Los Angeles officials Wednesday celebrated Wednesday the return of engine companies to four firehouses across the city, bolstering Fire Department resources just in time for the peak of brush fire season.
Bringing the engines and their crews back was made possible in part by a $15.4 million Federal Emergency Management Agency grant received last year, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Staffing at the four fire stations had been cut in 2011, as the city dealt with the tax impact of the 2008 recession.
The engines went into service July 8 and have already seen action at a recent Griffith Park brush fire, a major emergency commercial fire in Northridge and smaller grass fires in the Elysian Park and Lincoln Heights neighborhood.
The engines were assigned to stations in Reseda, Echo Park, Mission Hills and Lincoln Heights. The additions brings thos stations ot their fullcomplement of equipment and firefighters.
Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas joined Mayor Eric Garcetti, some City Council members and officials from firefighters’ labor organizations at a news conference at Dodger Stadium to discuss the new engines and how they will impact operations.
“Thanks to the SAFER grant, we were able to add back fire engines at these four busy stations across Los Angeles,” Terrazas said. “These new engines will provide additional fire and EMS services to our communities, as we answer more than 1,300 emergency calls every day.”
City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell was not at the Dodger Stadium event but praised the return of Engine Company 20 to active duty in the Echo Park area.
“Restoring Engine 20 at Fire Station 20 was a promise I made to Echo Park and Silver Lake residents since before I was sworn into office in July of 2013,” O’Farrell said. “I made sure the city took advantage of this grant funding from the federal government, which will fill a gap in critical services for those who live in our hillside communities in the 13th District. I want to thank Chief Terrazas for working with my office on identifying resources, and ensuring our residents are protected in case of an emergency.”
City Councilman Bob Blumenfield took part in a community celebration on July 9 at Fire Station 73 in Reseda to welcome the new engine company. He said that in addition to the FEMA grant, the city has committed another $10 million over the next three years to help fund the staffing.
“This has allowed the LAFD to hire an additional 48 firefighters enabling the department to staff fire engines at stations in Reseda, Lincoln Heights, Echo Park and Mission Hills,” Blumenfield said.
Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, whose district includes the Mission Hills station, called the restoration of service “a tremendous win for our fire-prone hillsides and neighborhoods.”
“Our community has gone far too long without adequate services, and it is crucial that we restore resources to protect our neighborhoods from fire-related hazards,” she said.