Recently, the town council answered the bell asking them for a health and safety “wish list” for local first responders to be funded by donors to help make their working conditions safer.
At a May 1 press conference, which included a tour of the fire station at 750 Grand Ave., Evans Hotels presented firefighters with a $5,000 check. The station tour was given to explain where wish list items would be installed, and how they will help contribute to better health for firefighters.
Additionally, Hammond's Ice Cream in Pacific Beach recently pledged 100 percent of sales for Station 21's wish list, raising $2,228.
Pacific Beach Town Council fundraises at its annual salute to local emergency workers in the community during the Police and Emergency Services Appreciation Night. Typically held in September, the event recognizes and honors police officers, firefighters, lifeguards and park rangers for their hard work in protecting and serving.
“Each year we feature one of the groups – police, lifeguards, firefighters and park rangers – and fulfill their wish list,” said Pacific Beach Town Council spokesperson Denise Friedman, who noted this year’s recipient was SDFD Station 21.
“Their wish list has a ‘health and safety’ theme, as cancer has become a major problem for firefighters, 65 percent of whom develop some form of cancer,” Friedman said, adding firefighters’ wish list included a "Big Ass" fan, commercial washers and dryers, an ice maker, and construction of an upgraded work area for equipment repairs.
“Our goal is to raise $50,000 to make their work environment cleaner and safer,” said Friedman noting funding will be raised via hosting dinners at the fire station, prepared by firefighters, with town council members doing the cleanup.
“Up to six guests will be treated to a gourmet dinner, a climb up the ladder or a slide down the fire pole,” she said. “If a call comes in – guests will ride along.”
Fire Station 21 was originally opened at 4202 Mission Blvd. in 1934 at a cost of $5,000. It moved to its current building in October 1979.
SDFD Capt. Rich Marcello of Station 21 noted the town council wish list comes at an opportune time given that “we are substantially underfunded,” noting annual budgets have remained mostly constant the past 20 years.
“Things get pushed off or delayed,” said Marcello adding, “We appreciate the public help in making these things happen.
“We needed a new work station because we have a lot of equipment, like rescue chain saws, that we need to work on,” Marcello noted, adding commercial washers/dryers clean contaminated clothing for crews working around fire, smoke and toxins.
He added an extraction fan would protect firefighters by “eliminating as much as possible” exposure to diesel fuel and particulates circulating in a confined space. And the ice maker for obvious reasons is needed for personnel working long hours in the heat under stressful conditions.
Besides Evans Hotels, firefighting wish list donors included Crystal Pier Hotel, The Broken Yolk, Cohn Restaurant Group, Catalina Offshore Products, Firehouse restaurant, Siesels Market, Toyota, Specialty Produce, Fitness West, Beach and Bay YMCA, Sandbox Pizza, Hammonds Ice Cream, Sandbar Sports Bar and Grill, Mavericks Beach Club, Amplified Ale Works, Waterbar, Fat Fish Cantina Grill, The Baked Bear, all Station 21 firefighters, and members of the Pacific Beach Town Council.
Want to help?
Part of the wish list for Station 21 includes:
Washers and dryers ($24,000);
Extraction fans ($5,200);
Work station ($1,800);
Ice maker ($2,500).
For information on how to donate, visit pbtowncouncil.org.