The NCFPD was among the first fire departments in the State of California to put an ambulance in service; that was in 1948. In 1973, the fire protection District’s firefighters were trained as EMT’s (emergency medical technicians); in 1988, the District equipped its EMTs with defibrillators; then in 1990, upgraded the level of emergency services by instituting an alternate delivery Advanced Life Support Program, wherein only one paramedic would be assigned to a fire engine or ambulance and then respond together…again, a first in San Diego County.
“The District is committed to providing the best possible fire protection and emergency care services within our means to the residents of north San Diego County,” says Fire Chief Steve Abbott. “For example,” Chief Abbott continues, “we are determined to construct a cutting-edge training facility that includes a multi-story training tower; an environmental room to which trainers can set a fire to in order practice critical firefighting skills; search and rescue props; sufficient space to accommodate a full first-alarm assignment; and at least one classroom that can accommodate up to 50 students.” Today, he added, “We need to send our firefighters out of the District to receive the training necessary to stay on top of our profession.”
He said that while the District is extremely fortunate to have one modern fire station (that being Fire Station 5, which was constructed in 2014), seven of eleven of the District’s fire protection facilities are near or at the end of their useful life, with four of these being over 50 years of age. In fact, one fire station, Station 4, is still in a mobile home.
A recent assessment of the District’s fire protection facilities, including fire stations and firefighting apparatus, documented a need for $26.5 million in order to meet facility standards. “We are in the process of working through several approaches for addressing these critical needs,” Chief Abbott said; “in the meantime, we will continue to provide the communities we serve with extraordinary fire protection and emergency services,” he concluded.