Saturday, March 21, 2009

New "Support Unit 2" Now In Service!

Thursday, March 19, 2009 was a day that was two years in the making. Our new Fire Support Unit 2 went into service. It all began with a proposal made to the FASCV Board almost 2 years ago and culminated with the placing of our brand new Ford F-550, 4x4, custom-designed and built rig now sitting in the equipment bay at SJFD Station 26. This day ended a lot of hard work by some dedicated members who had a vision.

The following press release was sent to local community newspapers to announce the event:

"Fire Associates of the Santa Clara Valley has just put a new vehicle into service. The Ford F550-based support unit is the first new vehicle the group has had in its 40-year history. Funded entirely by donations, the group responds to all multiple-alarm fires in Santa Clara County.

The new, $70,000 vehicle was made possible by a highly successful fundraising drive. It replaces an aging 1990 Dodge 4x4 that has been on its last legs for several years. But, the old rig served the group well. Even though its odometer stopped working long ago at 120,000 miles and it has been overloaded with equipment and supplies, it has not missed one of the fires to which it was dispatched. A remarkable record for a self-supported, volunteer group with used equipment!

Fire Associates operates a total of three support units that are based at various fire stations throughout the county. Each unit has been custom-built to provide a variety of rehab services. Their presence at a fire like the 2002 Santana Row fire is a welcome sight to exhausted firefighters. Each vehicle can provide hot coffee, tea or cocoa; ice-cold water or lemonade; quick-nutrition bars; easy-up shelters for protection from the elements; and misting fans for cooling down on a hot day. And, if a fire extends across a meal hour, Fire Associates has the ability to facilitate meal delivery and the equipment to serve it to all the personnel on scene.

As the 2009 fire season begins, Fire Associates celebrates their 40th year of volunteer service to the eleven fire departments located within the county. Averaging 85 responses a year, the organization provides canteen and rehab support during major emergency incidents, fire department drills, and special events. Formed in 1969 by a group of fire buffs - people with a common interest in the fire service - they provide their services 24 hrs. a day, 7 days a week in all types of weather conditions."

Fire Associates would like to thank all the organizations and individuals who contributed to this effort.