Meet Caleb Pohren, named “2019 Firefighter of the Year for Yucaipa” by CalFire. He is a firefighter and paramedic for the Yucaipa Fire Department, which provides fire protection and paramedic services for the City of Yucaipa through a contract between the City and Cal-Fire.
Caleb says working as a fireman/paramedic in Yucaipa is his DREAM JOB. “Getting hired to do my dream job in this community is a dream come true,” he explains. Why? In part, it’s because Yucaipa is his home town, where he grew up. “This town is truly close to my heart and I take that with me to work every day.” He adds, “I appreciate working in a city with leaders and citizens that support and love their fire department and paramedic service; I do not take that for granted.”
While his duties are highly regimented, there is no such thing as a typical day on the job; his responsibilities and activities are determined by the day itself, Caleb continues. His work week begins on Wednesdays; and, like most firefighters, he lives at the Fire Station (in his case Fire Station #2) and works 72 (or more) continuous hours over 4 to 5 consecutive days. On day one, his first task is to check out ALL of the equipment on the fire engine, “…making sure it’s there, in service, and ready to go for any possible emergency we may encounter over the shift.” His next activities depend upon staffing needs, fire assignments, weather, and the needs of the department; e.g., burning fires and/or other emergencies that are underway.
Ongoing physical fitness consists of a minimum of 1 hour per day workout, typically in the morning hours; “…we do this at local gyms and we pay for our own memberships in order to support local business,” he points out.
Caleb emphasizes the fact that the Yucaipa Fire Department is an ‘All Risk’ fire department, which means they are dispatched to any and all emergencies (other than law enforcement), with the main goal of protecting life, property, and the environment. As a paramedic, he is the highest medical authority outside of a hospital. Even the urgent care facilities and doctors’ offices in Yucaipa call the Yucaipa Fire Department when they get a critical patient. “I have at my disposal advanced life support equipment to either fix or stabilize the most critically sick or injured; and, these calls come in at any time day or night.
He explains that it is the Yucaipa Fire Chief’s goal to have a paramedic equipped fire engine to every emergency scene in the City in 6 minutes or less, from the time of a 911 call. “This is especially important to me,” he exclaims, “since my father and grandmother currently live in town.”
Finally, Caleb states, “…everything provided through the Yucaipa Fire Department is a group effort, and a direct result of great leadership, along with consistent training, preparation and professionalism in order to maintain the highest level of emergency customer service to the citizens of Yucaipa. We are always ready and prepared to help.”