Time is running out to acknowledge your local safety dispatchers.
Posted by Seth Conners
According to Carma Roper at the Inyo Sheriffs Office, each year the second week in April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as public safety dispatchers. Originally introduced to Congress in 1991, and officially recognized in 1994, National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is a time to honor and thank our public safety dispatchers for a job well done.
Last year Inyo County Sheriff’s dispatchers handled thousands of emergency and disaster related phone calls, as well as business and traffic calls. Additionally Sheriff’s dispatch is responsible for the initiation of reverse-911 phone calls through CodeRED. The Bishop Police Department Dispatch also handled thousands of calls for Police, Fire, and EMS services in the Bishop area. On the Federal side, Owens Valley Interagency Communications Center dispatches for the Inyo National Forest and BLM Bishop Field Office, and is responsible for mobilizing resources in support of incidents that occur locally as well as nationally and internationally.
“Dispatchers are unsung heroes,” stated Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze. “They are the first to receive emergency calls for assistance, and they perform a very difficult job with professionalism and caring under extreme pressure. I want to personally thank all our public safety dispatchers in Inyo County for what they do.”
Chief Ted Stec of the Bishop Police Department agrees. “Being a Public Safety Dispatcher is an extremely demanding and stressful job. It takes a very special kind of person to do this work and they are often unappreciated as they work mostly behind the scenes. It is my honor to be able to publicly thank them and recognize them for the great work they do.”
California Highway Patrol Bishop Area Captain Tim Noyes stated, “The men and women that dispatch for the California Highway Patrol and law enforcement in general work with the utmost commitment and devotion. Without the hard work of these highly trained men and women countless lives would be endangered. The public only knows about the dispatcher when they call 911 – but each time a new incident occurs, dispatchers are the vital link between the officers, public and all the other first responders going to the scene. Next time you hear about a call, remember there is somebody on that line giving the caller life-saving information or just being a sympathetic ear.”
There are four dispatch centers locally; the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Bishop Police Department, California Highway Patrol, and Owens Valley Interagency dispatch. Some of the dispatching duties involve handling calls for law enforcement, fire, ambulance, search and rescue; and other county, state and federal agencies.
Inyo County Sheriffs offer tips regarding recreating near waterways.
Posted by Seth Conners
According to a press release from Carma Roper at the Inyo County Sheriff’s office, Spring and Summer outdoor recreation often includes time spent near rivers and streams. With record high snowpack in the Sierra, and the associated snowmelt, waterways are likely to be at full capacity. There are serious safety concerns associated with swift water.
Consider these precautions for safe and responsible outdoor recreation:
• Stay on established trails or developed areas when you are near waterways
• DO NOT let children or pets in moving water, and keep a close watch on children and pets – even if they are far from water
• River and stream banks can be compromised by extreme erosion – keep a safe distance from these areas
• Wear properly fitting personal floatation for all river activities
• Keep updated on the conditions of your favorite waterways – river and stream condition information may be found at visitor centers and ranger stations
• Avoid slippery rocks and logs near rivers and streams
• Be aware and respectful of posted warning signs – these signs are there for your safety
• Never enter waterways that are upstream from a waterfall
• Stay up to date on local weather conditions
Heavy runoff requires vigilance and extra awareness. Streams and creeks that posed little danger during drought conditions can now be running full and fast. Water may look calm on the surface but heavy currents as well as debris can be a significant risk.
Water Safety is your responsibility, but with some practical preparedness you can enjoy a great season of safe outdoor recreation near local waterways.
The county of Inyo wants the public to be prepared in case of flooding.
Posted by Seth Conners
MORE RAIN – CONTINUED FLOOD DANGER
The National Weather Service, Las Vegas, is forecasting another round of Pacific moisture spread across our region beginning Friday, February 9. Light to moderate rainfall amounts are expected across lower elevations. The main concern is that this will be a relatively warm rain event, with snow levels initially above 9,000 feet, when most of the precipitation falls. This may lead to accelerated snow melt concerns in the southern Sierra and flooding throughout the Owens Valley.
In preparation of possible flooding conditions due to heavy rains or snow melt-off, Inyo County residents are reminded that the Inyo County Office of Emergency Services, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, and Inyo County Road Department have strategically staged sand piles at several locations throughout the Owens Valley. These sand piles are accessible anytime to all Inyo County residents for emergency preparedness and response, and will be replenished whenever possible.
Site 1: Back of the Bishop City Park near the Senior Center
Site 2: Bishop Fire Station 2 at West Line Street, west of Manor Market
Site 3: Bishop Fire Station 3 at SeeVee and U.S. Highway 395.
Site 4: Starlite Community Park
Site 5: Mustang Mesa-Mill Creek Road
Big Pine Fire Station.
Inyo County Sheriff’s Facility on Clay Street
Inyo County Road Department on Mazourka Road
Sand trap located on Whitney Portal Road West of the LA Aqueduct.
