Press Release: July 19, 2017 San Mateo County Firefighters Deployed To Detwiler Fire in Merced

Published on Jul 20, 2017 at 07:47a.m.

Firefighters from the Menlo Park and Woodside Fire Protection Districts, Redwood City and Central County Fire Departments and San Mateo County Fire (Cal-Fire) were deployed at 4 am, Wednesday morning as part of a 5 Fire Engine Type 1 (Heavy) Municipal Agency Strike Team from Southern and Central San Mateo County.

The 22 Fire personnel were engaged in active structure protection this evening after the fire jumped two dozer containment lines and was spotting over the top of the Fire Strike Team from San Mateo County tasked to prevent the further loss of residential structures and personal property in advance of this growing fire.

Menlo Park Fire District Engine 4, the designated out of County Engine, was deployed with a crew of four. By 8 am the crew and Engine had been replaced with off-duty personnel and a reserve Engine bringing the Fire District staffing and unit deployment back to normal.

In addition to the four firefighters on Menlo Engine 4, Deputy Chief Don Long was deployed as the Strike Team Leader for the Southern/Central Strike Team, Acting Division Chief Ben Marra was deployed as the Assistant Strike Team Leader for the Northern San Mateo County Strike Team and two Fire Line Paramedic’s, Scott Bassett and Erik Bunzel were deployed as single resources all to the same Fire in Merced.

Fire Chief Schapelhouman said “the State Master Mutual Aid Fire System is the best in the World, everyone gives a little to help each other out and we are reimbursed for it. We immediately backfill vacant positions so our residents and community don’t see or experience a reduction in our normal service delivery because their safety is our first priority’.

Deputy Chief Don Long knows the area and people very well in the Merced area, two years ago he was the Acting Fire Chief for the City of Merced before the Menlo Park Fire District hired him as its Deputy Chief. A Fire Strike Team can be on deployment for 10 to 14 days before being relieved or rotated out.


Picture – Strike Team Leader Long’s vehicle is normally white but an aircraft retardant drop directly on top of the Strike Team changed all that – Fortunately, he joked “his windows were closed!”

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