34th City Accepts L. A. County F. D.
Huntington Park, Calif., has turned over responsibility for fire protection to the Los Angeles County Fire Department as of January 1.
The city of 32,000 people in Southeast Los Angeles was annexed by the County’s Consolidated Fire Protection District, and 50 Huntington Park fire fighters became employees of Los Angeles County.
Under the new plan, Huntington Park Station 1 becomes County Station 164, housing Engine 164 and Truck 164. Station 2 becomes Station 165 and houses Engine 165 and Rescue Squad 165. Station 3 was closed.
Response to alarms in Huntington Park will come from Stations 164 and 165, plus Station 160, Maywood (five blocks from closed Station 3); Station 24, Walnut Park (five blocks from the city limits); and Station 9, Florence, 12 blocks from the city limits. Several other county stations housing engine and truck units are also nearby.
Phone lines switched
All emergency phone lines were switched to the Los Angeles County Dispatching Center in East Los Angeles with split-second timing on New Year’s Day to insure that no calls were delayed or missed. The emergency phone number remains unchanged.
The city’s present telephone alarm box system, with corner boxes throughout the city, will be replaced with radio alarm boxes. Equipment will be dispatched by selective call radio from the East Los Angeles center.
Huntington Park becomes the 34th city to be served by the County Fire Department. Addition of the two stations brings to 122 the total number of county-operated stations.
Maywood, a neighboring community to Huntington Park last year turned over its fire protection to the county.
“Under our regional concept of fire protection, we can use men and equipment closest to the emergency, disregarding city’boundaries,” explains County Fire Chief Richard H. Houts.
Becomes battalion chief
J. Mike Pashley, acting Huntington Park chief, was named a battalion chief in the county department and assigned to Battalion 3-C, East Los Angeles area.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department is actually an umbrella for two separately funded fire fighting agencies— the fire protection districts and the Forester and Fire Warden.
Cities and unincorporated areas within the fire districts pay a special tax to finance their entire fire protection costs. General fund taxes are not used for this urban-area fire service. The Forester and Fire Warden provides protection to watershed and forest areas of the county and is financed by general county tax funds, plus State of California aid for certain watershed lands.
Late in 1970, a streamlining of administration took place in several county fire protection districts when voters approved their annexation to the larger consolidated district.
Only two special districts now remain, Universal City, covering Universal City Studios at the eastern end of the San Fernando Valley, and Dominquez, just north of Los Angeles Harbor.