Local Fire Districts Getting New Equipment From Measure Z Money

Press release from Humboldt County:

Fire Air PacksMore than 200 new self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA) were inspected today at the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department and prepared for distribution to local volunteer fire districts. The equipment cost nearly $1.4 million and is being paid for by Measure Z, the half-cent sales tax passed by voters in November.

It is difficult for volunteer fire departments in the county to make substantial purchases of new equipment. Often, these departments operate at emergency scenes with outdated, unsafe and inadequate equipment, which puts the safety of citizens and firefighters at risk. The equipment received today will replace old equipment, dramatically improving the ability for volunteers to respond to fires and other emergencies.

These particular packs were chosen in large part because of the interoperability they offer with other local agencies. It is essential that fire departments be able to utilize each other’s compatible SCBA packs while at fire scenes and are able to recharge and reuse their empty air cylinders. Additionally, the Humboldt County Fire Chief’s Association, the organization that applied for Measure Z funds, purchased a mobile SCBA air fill trailer several years ago that is compatible with the equipment that was unveiled today. Now, rural fire departments can be more confident that their equipment is reliable and compatible with other local agencies by being able to use, rotate, refill and mix SCBA high-pressure bottles.

“Any time a fire fighter goes to fight a house fire, a car fire, anything where there are toxins in the air, this is going to protect them,” said Estelle Fennell, Second District Supervisor and Chair of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. “These fire fighters need so much, and they have all done so much with so little. It’s just wonderful to know that we can do something like this for them.”

In all, the purchase includes the following:
• 221 air packs with regulator hose, buddy breathing integration and cylinder connection
• 442 carbon cylinders (4,500 psi, 45 minutes)
• 221 high-temperature face pieces
• 221 bi-annual inspection per pack for five years



  • This is why we donate in the first place. Well done!

  • Thank-you Estelle! Estelle has been a fierce fighter and a strong advocate for fire departments. She saw the need for adequate fire protection during her tenure as KMUD news director. She not only observed and reported on fires, she was boots on the ground at many fire scenes. She was instrumental in saving lives and property with her accurate reporting during the Canoe fire in Southern Humboldt. She was voted as the Garberville Chamber of commerce “Citizen of the Year” much because of her work with fire departments.

    Faith in her desire to help fire departments is the main reason the Southern Humboldt fire departments agreed to campaign for Measure “Z” money.

    These are all just my opinions and has nothing to do with Estelle’s campaign. But, if you think that this is a support speech for Estelle, you’re right.

  • I have to disagree. Fennel cried chicken little and caused many people in Salmon Creek much anguish and expense for nothing. I was on the fire at the Chapman ranch and Edgeman Ranch listening to her reports. We all wondered what planet she was reporting from as her reports were not based on what was actually happening.
    We were and are still amazed that she received an award. I could understand if the award was for fiction.

  • At least the fire department is getting something from the measure Z money. The rest of So Hum is not getting what the measure was put in place for. We are still without any deputies, we still get no response from the deputies when calling for assistance, and it seems it is “Business as usual” now that Downey got the money to hire more deputies to send to McKinleyville and Hoopa, while we still wait for the ones promised us. Make promises, get money, screw tax payer….Humboldt County Politicians doing what they do best.

  • It was good to see Estelle again at our Fruitland Ridge Fire Brigade Fundraiser last weekend and supporting our small department. She’s been an avid supporter of our new fire protection district.

    Please vote yes on Measure B this November 3rd to form the essential and indispensable Fruitland Ridge Fire Protection District. You’ll never regret it……Thank you.

  • Just nice to know the men and women of the volunteer departments will have the right gear to step up and provide their best for the people of Humboldt county. Updated gear for a new drive to do good. Volunteers rock

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