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Incident Name: Buena Vista Lake Incident
Incident Time:

9:27:00 a.m.

Incident Date: 8-25-2019
Incident Type: Boat Rescue Incident
Responding Agencies: Engines 53, 21, 52, 67; Truck 21; USAR 52; Safety 6; H408; Battalions 2, 4; Prevention 2
Cause: Undetermined
Vehicle Value Saved:  Unknown
Vehicle Value Lost: Unknown
Injuries: 8
Total Personnel: 23

Bakersfield, CA

The Kern County Fire Department received a call for a boat fire at Buena Vista Lake. First arriving crews found eight burn victims, 4 adults and 4 children. Two local air ambulances were dispatched, Hall Air Ambulance was committed to another incident and Mercy Air reported an extended response time of more than 40 minutes. Air ambulances from the outer parts of Kern County and other counties were also reporting extended response times.

The Kern County Fire Helicopter 408 was dispatched and transported the two most severely injured patients to Memorial Hospital. The other six patients were transported by Hall ground Ambulance.

The Kern County Fire Department has two helicopters with primary responsibility of fighting fire. These helicopters have specialized equipment giving them the capability of many different operations. Each helicopter have rescue hoists, night vision equipment allowing them to fly and operate in the dark, they also have a Paramedic as part of the crew. Today Helicopter 408 was dispatched to this incident as a transport helicopter because it was able to launch from Keene with a 20 minute travel time to Buena Vista Lake. All other air ambulances had response times of 40 minutes or more. Both burn patents, one adult and one child, were treated by Firefighter EMT’s on the ground and then transferred to two Paramedics on Helicopter 408 for an 8 minute flight to Memorial Hospital. Early treatment at a hospital burn center is extremely important for a positive outcome for these patients and without Helicopter 408 the travel time to Memorial hospital would have been significantly longer.

Assisting Agencies: Kern County Parks Department, Halls Ambulance, KCSO     

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