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New fire truck "expands" local firefighting efforts

To improve firefighting efforts and bolster mutual aid resources in the region,the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors today approved an agreement between the Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District (Central Fire) and the Los Altos Hills County Fire District (LAHCFD) for the purchase of a new fire truck to replace an older model, which will become LAHCFD’s new reserve engine, and replace the current 20-year-old reserve apparatus.

“The new truck has the ability to go where the previous model couldn’t,” said County Supervisor Joe Simitian, whose district includes the Town of Los Altos Hills and surrounding unincorporated areas. “We’re not only strengthening our mutual aid response, we now have a truck that’s going to help keep more folks safe in more places.”

The replacement fire truck will modernize the response fleet serving the LAHCFD region and bolster regional mutual aid resources by expanding the geographic “Truck Zone” by virtue of improvements in turning radius and angle of departure. The angle of departure is important because it affects the road clearance when going over short steep grades often found in driveway entrances, crossing a high crowned road at right angles, or in off-road service. Additional benefits of the new truck include expedited training for drivers and consistent training requirements across Central Fire. “These issues are often obscure and technical,” said Simitian, “but they’re also life and death.”

The Board of Supervisors approved an additional contract last year enabling LAHCFD to fund the acquisition of a water tender, a firefighting apparatus that specializes in the transport of water from a remote water source to a fire scene. “Again,” said Simitian, “technical stuff, but critically important in keeping our area safe.” 

Simitian lauded the work of the LAHCFD, noting that, “The District has really stepped up. They’ve looked for ways to provide added protection within the District in a manner that also improves protection elsewhere in the event of a regional fire threat.”

The LAHCFD was organized on October 23, 1939, and serves residents of Los Altos Hills and the unincorporated areas known as Loyola, Los Trancos, and San Antonio Hills. Since 1996, the LAHCFD has contracted with Central Fire for fire suppression, emergency response, and associated fire resources.