A company building a solar farm in California Valley is contracting with the county for advanced life support emergency medical services to make sure that none of its workers in the remote locale is more than 15 minutes away from such assistance.
The First Solar contract with San Luis Obispo County will be in place during the three-year build-out of the 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farm project. County/Cal Fire already provides basic services, but advanced life support workers are more highly trained.
Under the agreement, the county would provide service to the entire California Valley area, a move that would include three new paramedic positions and an upgrade of one existing position from emergency medical technician to paramedic.
First Solar will pay for the increased service at a cost of nearly $500,000 a year. The company “will receive no priority or exclusive right to service above any other resident in California Valley,” according to a report from County Fire Chief Rob Lewin to the Board of Supervisors.
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The firefighter/paramedics will be assigned to the fire engine at Carrizo Plain Station No. 42, along with the firefighters already assigned there, Lewin wrote in an email to The Tribune.
“We will now have a total of three firefighters on duty daily to serve the entire community of the California Valley.”
The board approved the contract Tuesday.