Los Angeles County to Have Elaborate Training Center
Ground-breaking ceremonies for the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s new combat fire training center in East Los Angeles were held in August.
The new center is named for the late County Fire Chief Cecil R. Gehr, who was killed last year in an automobile collision in Burbank while en route to a forest fire in Big Tujunga Canyon.
Chief Keith E. Klinger and County Supervisor Burton W. Chace turned the first earth, using the department’s new D7 bulldozer equipped with a hose reel for laying line in difficult terrain.
Chief Klinger said the new facility will be one of the finest and most modern in the nation, consisting of a five-story drill tower, a completely equipped fire station, offices, an auditorium, and other related units. There will also be a smoke room where rookies can be trained in the use of breathing apparatus and rescue procedures. The drill tower is being designed so that various types of structural fires can be simulated.
L. A. County F. D. Photo by Landrum
The chief emphasized that the new center will not only be used for rookie firemen, but also for refresher courses for men now on the job.
After the ground-breaking, there was a display of the latest types of watershed fire fighting equipment.
Engines 27 and 40, the first two of the County F.D.’s 15 new Crown triples were displayed. Both rigs carry 500 gallons of water, have power-operated twin reels with 3/4″ high pressure hose, and
L. A. County F. D. Photos by Landrum carry an assortment of hose, E27 has a 1500 gallon pump while E40 has a 1250 g.p.m. pump.
The rigs have 520 h.p. Hall Scott motors, power steering, air brakes, Waterous pumps, and cost nearly 525,000
A novel feature of the new apparatus is that an additional radio speaker has been placed near the pump controls so that units can be contacted while working a fire.
The D7 bulldozer is the first such tractor with the reel built on at time of delivery. It is modeled after a unit modified in the Los Angeles Fire Department shops. The ‘cat is also radio equipped.
The department’s trailer mobile field headquarters, rebuilt and repainted and equipped with radio monitors for L. A. City, State Division of Forestry, and U.S. Forest Service, as well as County transmitters and receivers, was also on hand. The trailer also has a telephone switchboard, public address system, map room, and other staff facilities.
Other equipment included a new 1200-gallon “mother” tanker with a small pump, and a jeep patrol truck carrying 100 gallons of water as well as hose, shovels, and other equipment.
Douglas Aircraft Co. sent a helicopter, which is available to the County F.D. for emergency use. With the aircraft came Douglas Santa Monica Security Chief Ben F., MCGHEE.