Operations and Training
Trinity County Life Support has operated as a non-profit since 1993, providing 911 advanced life support (ALS) ambulance service to the majority of Trinity County. Bordering ambulances providing service in Trinity County are Southern Trinity Area Rescue (STAR) ambulance serving the communities of Mad River and Zenia-Kettenpom, and Hoopa Ambulance in the West, serving Hawkins Bar and Salyer.
Our service was formed with a focus on quality patient care and the provision of emergency medical training to our volunteer fire departments and community. Our mission statement, written 27 years ago, remains the basis of our operations.
Trinity County Life Support crews provide emergency care that makes a difference in patient outcomes and in their quality of life.
The TCLS team of caregivers shares a commitment to provide the best care, to do the right thing to help each patient. We are part of the community and care for you as we do our own.
TCLS maintains four ambulances in readiness, two staffed 24/7. One each is stationed in Weaverville and Hayfork. Two reserve ambulances are in Weaverville, off-duty staffing is called in when needed and available. Preferred ambulance staffing is one ALS and one BLS crew member. TCLS has struggled to recruit and retain Paramedic staffing due to shift structure and non-competitive wage. This is resulting in basic life support staffing (two EMTs) at times on our Hayfork ambulance.
Ambulance Response Data
Call volume is remarkably stable with an average annual 1500 calls for service. Following are response statistics for 2018.
Air ambulances are utilized based on patient condition and distance from the hospital. This very important resource is based on the need to reach a distant destination faster, especially from remote areas, in cases like a stroke, a myocardial infarction “heart attack”, trauma, and other conditions where expidited arrival will benefit patient outcome.
In 2018 95% of patients were transported by ground, 5% were transfesrred to air medical service.
Hospital destination decisions are based on medical condition and level of care needed to treat the emergency. TCLS ambulance is listed as 5% of patient destinations. This is one TCLS ambulance handing off to another TCLS unit for continued care and transport. This may occur in multiple patient situations and due to staffing levels.
Beginning in 2017, Hayfork 303 is sometimes staffed at BLS level by two EMTs. BLS staffing in Hayfork is due to the long-term challenge in retaining paramedics due to pay and shift structure. The EMTs working the BLS ambulance, a number of them Hayfork residents, are proud to serve the community in this way.
When Hayfork 303 is staffed BLS, Weaverville 301 is dispatched to the call with 303. BLS 303 arrives, assesses medical condition, provides care, and
- Transports to Trinity Hospital, releasing 301 if BLS care is appropriate, or
- Transports toward 301 for ALS rendezvous, or
- Transports toward air ambulance as appropriate
Public Safety Training Facility
TCLS is a public safety training facility, serving volunteer fire departments, Trinity Hospital, and the community at large. Support of the volunteer system is an essential function for TCLS and we are training an average of 300 persons in public safety courses annually.
We believe public safety and emergency medical training lays the groundwork for good patient outcomes and for a safe and healthy community.