker-Alleghany; Shaun Felton-Pike; Michael Galan-Downieville; Sandra Groven-Sierra City; Angela Haick-Calpine; Derrick Koch-Loyalton; Devon Miller-Camptonville; Adriana Petro-Calpine; David Petro-Calpine; Candace Robbins-Sierra City; Patrick Shannon-Downieville; Jenny Traverso-Sierra City; and Diane Wharff-Goodyears Bar. The graduates must now complete the National EMT Examination and register with Northern California Emergency Medical Service (Nor-Cal EMS) for their certifications.

Photo Credit - Dave Keyes
Ingrid Larson, chairperson for SFMR, provided introductory remarks and introduced instructors Frank Lang, NP, MICN, and Bette Jo Lang, RN.  
 The proud teachers presented each graduate with a course completion certificate and an EMT lapel pin.  Approximately 100 friends, relatives and community members enjoyed the ceremony, which was followed by a reception featuring a congratulatory cake. 

The EMT course is part of an endeavor to rebuild the emergency services in Sierra County, particularly in the western region.  Efforts will now focus on securing advanced EMTs and paramedics to provide advanced life support services (ALS) to all residents and visitors. 

Photo Credit - Mike Galan

Completing their mandatory training time at Enloe Hospital in Chico, several students of the local EMT Class in Downieville are shown below. The class is being taught by MICN Frank Lang and sponsored by DFPD and SFMR, Inc. The students, who represent various communities in Sierra County, will graduate in January, 2017. One step closer to our goals to restore ALS and EMS services to western Sierra County.


Downieville Fire Protection District and NorCal EMS offered an EMR/First Responder Course which began on April 5th and ended with a graduating class of 11 students on May 31 taking their Final Exam. Emergency Medical Responder Course is the new name for what was previously known as First Responder Course. The course was initiated by the Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc. board of directors who provided some financing of materials for the class which taught the necessary tools for the rescuer to help sustain life, reduce pain and minimize injury during out-of-hospital medical and traumatic emergencies working alongside higher-level personnel at the scene. 


SFMR sponsored an 40 Hour Senior Caregiver Course which included an understanding of aging, health care needs, as well as the development of physical, emotional, and technical skills. Rural life has numerous challenges that make living and staying in our community problematic. The graduating class consisted of 17 caring individuals from our community.

Photo Courtesy of Sierra County Prospect