150,000 acres burn in Los Angeles and San Fransisco is unable to help? Read below.
For the first time in memory, San Francisco had to say “no” last week when the state put out a call for help to fight that huge fire north of Los Angeles.
The reason: The city is so short on backup fire engines that it couldn’t risk sending any out of town.
“Historically, whenever we call, San Francisco sends a full strike team of five engines, 22 firefighters and a battalion chief,” said California Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jay Alan.
Read the entire story: S.F. unable to help fight wildfire near L.A..
The article goes on to say that money isn’t the issue. The issue is they don’t have the engines to send. Apparently, San Fran currently has 41 on the street, 6 in reserve, and 5 not working at all.
But that isn’t it. San Fran has $2.3 million sitting in a corner collecting dust while all the bean counters in the FD fight it out with the pencil pushers in the purchasing department. I would imagine that $2.3 million would purchase around 5 engines but I am not exactly sure what they buy out there.
San Fran did send 1 four man crew to the fire on a State owned fire engine.
Personally, I think there is more to the story. It isn’t like everyone has a fire engine out there working the fire. In addition, the crews working there don’t run the rigs 24/7. I am sure that manpower would have been well received just the same. Those 22 firefighters and 1 battalion chief could have loaded up in a bus and headed out to help for sure. They could have supplemented the crews already working and made 5 man engines or something….I am sure they would have come up with something!
Plus, if money isn’t the issue then why in the hell are the San Francisco Firefighters having to fight every known type of budget cut imaginable. The Firefighters have been very successful in keeping firehouses open, staffing levels the same, and dodging brownouts. However, you know as well as I do that they will not get time to rest before someone else comes up with some cockamamie way of shouldering the budget shortfalls through FD cuts. Keep fighting the good fight brothers!
Oh…and somebody order some damn engines already!