The normal response zone is over 300 square miles extending from north Cayucos (Villa Creek) and all the way to the Monterey/San Luis Obispo County line. The zone extends inland approximately 15 miles, following the Santa Lucia Mountain range. The District also maintains a contract to provide services into the south coastal zone of Monterey County, which includes a coastal area extending up to the community of Pacific Valley. The District also participates in a county-wide move up and cover system, which means that when other ambulance response zones are busy, our ambulance crew may be called to help cover their area. This response area may also be covered, when our units are busy, by other ambulances. The response zone can be described as rural with two principle communities, Cambria and San Simeon. The area is intersected by scenic California Highway 1 (north - south) and California Highway 46 (west - east). The combined population of Cambria - San Simeon is approximately 6,600. During the summer months the population increases dramatically with the influx of tourists to the area. Hearst Castle, one of California's most popular tourist attractions, is located east of San Simeon.
All EMS personnel are trained at the EMT-P level or EMT-I level. Certification for EMT'I is administered through the county's Emergency Medical Services Agency, Inc., (EMSA), which also provides continuing education services for all personnel within San Luis Obispo county. All Paramedics receive licensure through the State of California along with local accreditation with the EMSA. There are four ambulances that are similarly equipped with up-to-date advanced life support equipment and are maintained in a ready to respond state. Our first unit is a 2002 Ford Van Type II, we have 2 2008 Dodge Sprinter units, and our newest unit is a 2016 Chevy Type III. The District also operates a 1999 Ford Expedition as a supervisory/command vehicle.
All primary radio dispatches are handled through the San Luis Obispo County's Sheriff Department command center and is known as Med Com (Medical Communications). We are also able to communicate with County Fire Dispatch center as well as local fire units. In the north coast area, this District works with four fire agencies: Cambria Fire Department, California Dept. of Forestry/SLO County Fire, and U.S. Forest Service, and three law enforcement agencies: Sheriff's Office, California Highway Patrol, and State Park Rangers. On occasion this agency will work in conjunction with CHP Air Operations (H-70 Helicopter), Cal-Star Helicopter, and U.S. Coast Guard helicopter for patient transport and search & rescue operations.
This agency responds to a vast variety of calls, including such events as: medical and trauma transports, traffic accidents, long distance transports, public assists, stand-by coverage and public relation events (e.g. first aid & CPR classes, classroom demonstrations etc.). Some of the trauma calls and traffic accidents will involve extensive rescue and/or extrication operations. During the slower winter months, the average number of incidents might be around 30 to 40 per month whereas during the busier summer months the average may exceed 110 incidents. Ongoing training is emphasized for all personnel, including seminar attendance, continuing education classes and specialized exposure, e.g. cliff rescue, vehicle extrication etc. In-service training is provided both during on shift time as well as during monthly crew meetings. District personnel will also attend disaster drills in order to become prepared for mass casualty incidents and triage. Ambulance principle emphasis regarding the operations of the emergency services involves the long transport times to the nearest hospitals, which at a minimum can take up to 25 minutes. Transports originating in Monterey County on Highway 1 can take as long as an hour and a half before arriving at a base station facility. Special training and equipment are utilized in regards to these long transports.