News & Events
The Santa Clara County Fire Department strives to keep our communities safe and informed through announcements, events, publications, and press releases.
This Fourth of July, Leave Fireworks to the Professionals
This Fourth of July holiday, Santa Clara County Fire Department has partnered with the City of San Jose to remind residents that all fireworks are illegal in Santa Clara County. Fireworks are dangerous and can result in fires and injuries that are easily preventable. Residents can incur fines for possessing, storing or selling illegal fireworks. Santa Clara County's 'social host' Fireworks Ordinance holds property owners responsible for illegal use of fireworks on their property.
National Fire Protection Association reports that fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires cause an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.
"All Fireworks are illegal in Santa Clara County," reminds Fire Chief Ken Kehmna. "It is imperative that residents leave the shows to the professionals as Fourth of July celebrations occur at a time of the year when the weather is hot and the grass in the oak woodlands surrounding our communities is very dry. We know from recent experience that one spark can have disastrous consequences."
This year, enjoy a safe and happy Fourth of July by attending one of the many community fireworks displays in Santa Clara County.
# # #
Saratoga Fire Station Annual Pancake Breakfast
Firefighters at the Santa Clara County Fire Department, Saratoga Fire Station are ready to flip pancakes for a great cause during our annual Pancake Breakfast. This year's event will be held on Saturday, April 14, 8:00am - 11:00am. All proceeds and donations from the event will benefit the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation.
No registration is necessary to attend the event. Saratoga Fire Station is located at 14380 Saratoga Avenue in Downtown Saratoga. Come on out, enjoy breakfast, and support the cause!
Historical Fire Apparatus Comes Home to Santa Clara County Fire Department
The year was 1962, Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District (now Santa Clara County Fire Department), was in its 15th year of providing fire protection service to much of the Santa Clara Valley floor and unincorporated County areas, from Highway 9 east to Mount Hamilton and South to the Almaden area.
Fire Chief Henry Lingua was building his fleet to accommodate early growth in the Valley and ordered the purchase of three General Motors Company VanPelt Squads. By today's standards, the squads would appear as nothing more than a glorified pickup truck with a reel of garden hose, a few hand tools and less than 200 gallons of water. However, in 1962 these types of apparatus were just what the Fire District wanted for responses in an area still dominated by rural and agricultural lands.
As the Fire District continued to grow, the three squads were decommissioned in the mid-1970's, and eventually sold - one to a fire department in Colorado and two to the San Jose Flea Market for use on their property. Decades passed and the squads that once served from Alum Rock (Squad 12) to Cambrian (Squad 11) to Cupertino (Squad 1), were nothing more than a few grainy photos in Department history….or so we thought.
Fast forward to 2018; Santa Clara County Fire Department operates out of 15 fire stations with 19 pieces of front-line apparatus and covers 128 square miles in the heart of the Silicon Valley. In an effort to revive and retain some of our historical apparatus, the Department re-acquired Squad 1, which had fallen into significant disrepair.
Over the past few months, fire apparatus manufacturer, High-Tech Emergency Vehicle Services, who originally outfitted the squads in 1962, and still had the original apparatus order on file, has brought Squad 1 back to its original condition. On Friday, February 23, 2018, Santa Clara County Fire Department took delivery of Squad 1 for the second time in Department history. The squad returns to service, not as a frontline apparatus, but instead as an honored piece of our historical fleet.
Special thanks to Santa Clara County Fire Department retired Fire Chief Douglas Sporleder, whose invaluable historical knowledge and consultation contributed to this story.
Resolve to Prepare in 2018!
The beginning of a new year brings a host of resolutions, some easier to keep than others. Here’s a resolution that’s easy to keep and can save a life: Resolve to prepare in 2018!
Whether you have an hour to spare or a few hours a month to dedicate, you can prepare yourself, your family, and even your community for emergencies and disasters. Santa Clara County Fire Department regularly provides a variety of free classes to each of the communities it serves. Classes include:
Hands-Only CPR/AED – Learn to provide lifesaving compressions and use an AED in the precious moments before responders arrive
Personal Emergency Preparedness (PEP) – Learn to prepare yourself and your family for several days after the next large disaster.
Be Ready: Seniors Prepared! – Preparedness information specifically tailored to our mature community members.
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) – CERT academies trains residents to prepare for and respond to life-threatening events in their community. CERT members can mobilize neighborhood resources, deliver immediate assistance to victims, organize emergency communications and provide support to first responders. Once participants have completed a CERT academy, they may join the established CERT team in the area where they live or work.
Additionally, it only takes a few minutes to prepare to receive emergency communications in a disaster by registering for AlertSCC, a free, easy, and confidential way for anyone who lives or works in Santa Clara County to get emergency warnings sent directly to their cell phone, mobile device, email, and/or landline. AlertSCC can reach you wherever you are to provide information and instructions in a variety of emergency situations. Register today at https://www.sccgov.org/sites/alertscc/Pages/home.aspx
We can’t predict most emergencies or disasters, but we can prepare for them…let’s work together to make 2018 the year of preparedness!
