With California in its fifth year of drought and still recovering from last year’s devastating wildfires, mutual aid capabilities are more important than ever. Mutual aid fire engines were critical in fighting wildfires and preserving life and property.
Today, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) transferred seven new 2015 Type I fire engines to various local fire departments. The following departments received a new engine from the Cal OES Fire and Rescue Division: Cosumnes, Folsom, San Luis Obispo City, San Luis Obispo County, Woodbridge, Sacramento Metropolitan and Five Cities Fire Authority.
The transfer of seven engines tied a Cal OES record for the most in one day.
“As we prepare for yet another fire season, these engines will go home and in a short time will be put back into service and be ready to respond to a moment’s notice anywhere in the State,” said Kim Zagaris, Cal OES Fire and Rescue Chief.
Twenty-five engines were transferred in 2015 among five of the six mutual aid regions across the State. As of April 2, 2016, there have already been more than 320 Cal Fire wildfires.
“I think in the State of California the master mutual aid system is so robust and so capable of responding to all types of emergencies in both wildland and urban search and rescue capabilities in these vehicles is a tremendous asset to the State of California,” said Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Chief Mark Wells.
California has committed $3.7 billion statewide for a variety of programs for emergency drought assistance. California’s 2015 and 2014 Water Years, which ended September 30, 2015, were the warmest years on record, and 2014 was the third driest year on record.
“Last year we went into 13 different counties on 11 different deployments, with over 63 people and over 100 days out in the field,” Wells said. “It’s a great opportunity for the State to help each other and most importantly back here regionally if we have an issue that overwhelms the resources of our capability we can ask for the same mutual aid back.”
The offices of Senator Jim Nielsen and Assemblymembers Jim Cooper and Kevin McCarty joined representatives from each of the seven fire departments for the engine transfer at Cal OES headquarters in Mather.
“It is important for our fire and first responders to have reliable transportation and equipment and we are so elated that they are going to be able to do their jobs safely and more effectively,” said Cooper representative Chanel Murray, speaking specifically about the Woodbridge and Cosumnes fire departments.
The Type I fire engines include a 1250 gallon per minute Hale Main Pump, an 80 gallon per minute Darley Diesel Auxiliary Pump, an 800 gallon Onboard Water Tank and 20 gallons of Class A Foam Tank.
Click here for additional information on the Cal OES Fire and Rescue fleet.