Year Will Bring New Equipment, Dedicated Volunteers

Friday, 31 December 2010

By Jeff Frazier, Redlands Fire Chief
From Redlands Daily Facts

The number one overriding issue that comes to mind as the Redlands Fire Department looks forward to the coming year is not surprisingly the budget.

Undoubtedly, we will be called upon to find ever more resourceful methods to prevent fires before they start, suppress them when they do start and perform emergency medical and rescue operations in a manner our citizen's count on and deserve.

There are three very exciting activities that will have a major impact on firefighter and public safety that relate directly to the budget:

First, in the coming months we will fully deploy grant-funded computers on all of our fire equipment. Every engine will have a computer that will report its precise position via GPS and permit us to ensure the closest available resource is dispatched and follows the timeliest route to an emergency. In addition, the computers will place vast quantities of information at the fingertips of our company officers and allow safer, more effective tactical decision making in the field.

The second very exciting development is that the City of Redlands was awarded a $636,000 "Assistance to Firefighters Grant" to replace our ladder truck. This will allow the department to decommission the 100-foot 1975 Crown ladder truck. The Crown has served Redlands with distinction for over 35 years.

No opportunity comes without a challenge and this FEMA grant requires $160,000 in matching funds. The good news is we have time to creatively identify the matching funds for this much needed replacement.
Perhaps we will be blessed by the philanthropic interest of one (or more) of our residents? A chief can dream.

And third, our Fire Corps volunteer program is off to a great start and is sure to flourish over the next year. Fire Corps volunteers are actively helping the Redlands Fire Department by working in administrative, fire prevention and even emergency support functions.

If anyone would like to explore the opportunities, they can visit the city's web site, www.ci.redlands.ca.us and look for the Volunteer and Internship Program.

Jeff Frazier has served as Redlands' fire chief since September 2008. He has been in fire service for more than three decades. 

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