In The News

An Important Letter from SFMR President, Frank Lang

Dec. 1, 2018

Dear Friend,

Thank you for supporting the Paramedic Project in western Sierra County.  Your generosity and that of others has enabled Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc. to fund a paramedic for the Downieville Fire Protection District’s ambulance since June, 2017.  The ambulance has become “an emergency room on wheels”.

Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc. is in the process of seeking sustainable funding for this crucial program. Measures B and C, the mutually-dependent initiatives on last June’s ballot, proposed a real property tax to support emergency medical services. The measures needed to pass by a 2/3 majority in both Sierra City and Downieville, but unfortunately fell just short of that goal.

Since the election, we have listened to the concerns and ideas of voters and real property owners regarding Measures B and C.  In response to their feedback, we intend to introduce a more comprehensive initiative in June, 2020 which will include a broader scope of emergency medical services and which will hopefully be more acceptable to property owners.

We are currently examining other fundraising sources to sustain, not only the Paramedic Project, but basic life-support and advanced life-support within western Sierra County for years to come.  In the meantime, we seek donations for much-needed transitional funding, and appreciate any help you might be able to provide.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year,

Frank Lang, President
Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc.


June 11, 2018  

From Sierra County Prospect

Dear Editor,
I am disappointed that a 2/3rds majority for Measure C was not achieved in the Downieville Fire Protection District. The Sierra City Fire District was successful with a terrific 2/3rds response but as you know the Measures B&C needed to pass in both Districts. It is not difficult to understand why we lost in Downieville and I have specific thoughts about that. Goodyears Bar overwhelmingly did not support the Measure. Downieville achieved a simple majority but we needed a 2/3rds majority and so it failed by 30 votes overall.
I want to first confirm that I remain hopeful and optimistic about our future. We remain committed to having a Paramedic based EMS system in western Sierra County. We have funding for this year and will work on funding for the following year. Our first priority remains to sustain full scope ALS services and will do what we can to support that effort. We will continue to rely on the generosity of the community to support our efforts informally through the Sierra Frontier Medical Resources Paramedic Fund.
I want to thank all of you who believed in this effort and who did what they could. To those who for one reason or another find it difficult to support this, I understand. We did not make the case in Downieville or Goodyears Bar. I respect the process and accept the community’s decision.
I ask for your continued support of our EMS efforts to find ways to continue to meet the community’s medical care needs.
Thank you,   
Frank Lang

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!

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.