Olancha Fire Department.
Sand bags for flood preparedness are available from many Inyo County merchants, including but is not limited to the following: Manor True Value, High Country Lumber, Home Lumber and Brown’s Supply in Bishop; Hi-Country Market in Big Pine; Gardner’s True Value in Lone Pine; and Home Depot in Pahrump.
Emergency sand bags are available from the following fire departments: Bishop Fire Station 1-Downtown Bishop, Big Pine Fire Station, Independence Fire Station, Lone Pine Fire Station, and Olancha Fire Station. Emergency sand bags will be distributed at the discretion of each fire department, and may be limited based on weather conditions, need and demand. Residents and businesses in known flood areas are urged to prepare ahead of time, utilizing the sand stockpiles listed above and sand bags purchased from local businesses.
To report flooding, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (760) 878-0383. Be prepared to tell the Sheriff’s Dispatcher the exact location of the flooding and if the water threatens structures, animals, land, or roadways. If water threatens human life – dial 911. And always remember: If you see water crossing a roadway – Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
Flooding is one of the many dangers of hazardous weather conditions that can compound in a hurry for those who find themselves unprepared, which sadly, can lead to emotional and/or financial devastation. Fortunately, there are some simple steps to take to better protect you, your family, your pets, and your property from the dangers of flooding:
1. Clean gutters before the first storm hits, and again afterwards.
2. Check all drainage devices and remove accumulated silt and debris. This will need to be done repeatedly throughout the rainy season.
3. Check all areas of your property to ensure that all drainage is directed away from your house.
4. Do not park in front, or on top of, storm drain inlets when parking along the street.
5. On trash pick-up days, set trash cans on the curb in your parkway instead of in the street gutter. This will prevent back-up of flowing debris as well as prevent your trash cans from being swept away by swift-moving storm water.
6. Purchase tools and emergency supply materials such as shovels, sandbags and plastic sheeting and keep them handy and accessible.
7. Does your family have a Disaster Plan and a Disaster Supply Kit for your home and each of your vehicles? Form an evacuation plan. The key to surviving a flood, or any disaster, is learning the safest route away from your home to a safe area, in case you need to evacuate in a hurry. Prepare a cache of emergency supplies including food, water, fresh batteries, flashlights and portable radios in good working order, matches, firewood, fuel, prescriptions and a first aid kit. Advice on what your Disaster Plan should look like and what to include in your Disaster Supply Kits can be found on the Inyo County-Office of Emergency Services webpage. Visit http://www.inyocounty.us/OES/emergency_planning_and_disaster_supplies.htm for more tips and information on Emergency Planning and Disaster Supplies.
8. Do you know what the flood risk is for your property? Visit the following California Department of Water Resources (CDWR) webpage at
a. http://www.water.ca.gov/floodsafe/ca-flood-preparedness/fpw_home.cfm. Click on the link to enter your address location and find out what your risk level is.
9. Review your home insurance policy. Does it include flood insurance? Flood insurance is not always required, or typically included, in home policies. Read the fine print! Don’t wait until the last minute and the storm is bearing down on you. Most insurance companies have a 30 day waiting period before the flood policy will go into effect. Californians living in areas with any risk of flooding should purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) immediately. Learn more at https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/.
10. Make an itemized list of personal property which includes clothing, furnishings and valuables. Take photographs of your home, both inside and out, and store them in a safe place. This will help an insurance adjuster to settle any claims and to help prove uninsured losses. Don’t rely on federal disaster assistance to pay for damages. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) typically provides assistance in the form of low interest loans, not as compensation for losses. For more information on flood-related resources, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program website at https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program.
11. And finally…..BE PROACTIVE AND BE INFORMED! Track predicted storms on the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website at http://www.noaa.gov/ and plan your travel and outdoor activities accordingly.
Remember, during emergency events such as severe storms and flooding, emergency workers may be responding to incidents all over the 10,000 square miles that make up Inyo County. It’s important that all residents and businesses take steps to be prepared and self-sufficient in the event of an emergency.
For more information on flooding risks and preparedness, check out the following link: http://www.ready.gov/floods.
District Attorney releases identity of Inyo County Jail inmate who passed away on Christmas Eve.
By Seth Conners
According to Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy, the inmate who passed away at the Inyo County Jail on December 24th, was 46 year old Theresa Hooper of Bishop. Ms. Hooper had been serving a sentence for misdemeanor offenses at the time of her death.
An autopsy was conducted on December 30th, by a medical examiner from the office of the Orange County Coroner in Santa Ana, California. The cause of death has not been established, pending the completion of toxicological tests. Results from these tests may not be received for several weeks. The medical examiner verbally reported to the District Attorney Investigator that there were no signs of physical trauma.
While the investigation remains ongoing, it still appears that no foul play was involved in MS. Hoopers tragic death.
Further updates will be provided when additional information is available.