Saturday, July 27, 2013

Lakeside Fire Receives an OES Engine Company

Lakeside Fire District-

The Lakeside Fire District has accepted delivery of an Office of Emergency Services engine company. OES Engine 305 is owned and operated by the State of California through their CalOES division. The California Office of Emergency Services has a long tradition of providing emergency services to the state dating back to World War II.

OES 305 at Station 26 in Blossom Valley
Emergency response and the creation of a statewide agency has deep roots in the 1941 "War Powers Act." This piece of legislation gave California's governor new powers to act to protect its citizens should they come under attack. The task of fulfilling this responsibility was assigned to the attorney general. To develop a plan, a meeting was held with fire chiefs from the ten "Civilian Defense Zones," and representatives from the three largest cities (Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego). This committee would soon be known as the State Fire Advisory Committee. In 1951 this committee would develop the first regional plan to respond to fire related disasters.

OES 305 will proudly carry the community name "Lakeside" on deployments
In 1952 the State of California would make its first purchase of 58 engine companies. As part of the deployment plan, the decision was made to send these units in groups of five with a supervisor to incidents. This configuration of resources is still used to this day under the term "strike team.".

With the Korean Conflict came an expansion of this plan with the development of the "Office of Civil Defense." Within this organization was a branch dedicated to Fire and Rescue and Emergency Services.

As a result of the disastrous 1970 wildfires, the state's response to fires was completely revised under the new California Emergency Services Act. Under this new plan a "legal" basis was established for the governor's response to disasters within the state. This act gave birth to today's CalOES.

The OES pumper will be assigned to the Blossom Valley Fire Station where Lakeside personnel will maintain and staff the apparatus when needed. Its distinctive "yellow/green" paint scheme sets it apart from other fire apparatus in the District. So if you see this engine around town just remember it got its start in the uncertain times of 1941.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

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