PRESS RELEASE – July 10, 2019 What’s changed since the Bay Area’s Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989…..Are we ready?

Published on Jul 10, 2019 at 05:19p.m.

To all of our Media Partners

What’s changed since the Bay Area’s Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989…..Are we ready?

Please join us, Wednesday, July 10, starting from 1 to 3 pm at Fire Station 6, located at 700 Oak Grove Avenue in downtown Menlo Park for a demonstration of our earthquake preparedness capabilities, resilience and our response ability.

Here is what you will see:

  • Menlo Fire has the only Fire Stations in Northern California connected to the States Shake Alert Sensor Network via our Sky Alert interface and we will demonstrate how that system alerts the firefighters that an earthquake is coming and its ability to automatically open apparatus doors, turn on lights and turn off gas appliances. Representatives from Sky Alert will be on-site to demonstrate our system.

Fire Station 6 – Is one of two Fire Stations in Northern California to have a Shake Alert Notification System - Credit Peter Mootz Fire Photographer

  • We are asking the State to become the first public agency to combine the Shake Alert system with an area wide, audible, community notification system. We just budgeted $250k to start this important process and we will demonstrate how that works with our mobile trailered testing unit.

  • After the Loma Prieta Earthquake, Menlo Fire became the sponsoring agency for one of the Nations elite Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces. We are one of eight teams State Wide and twenty eight Nation Wide and smallest Fire Agency in the Country to sponsor a Search and Rescue Task Force. 

Task Force 3 – At the Oklahoma City Bombing 1995

  • Meet K9 Team George and Handler Tim Houweling from Mountain View Fire - Both searched for the remains of people after the Camp Fire in Paradise and for the woman who was buried along the beach in San Francisco last year. This unique capability and partnership highlights our Urban Search and Rescue Teams capabilities and what’s changed since 1989.

Tim and George at the Camp Fire

  • The Fire District was able to acquire specialized heavy equipment through our US&R Program for free. This Knuckle Boom from the former Concord Naval Weapons Station was also painted by Folsom Prison Paint Program for the cost of the paint. The unit has seen action from Hurricane Katrina to the Camp Fire.

Hurricane Katrina – 2005 – Moving debris out of the roadways

Camp Fire – 2018 – Lifting the roofs off of mobile homes so they can be checked by K9 Teams

  • Our new Heavy Rescue will go into service in August. This specialized apparatus cost $866k and carries over $250k in technical search and rescue equipment. It replaces an older unit that was purchased in 1992 and who’s replacement was delayed due to the recession. It will be on site for your review. Crew Training starts next week.

Menlo Fire’s New Heavy Rescue – Credit Fire Photographer Peter Mootz

  • Menlo Fire’s Drone Program is well known world wide and integrated into how we operate. We now have Drone go bags in every Fire Station and will have 20 pilots trained up by the end of the year. We are the only Fire Agency to have flown drones to conduct damage assessments at every major Northern California Fire in the last two years. Using drones for rapid aerial situational awareness is a game changer for first responders and something we are counting on during a major disaster. We’ll show you how it works.

Captain Dennebaum flying a Drone over areas devastated by the Carr Fire and documenting the damage

  • Station 6 is our newest most resilient Fire Station. Don’t let the classic appearance fool you, it’s an all metal essential services structure intended to survive the next earthquake with emergency backup power, water and everything we will need to sustain emergency operations for the Community. The Station cost over $7 million dollars and is three times the size of the last structure.

Station 6 is a seismically resilient and fire proof structure built completely from steel

  • The Fire District has had a dedicated Paramedic Program for almost 25 years. Field Paramedics save lives and over half of our 100 front line personnel are Paramedics, more than any other Fire Agency in San Mateo County. We will show you what equipment we carry and why.

  • Meet Division Chief Manny Navarro. He was one of the incident commanders at the collapsed Cypress Freeway in Oakland in 1989 when he worked for Oakland Fire. Manny is a wealth of knowledge, experience and a well-spoken veteran search and rescue professional.

  • Meet Mike Ralston, our representative in charge of our Community Crisis Management Team that supports our CERT volunteers and our community “Get Ready” Program. He will talk about what individuals can do to prepare themselves, their families and how to help their community.

We look forward to seeing you!

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