SMFD Badge

The Fire Department is best known for its traditional roles in fire suppression and emergency medical services.  Equally important, however, are its responsibilities in the areas of fire prevention, life safety inspections, community education and emergency preparedness.  Fire Department personnel also provide light and medium maintenance for their vehicles, equipment, buildings and computers.

The delivery of paramedic services is an integral part of the Fire Department mission.  While all San Marino firefighters are certified Emergency Medical Technicians, most are also licensed Paramedics, which requires significant additional skill and education.  The paramedics provide ambulance service and Advanced Life Support using Standing Field Treatment Protocols (SFTP’s). Only about ten percent of the cities in Los Angeles County employ paramedics with the extensive training and experience required to use SFTP’s.

In keeping with the Fire Department’s values of "Safety, Quality and Integrity," all personnel are committed to an aggressive in-service training program.  Every day they train for at least two hours (5,840 man-hours annually) on topics and tasks essential to the safe and effective delivery of emergency services in our community.  Some of the topics include special firefighting situations, fire investigations, fire code enforcement, basic and advanced life support, hazardous materials incidents, urban search and rescue, pre-fire planning and scene management.

As an integral part of its training program, the Fire Department conducts multi-agency exercises related to high-risk or high-value areas of the City, such as the Enhanced Fire Protection Zone and the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.  These exercises enhance their ability to respond swiftly to infrequent but critical incidents by emphasizing pre-fire planning, terrain, routes, water systems, evacuation procedures and medical care.

Another effective measure for reducing the risk of loss of life and property to fires is an aggressive fire code enforcement program.  Firefighters inspect every commercial occupancy and school at least once each year.  In addition, they review all commercial and large residential building plans for adequacy of fire detection and suppression systems.  Special attention is focused on the homes located in the Enhanced Fire Protection Zone northwest of Lacy Park.  Firefighters inspect each property twice per year to counsel homeowners on proper vegetation control and fire safety practices.   Firefighters also provide home safety surveys to help residents identify fire and life safety hazards in their homes.                                          

Public education efforts in the schools, neighborhoods, community groups and service clubs stress fire safety, first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency preparedness.  Firefighters conduct Stop-Drop-Roll programs for first and second grade students.  The Fire Department has developed an extensive emergency preparedness campaign for Neighborhood Watch groups.  The N.E.A.T. (Neighborhood Emergency Action Team) program teaches neighbors to be prepared, organized and self-reliant when a major emergency strikes.  A similar program (B.E.A.T.) teaches skills relevant to the local business community.

The Fire Department exists to prepare the community to prevent or manage the most likely emergencies, to mitigate those that cannot be prevented, and to protect those they serve from the adverse effects of all hazards.