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
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.