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Farmington Fire Crews Handle Calls, Host Burn
A Thursday morning accident along Escalon-Bellota Road near Skiff resulted in injuries to the driver of the overturned vehicle, and required a tricky extrication by responding fire and ambulance squads.

"The only thing holding that car up was the hood, and that was crumpled," Farmington Fire Chief Conni Bailey explained of the late morning incident. "We had to use struts, stabilizing the vehicle."

According to the CHP report, the 60-year-old Modesto woman was southbound along Escalon-Bellota Road and lost control of the car, running off the road, striking a telephone pole and overturning. The car landed on its passenger side and the woman, seatbelted in, had to be pulled out of the vehicle after it was stabilized. She was flown to a Modesto hospital by REACH air ambulance but CHP officials said she had relatively minor injuries.

Farmington Fire Department, Escalon Community Ambulance and Escalon Fire Department crews were all on scene.

"We got her out and she was very grateful," said Bailey. "She was in her seatbelt for such a long time, she started losing the feeling in her legs."

Bailey called Escalon in for mutual aid to assist with traffic control and setting up a landing zone for the helicopter.

The driver was the only person in the vehicle.

Later in the week, Farmington crews served as host for a training burn, utilizing wheat stubble in a field off Highway 4, donated for the burn by Tony and Steve Chiappe.

"Every year they donate something," Bailey explained. "We did mobile attack, progressive hose lay, a relay drill."

Attending the training burn were firefighters from Thornton, Mokelumne, French Camp and Liberty, in addition to Farmington. About three dozen firefighters took part in the training altogether.

"Our volunteers put on lunch for everyone," Bailey added.

She said training in the various exercises was good, especially for newer firefighters that might not have had the chance yet to battle a live fire. In the controlled environment, crews could work on several different types of attacks to see which was the most effective.

"We had 132 acres, did two separate drills," she said. "We were also able to share information with those other departments, see how they do things."

Keeping up the hectic pace, crews from Farmington had to spent time at their station Sunday evening when electricity to the community was disrupted. Crews had to stand by in case of a call from shortly before 6:30 p.m. until about 11:30 p.m. Sunday when some 400 customers lost their PG&E service.

"Then at 1:30 a.m. it went back off, but they got it back on pretty quickly that time," Bailey said.

Officials were not able to pinpoint the cause, but the majority of Farmington residents had to deal with the outage for several hours Sunday night into Monday.