Increased Fire Department Services in North County
By edhat staff
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department (SBCFD) announced an increase in personnel, services, and equipment in various locations throughout the north county.
On Monday, SBCFD stated there was an increase in staffing from three firefighters to four firefighters at Fire Station 21 in Orcutt. With the addition of the fourth firefighter, the engine company will now consist of a Captain, Engineer, Firefighter/Paramedic, and Firefighter/EMT.
The increase in staffing allows the crew to have sufficient numbers to aggressively attack interior structure fires prior to the arrival of other engines, offers an additional firefighter when responding to incidents in other districts, and will allow Engine 21 to stay in service and in the district while its Firefighter/Paramedic continues patient care into the hospital via an ambulance.
Fire Station 23 in the Sisquoc area also received an increased level of service from basic to advanced life support capabilities. The existing Firefighter/EMT position has been replaced with a Firefighter/Paramedic.
This transition is part of the Fire Department’s strategic plan to provide advanced life support at all 16 stations across Santa Barbara County.
Lastly, the Department's 9th Remote Automated Weather Station (RAWS) has been added in the Purisima Hills area on land owned by Sentinel Peak Resources near the Burton Mesa communities of Vandenberg Village, Mission Hills, and Mesa Oaks.
RAWS monitor the weather and provide important data that assist land management agencies with a variety of projects such as monitoring air quality, rating fire danger, and providing information for research applications. There are approximately 2,200 RAWS located throughout the nation.
The latest installment in the Purisima Hills will provide real-time weather data every hour to assist fire managers with determining Fire Danger Ratings for the Santa Barbara Central Coast Fire Danger Rating Area (FDRA). Weather data includes temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, solar radiation, and dry vegetation fuel moisture. This will contribute to more effective fire management decisions including staffing and resource positioning.
The weather data is sent via satellite to various government agencies and ultimately stored permanently by the Western Region Climate Center as well as being accessible to the public online. The data will also contribute to the
ongoing efforts by the National Weather Service to model and predict the local fire weather conditions that have contributed to multiple disastrous wildfires in Santa Barbara County, according to SBCFD.