Expansion in Montclair, Calif.
The Montclair, Calif., Fire Department in enjoying the fruits of an enormous expansion program which not only has taken care of the present but also has looked to the future.
Prior to January 1967, the Montclair Fire Department was unkown. It existed only in the name of the Monte Vista Fire District and was housed in a 20-year-old, 3,900-square foot, concrete block station. The district has two engines, a rescue unit, a small grass and brush fire unit and 17 employees.
A resolution to improve its facilities that was passed by the fire district in March 1965 included a provision for the City of Montclair to take over the fire department operation, which was completed on January 1,1967.
Expansion plans continued at an accelerated pace and soon orders were placed for two engines and an elevating platform, and bids for a new headquarters and a station were received in January, 1969. Soon after this, examinations were held for all line positions, including an exam for the newly created position of assistant chief. By July, 1970, both new stations were occupied, all new apparatus was in service and the total personnel had increased to 27.
The new headquarters is a tri-level, 12,200-square-foot structure. On the left side of the station, as you face it, are the administrative and training offices, including a classroom with all modern conveniences. The crew’s quarters are on the right side. The exterior walls are split-faced concrete block, topped with a Spanish tile roof. To reduce maintenance, all interior walls are covered with vinyl. A onehour fire resistance separation surrounds the apparatus floor, and there is partial sprinkler protection in the corridors.
At headquarters, Engine 1 is a 1,500-gpm, 1970 Crown with a 500-gallon booster tank. It carries 1,000 feet of 3 1/2-inch and 1,200 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose in a split bed, one 150-foot preconnected 2 1/2-inch line, two 200-foot preconnected 1 1/2-inch lines, and a removable preconnected 750-gpm master stream appliance. To obtain more efficient compartmentation, the ladders are carried above the hose bed on a hydraulic rack which, when lowered, places the ladders at a convenient level.
The 1970 Crown, 85-foot Snorkel carries 174 feet of ground ladders and 800 feet of 3 1/2-inch hose in a split bed. Breathing air and compressed air are piped to the basket. Both Engine 1 and the elevating platform have diesel engines with six-speed automatic transmission.
Rescue 1 is a 1965 Chevrolet panel truck. The equipment carried is for light rescue and utility work. Heavy rescue equipment is carried on the elevating platform.
Station 2 is of the same type of construction as headquarters. Its exterior design, however, has a commercial or industrial appearance, influenced by the expected development in its area.
At that station, Engine 2 is a 1970 Crown, identical to Engine 1. Engine 4 is a 1,000-gpm, 1954 GMC, Van Pelt, which, carries 2,000 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose in a split bed, two 200-foot preconnected 1 1/2-inch lines and a 500gallon booster tank. It is now in reserve.
We also now have a four-story concrete training tower with various types of window openings, a dry standpipe system, basement pipe inlets and a sprinkler system. It can be sealed for the induction of smoke.
The total cost of expansion, exclusive of salaries, was approximately $815,000.
Our plans call for adding manpower to reach a goal of 38 to 40 personnel. Manning of Engine 3 at headquarters will bring it out of ready reserve and provide a response of two engines, a truck and a rescue unit from the headquarters station. All apparatus, except the rescue, will carry a minimum of four men.
To assist in standardization, an accelerated training program with Ontario, Calif., is in the planning stage, together with writing a common training manual for both cities.