The California Office of Emergency Services has assigned nine new engines to departments and districts across the state.
"Stationing OES-owned fire engines in local departments statewide is an integral and valuable component of the state's ability to immediately respond to the needs of local governments during emergencies," said OES Director Henry Renteria. "Local agencies benefit from having the added emergency response capability in their day-to-day operations, and the state benefits from having the resources readily available to fight major fires and disasters in the region."
On a three-year cycle, OES presents select city and county fire departments and districts throughout California with fully equipped fire engines. These engines replace state-owned ones that had been in these departments for nearly 20 years. As part of an agreement with OES, the fire departments that receive these state-of-the-art fire engines are required to dispatch personnel with these vehicles whenever ordered by OES to any emergency or disaster situation in the state. In return, the departments are allowed use of the engines under specific conditions within their daily operations.The OES fleet, which is spread throughout the state at various strategic locations, currently consists of 110 fire engines and 12 water tenders. In the 2005 & 06 budget, however, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger increased fire engine funding by $5 million, allowing OES to increase the number of engines to 129. The 19 additional engines, scheduled to be distributed in 2007, will further the Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission goal of eventually increasing the OES fleet to 250.