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Bruce Hagen

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Paramedic and Field Supervisor - West Region
Bruce Hagen

American Medical Response
Napa, California

Bruce’s distinguished 35-year career in EMS and countless certifications, including mountain and wilderness rescue, are exactly the traits you want in an individual coordinating EMS response during one of the nation’s worst firestorms. On the evening of, October 8, 2017, Bruce, operating a 4-wheel drive quick response vehicle, was the Field Supervisor on-duty and was already halfway through his shift.
 
At about 9:30 p.m., calls came in over 911 Fire/EMS dispatch channels about the reports of one or more spot fires in the hills above the City of Napa. After contacting the CAL Fire Incident Commander (IC), Bruce assumed the role of radio liaison to manage EMS radio communications between the PSAP (dispatch center) and the Fire IC.
 
A report then came in that up to 45 people were trapped in homes along Atlas Peak Road and were unable to evacuate. With no fire resources available, Bruce requested the help of the CHP H32 helicopter to assist the AMR Operations Manager and multiple AMR ALS ambulance units with the rescue evacuations. The AMR crews, along with Sheriff's Deputies, then went door to door to evacuate residents.
 
As the fire progressed, Bruce and the Fire IC became surrounded by the fire and were forced to evacuate themselves. As Bruce was pulling out of a parking lot, he observed a woman running to flee the area and she was struck by a blowing road sign that knocked her to the ground. He placed her in the back of his supervisor vehicle then drove to a safer location.
 
Bruce continued to work, without a break, until about 3:00 p.m. when he was relieved by another supervisor. After a short rest period, he returned to work and completed additional shifts during the response phase of the disaster, which lasted for two weeks. He worked with fire agencies at a field command post and staging areas, and directed incoming EMS resources, including mutual aid strike teams, to various assignments.