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Santa Monica Fire Department Getting $1.2 Million In Equipment

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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Hector Gonzalez
Special to The Lookout

January 12, 2016 -- Santa Monica firefighters are getting more than $1.5 million in new equipment and gear to ensure they're ready and fully prepared for tackle emergencies.

City firefighters responded to more than 16,000 calls last year, including a major apartment fire just last month on Ocean Front Walk that left residents who were just getting ready for bed without places to sleep.

Firefighters opened up their stations and took in the displaced tenants until American Red Cross officials stepped in to provide temporary housing vouchers, said Santa Monica Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Tom Clemo.

To support the work firefighters do daily, a staff report recommended the City do business with two fire equipment vendors, L.N. Curtis and Allstar Fire Equipment, after staff reviewed offers from more than 40 other sellers.

L.N. Curtis was given a purchase order for $1.2 million for various firefighting tools and Allstar received an order for $307,000 in gear, as part of the consent calendar City Council members were scheduled to approve at Tuesday's meeting.

Both companies over the next three years will supply the SMFD with a range of tools, from fire hoses to jaws of life extractor tools to “hand tools, chainsaws, rescue harnesses, ropes and webbing, search cameras, hazardous materials field testing kits, and the like,” said staff.

A federal Urban Area Security Initiative grant is fully funding the purchase order with L.N. Curtis. In addition, the city has $740,000 available in this year's fiscal budget from which to draw on for the $1.5 million in purchases, staff said.

Started with some axes, ladders and about 1,000 feet of hose in 1889 by a volunteer group who called themselves the Santa Monica Hose and Ladder Co., the SMFD today is equipped with more than 1,300 feet of hose and turbo-charged diesel engines on each fire truck capable of delivering more than 2,000 thousand gallons of water a minute.

In their most recent major call, firefighters on December 12 responded to a fire that broke out on the second story of an apartment building in the 16000 block of Ocean Front Walk. It took about 40 minutes to knock out the flames, Clemo said.

All 20 displaced tenants were back in stable housing, which is being paid for by the building's landlord, thanks to a City ordinance that obligates owners to provide places to live for tenants displaced by fire, Jeanne Wood, disaster coordinator Red Cross, said last week.

“We were able to close our case on that incident,” said Woo.

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