INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Merced County Fire Department Secures Grant to Purchase Life-Saving Equipment
For the second year in a row, the Merced County Fire Department received a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety for the purchase of new extrication equipment that will be used to rescue crash victims.
Often referred to as the "jaws of life," first responders use these tools to break apart wrecked vehicles when victims are trapped inside.
These new tools help reduce the time it takes to rescue and treat crash victims.
The new extrication equipment is electric instead of hydraulic and is 50 percent lighter, safer, and easier to use.
Last year, Merced County Fire responded to 2,844 crashes—54 of which required extrication.
Delays in extrication can negatively impact the patient’s critical "golden hour" of trauma survivability.
The "golden hour" for Emergency Medical Services is the core principle of rapid intervention in trauma cases:
- Get to the patient quickly;
- Treat what can be treated on scene;
- Get the patient to the hospital quickly.
Reducing the time of these objectives aids in patient survival and recovery.
"Since this newer equipment is lighter, safer and easier to use, it allows us to rescue victims faster, which ultimately increases their chances of survival," said Merced County Fire Battalion Chief David Scheurich. "In many cases, even minutes without treatment can be the difference between life and death, which is why it’s important to have reliable equipment that allows first responders to provide care as quickly as possible."
After receiving the new equipment from the previous grant, the Merced County Fire Department held an extrication training to familiarize themselves with the new tools. Scheurich said they’ll do the same once they receive the new equipment.
Library Launches Evening Hour Pilot
The Merced County Library launched extended evening hours at five library branches on January 14, 2020. This is a six-month pilot project. The Board of Supervisors will use the Evening Hours Pilot Project to gauge public interest for libraries to be open past 6 p.m. Participating libraries are:
- Livingston Library: Tuesdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Merced Library: Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Atwater Library: Tuesdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Delhi Library: Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Los Banos Library: Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
In February 2018, the Library conducted a countywide customer satisfaction survey. The results of this survey showed 82 percent of respondents would like the Library to be open in the evenings. In November 2019, the Merced County Board of Supervisors approved the Merced County Library’s Evening Hours Pilot Project.
County Meets with Port of L.A.
In December, representatives from Merced County and the Port of Los Angeles met to discuss potential economic opportunities stemming from their 2017 partnership agreement.
The overall strategy involves turning the Mid-California International Trade District at Castle into a hub for manufacturers and providing the Port of L.A. with a Central California focal point for goods movement along the BNSF Railway.
The December meeting at the Port of L.A. involved the five County officials pictured above, along with Port of L.A. Executive Director Gene Seroka, Deputy Executive Director David Libatique and APM Terminals Managing Director Steven Trombley.
County staff believes that developing a strong working relationship with the Port of L.A. is critically important to spurring future development and investment at Castle, particularly due to its centralized location.
County Unveils New Mission, Vision, Values
In December, the Board of Supervisors approved an item updating the County’s Mission, Vision and Values to better reflect who we are as an organization and define what we want for the future:
- Mission: Provide quality public services that enhance and protect our diverse community
- Vision: A thriving and inclusive Merced County
- Integrity—Provide accountability and consistency between our words and our actions.
- Innovation—To foster a creative work environment that attracts and retains employees who provide quality services through countywide collaboration.
- Inclusion—Respect and value diverse backgrounds by encouraging personal and professional growth while recognizing individuals for their contributions.
This effort was spearheaded by a group of six employees selected from various County departments and involved numerous surveys, research efforts and meetings. Just in time for New Year’s, the updated Mission, Vision and Values now serve as goals that Merced County strives to meet on a daily basis.
Emergency Response Agencies Team Up to Participate in Active Shooter Training
First responders from throughout Merced County recently participated in a violent incident response training at Cruickshank Middle School in Merced.
The late-December exercise simulated an active-shooter situation requiring a multi-jurisdictional response from law enforcement, EMS and fire personnel. Participants were provided a briefing, evaluated during the scenario, and debriefed afterward on how their response tactics can be refined and streamlined.
The training incorporated about 20 members of the Atwater High School Drama Department, who used the exercise as Career and Technical Education Work Experience.
The training was coordinated by the Merced County Office of Emergency Services.
