This year we are celebrating our 50th anniversary. Fifty years ago Lyon County consolidated seven (7) distinct Volunteer Fire Departments serving the communities of Dayton, Dayton Valley, Mark Twain, Moundhouse, Silver City, Silver Springs, and Stagecoach into Central Lyon Fire. A lot has changed since then. We now serve a population of approximately 31,500 spread out over 640 square miles and run over 4,200 calls for service per year, most of them (85%) medical emergencies, but that number also includes 216 Fire responses, 232 MVA’s (Motor Vehicle Accidents) and 61 Hazardous Material calls. Unfortunately, our Volunteer Firefighter numbers are declining significantly, dropping from 82 in 2012 to just 23 today. The reasons are many; changing and aging demographics in our communities and our volunteer ranks, rigorous training and fitness requirements, increasing industry standards and certifications, sleepless nights, work-life balance, and others.
We have a small career staff (6 to 7 per day) responding to most calls from full-time Stations in Dayton (by Smith’s Food and Drug) and Stagecoach. They are hard pressed to keep up with the volume of calls and the long transport times to Hospitals in Carson City and Reno. We are working on a ballot measure for this November to fill vacant volunteer positions with full-time life-saving EMS and fire protection personnel and “open” the Fire Stations in Silver Springs and Dayton Valley (across the bridge). It is a difficult ask, but absolutely necessary to provide fire and emergency medical services to our growing populations for the next 50 years.