Young Boy Fulfills Dreams of Service with Santa Clara County Fire
On Saturday, December 9, 2017, the fire alarms rang and a call came through asking Yeshua Thrower to help protect the citizens of Santa Clara county. That call fulfilled the dreams of a young eight-year old boy who wants to serve and protect the community as a firefighter, but may not have the opportunity due to his battle with Muscular Dystrophy.
“Yeshua, I’m short one firefighter and we need your help,” said Santa Clara County Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Shumate. “I want to know if you can step in to help protect our citizens?”
“Yes sir. I can,” said Yeshua.
At four years old, Yeshua was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a form of the disease that progressively weakens and deteriorates muscle mass, causing those affected to lose their ability to walk and lift objects. Yeshua’s uncle died of the progressive disease at the age of nineteen.
Santa Clara County Fire Department’s leadership team heard of the young boy’s desire to be a firefighter and made his wish come true. Santa Clara County Firefighters, their families and Santa Clara County Firefighters Local 1165 all pitched in to make the day a memorable one for Yeshua.
“I’m so grateful to everyone here for making this possible,” said Yeshua’s mom, who watched as her son was dispatched and responded to put out a ‘mock’ structure fire. “You made our dream come true.”
During the call for service, Yeshua suited up and deployed with County Fire Engine 78, from the Sunnyoaks Fire Station in Campbell. During the five-minute drive, with sirens and flashing lights blazing, Yeshua was briefed on the situation; ‘a fire at a large commercial building was putting people’s lives in danger’.
Upon arrival at County Fire’s McCormack Training Center, Yeshua and other firefighters located the fire. Yeshua assisted with extinguishing the simulated blaze, then pitched in with the crew on Truck 85 who demonstrated a vehicle extrication.
“The fire service is a family, both for those who are already in and those who have yet to be,” said Luisa Rapport, Santa Clara County Fire Department’s onsite Public Information Officer. “We take care of each other, and Yeshua more than proved he has what it takes to be part of our Santa Clara County Fire Department family.”
Santa Clara County Fire Department Toy Drive Supports Local Holiday Programs
Throughout this holiday season, Santa Clara County Fire Department will be supporting local holiday toy programs by collecting new, unwrapped toys at all of its Fire Stations and Headquarters office. Toys collected will benefit families throughout Santa Clara County by supplying much needed toys and gifts to programs including the Campbell Community Toy Program, Christmas Community Toy Program, and the Community Services Agency of Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.
Specific needs this year include toys and items appropriate for teenagers, who tend to be the most underserved in toy drives, but are equally deserving of something to brighten their holiday. Please consider donating sports equipment, balls, and activity based items such as art supplies.
Please support this year’s Toy Drive by dropping off your new and unwrapped donations at any Santa Clara County Fire Station, or at our Headquarters office. Happy Holidays!
Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Residents Receive Disaster Training in Community Emergency Response Team Academy
On Saturday, November 7, over 30 participants graduated from the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Academy, a disaster training program provided by Santa Clara County Fire Department (SCCFD).
The Los Gatos/Monte Sereno CERT Academy began on Monday, October 16, and took participants through six 3-hour training sessions that covered a range of skills to prepare them to help support first responders during emergencies and other events. Some of the skills CERT graduates learned were included light search and rescue, damage assessment, fire safety, first aid, and terrorism awareness.
“SCCFD is appreciative of every individual who participated and completed the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno CERT Academy. Their participation in this program shows a high level of commitment to their community. The training they received is important to the safety of residents in their neighborhoods during a disaster,” said SCCFD CERT Coordinator Captain Denise Gluhan.
Graduating participants are now certified members of their city or town’s Community Emergency Response Team, which aims to support first responders during a disaster by using the skills they learned in the Academy to provide immediate assistance in their neighborhoods. Most graduates will be joining the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno CERT, but a few other graduates are residents of neighboring communities and will be joining their local team. CERT participants receive basic safety equipment that may be used during a disaster.
“CERT members are the strength communities need during a disaster. They are trained with the necessary skills to mobilize neighborhoods during wide-spread, life-threatening events. We’re proud of the many CERT members who have stepped up for their communities to receive disaster training,” said SCCFD Chief Ken Kehmna.
Santa Clara County Fire Department offers CERT training academies throughout the year in Campbell, Cupertino, Los Altos Hills, Los Altos, Saratoga and Los Gatos/Monte Sereno.
Taking CERT training is easy, fun and a great way for your business or neighborhood to strengthen working and personal relationships that will be vital in responding to an emergency. More Details ›
News & Events Archive