"This wasn’t the first time we’ve done this training and it won’t be the last," said Division Chief Jeremy Rahn of the Merced County Fire Department. "This is a call we hope to never receive, but if we do, we’ll be prepared."
Mercedes, CHP Test at Castle
The Mid-California International Trade District at Castle is rapidly turning into a hotspot for cutting-edge research—with driverless car technologies at the forefront.
Most recently, Mercedes-Benz teamed up with the California Highway Patrol to test autonomous technologies for its vehicles. Castle is already home to Waymo— Google’s self-driving car company—and will soon be home to several other manufacturers as part of the California AutoTech Testing and Development Center, which is currently under development.
Did You Know: Community Cleanup
Did you know that every year, the Public Works Department hosts multiple community cleanup events throughout Merced County? These events allow residents to dispose of tires, appliances, and other throwaway items for a greatly reduced fee—$1 for small cars, $2 for trucks, vans and station wagons, $3 for trailers less than 8 feet, and $4 for trailers longer than 8 feet. More details are available at the Community Cleanup webpage.
There are 13 community cleanups this year, all on Saturdays:
|El Nido||January 25||Community Hall Parking Lot|
|Stevinson||February 1||SR 165 (¼ mile south of SR 140)|
|Delhi||February 15||Fourth St. and Gordon St.|
|Santa Nella||March 7||West Comet Rd. & Venus Circle|
|Snelling||March 14||Henderson Park|
|Winton||March 21||Santa Fe Drive and Winton Way|
|Hilmar||March 28||Community Center / Faulke St.|
|South Dos Palos||April 4||Reynolds Ave. & Shain Ave.|
|Le Grand||April 11||Santa Fe Dr. & Jefferson St.|
|Franklin / Beachwood||April 25||Santa Fe Dr. & Business Park Way|
|Dos Palos Y||October 3||Dos Palos Y Auction Yard|
|McSwain||October 17||Quinley Ave. (South of Moran Ave.)|
|Planada||November 7||Broadway (between Mills St. and Fremont St.)|
Construction Boot Camp Graduates 18
The Merced County workforce got a little bigger in late November thanks to a "construction training boot camp."
The construction boot camp is organized by Worknet Merced County and its partners from Merced College, the Laborers International Union of North America, and the Merced County Community and Economic Development Department.
As part of its most recent training program, participants gained experience by building a simulated city façade that can be used for autonomous vehicle testing at Castle.
The training lasted for six weeks and included 18 participants, who graduated during a Nov. 21 ceremony at Castle.
The event included members of the Board of Supervisors and other local dignitaries.
|Board of Supervisors||Planning Commission|
- January 14, 2020
- January 28, 2020
- February 11, 2020
- February 25, 2020
- March 10, 2020
- March 31, 2020
Regular Board of Supervisors meetings are held on scheduled Tuesdays at 10 a.m., unless otherwise specified. Meetings are held in the Board Chambers located in the County Administration Building at 2222 M Street, Third Floor, Merced, CA 95340.
- January 8, 2020
- January 22, 2020
- CANCELED: February 12, 2020
- February 26, 2020
- March 11, 2020
- March 25, 2020
Regular Planning Commission meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month (with the exception of December) at 9 a.m. in the Board Chambers located in the County Administration Building at 2222 M Street, Third Floor, Merced, CA 95340.
|Municipal Advisory Councils|
- Delhi MAC meetings:
7 p.m. second Thursday of the month,
16091 Locust St., Delhi
- Franklin-Beachwood MAC meetings:
6 p.m. fourth Wednesday of the month,
Franklin Elementary on Franklin Road
- Hilmar MAC meetings:
6 p.m. fourth Monday of the month.
20077 Falke St., Hilmar
- Le Grand MAC meetings:
7 p.m. first Monday of the month,
13038 E. Jefferson St., Le Grand
- McSwain MAC meetings:
7 p.m. fourth Thursday of the month,
926 N. Scott Road, Merced
- Planada MAC meetings:
6 p.m. first Wednesday of the month,
9167 Stanford Ave., Planada
- Snelling MAC meetings:
6:30 p.m. second Wednesday of the month,
Old Snelling Courthouse, SR 59, Snelling
- Winton MAC meetings:
7 p.m. third Tuesday of the month,
7091 W. Walnut Ave., Winton