The 76 professional and 10 community volunteer members of the Fire Department proudly serve the City of West Covina's citizens and visitors by responding from five strategically located fire stations to approximately 7,200 emergency calls for service annually.
The majority of emergency responses, approximately 70%, are for medical emergencies, including incidents of heart attacks, strokes, automobile accidents, sudden illnesses, and pediatric emergencies. On an annual basis, firefighter/paramedics transport approximately 4,600 patients to area hospitals and regional trauma centers. In addition to medical emergencies, firefighters respond to approximately 230 fire incidents annually, including approximately 100 building fires. In 2007, fire destroyed $3,536,905 in property in the City of West Covina, which included fire damage to buildings, outside equipment, vehicles, and valuable watershed.
On a daily basis, firefighters staff four engine companies, one light force company, three paramedic rescue ambulances, and one command unit. Each day 24 highly trained and qualified personnel provide around-the-clock protection for the 110,000+ population who live and work in the 34,550 dwelling and commercial units in the City. Two of the four engine companies, the light force, and the three ambulances are staffed by California-licensed paramedics and certified Emergency Medical Technicians. The West Covina Fire Department is extremely well positioned to have personnel trained to the Advanced Life Support level on-scene and at the side of an ill or injured person within five minutes of a 9-1-1 call for help.
Since October 2004, the West Covina Fire Department has provided ambulance transportation services for ill or injured patients. Firefighter/Paramedics staff three Advanced Life Support ambulances and respond to all reported medical emergencies along with personnel assigned to engine companies. While there are no costs associated with responding to emergencies, a patient who is transported to the hospital in a West Covina Fire Department ambulance is billed for services rendered. The costs for ambulance service vary depending on the level of care delivered (Advanced Life Support versus Basic Life Support), distance traveled to the hospital, and supplies/medical devices used. Residents can eleviate ambulance transport fees by applying for the Ambulance Subscription Service
In addition to responding to fires, medical emergencies, hazardous materials spills, and public assistance calls, West Covina firefighters also perform critically important fire and life safety inspections on each commercial occupancy at least annually. During fire inspections, trained firefighters look for any items that could cause accidental fires or limit the ability of a building's occupants to safely escape if a fire were to occur. Firefighters, while conducting fire inspections, have the authority to issue "notices to correct" to building owners or managers to ensure that violations of the Uniform Fire Code are corrected in a timely manner. Firefighters typically use fire inspections as an opportunity to educate the public about the importance of good safety practices and to market the value of fire code compliance.
In addition to emergency responders, the West Covina Fire Department also provides technical fire prevention activities. Members of the Department's Fire Prevention Bureau, under the direction of the Fire Marshal, check building construction plans to make sure all proposed building meet appropriate safety codes prior to construction. Fire inspectors perform plan review on all proposed fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, and restaurant hood extinguishing system installation. At least annually personnel assigned to the Fire Prevention Bureau inspect all hazardous occupancies and state-licensed facilities (board and care facilities, schools, and daycare facilities). The Fire Marshal also oversees the City's Fire Investigation Unit. Three members of the Department are trained to conduct fire cause investigation, interview arson suspects, conduct surveillance, and testify in court.
For the past several years, members of the Fire Department have managed the City's disaster preparedness efforts. The Department's philosophy of "all risk preparedness" encourages members of the public to be prepared for all types of emergencies, both man-made and natural. Under the "all risk" umbrella, residents are strongly encouraged to prepare for earthquakes, fires, floods, major transportation accidents and hazardous materials spills, power outages, and communicable disease outbreaks. Members of the public are encouraged to be self-sufficient for up to 72-hours following the occurrence of a localized disaster. For additional information on disaster preparedness, please go to the Disaster Preparedness
link. If you have any questions concerning fire safety or about the West Covina Fire Department operations, please feel free to call (626) 939-8824.
Fire Chief WEST COVINA FIRE DEPARTMENT
1444 W. Garvey Ave.
West Covina, CA 91790