Engine 33 firefighters have high goals
I can’t compete with an airplane landing on I-15. I had an appointment with Captain Ken Barnes last Friday afternoon to write this column. Much to my surprise, the truck had gone to attend to a (successful) emergency Freeway landing!
Recently, Captain Ken Barnes of C Division in Rancho Bernardo met with the Public Safety Committee of the Rancho Bernardo Community Council and presented the goals for 2000 from Station 33. (See Fire Station 33 at www.rbernardo.com for the latest monthly callouts.)
There are three Divisions at Station 33 - A, B and C. They work on a rotating basis - ten days of 24-hour duty a month, each with a Captain: Hammond, Hartnett and Barnes.
Their most important goal, of course, is to respond to all incidents 90% of the time within 8 minutes.
Another goal is to complete all inspections within 30 days after notification. They are not involved with the original building codes, rather a ‘fire company inspection’ to make sure the original codes are heeded, exits are not blocked, and fire extinguishers are in place.
In Rancho Bernardo, there are a number of high hazard buildings and sites which have to be checked out regularly to insure the positioning of the rigs close to working hydrants. For example, La Terrazza, The Trails, Lago del Mar and other congested or high density areas need to be checked on an ongoing basis. The firefighters update pre-fire plans older than two years or where a major renovation has taken place, and conduct fire safety drills in schools if the annual inspection shows that more practice is needed. They also are available to community groups for tours and fire safety talks.
In-house training is conducted at Station 33 twice a month. They also participate in battalion-wide training exercises. They are members of the 40th Battalion headquartered in Rancho Penasquitos, which also includes Carmel Mountain Ranch, Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa and Tierrasanta. This training is called for by the multi-company Battalion Chief at least once a month.
They complete all Department-mandated training approximately 12 times a year. This training specifically updates EMT and other rescues, including trench rescues, vehicle rescues, confined space drills, shipboard firefighting, wildland and urban firefighting, and training at the Naval Training Center. Physical fitness training is a daily requirement - at least 60 minutes a day.
Captain Barnes feels good that the "keep clear" road markings are obeyed by about 80% of the drivers. With this working, the trucks can turn the corner going to RB Road and change the signals there to remove all cars ahead of them safely. Let’s remember to ‘keep clear" at all times.
Station 33 has a kitchen, bedrooms, and a TV room with lounge chairs. Captain Barnes laments that they have no place which can serve as an office to conduct business, write reports, and to interact with the public. However, there is an ideal area in the front of the station which can easily be converted with proper funding. It is about 13 x 14 feet large with a partial roof and a cement slab. It has a patio cover. And, most important, it is not used for anything. Perhaps the Rancho Bernardo Councils can tackle this. With a little help from our Council member, it could become a reality.
Congratulations to Marc A. Davis of Station 33 who was honored as 1999 County EMT of the year! We are certainly glad he’s in Rancho Bernardo.
-Courtesy RB NEWSJournal
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