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Monrovia FD hosts training day

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  • Monrovia FD hosts training day

    Men in bright yellow suits and heavy leather boots gathered on a hilltop in Monrovia last Friday morning. Some leaned on the railing, admiring Ruby Canyon¹s brush-covered slopes, until a man in a navy blue uniform called their attention. "What kind of vegetation is this?" he pointed to the blanket of green that they had been admiring. "Continuous vegetation," came the answer.

    The man who commanded such attention was Superintendent Fred A. Bland of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, an official who specializes in wildfires. To Bland, and the other firefighters on the hill,"continuous vegetation" were words synonymous with danger. Coupled with Santa Ana winds whipping through the canyon, a single spark could turn the whole hillside into an inferno.

    This was just one stop during a two-hour fire training session, hosted by the Monrovia Fire Department. The session took firefighters from nine fire departments on a "strike-team" tour of Monrovia¹s canyon country. Firefighters from Arcadia, Pasadena, South Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, Alhambra, San Gabriel and Monterey Park joined Monrovia in the drill. Many of them had responded to brush fires in Monrovia last year, according to Bland. Sierra Madre¹s firefighters did not attend this session, but were scheduled to participate in another training session on June 19, according to Fire Chief Roger Lowe.

    This "strike-team simulation drill" had two purposes: First, it familiarized Monrovia¹s sister cities with the streets and brush conditions in the foothill community, according to Monrovia Fire Captain Michael Cate, who organized the event. Secondly, Cate said that it allowed firefighters, from diverse areas, to practice working together as a unit, the way they would during an actual fire. "It¹s quite a production to put together a five-engine strike team," said Monrovia Fire Chief Sam Di Giovanna.

    Afterward, Di Giovanna said that he was very pleased with the day¹s outcome. "I¹m very proud of all the members of the Monrovia Fire Department who organized it," he said. "I¹m also proud of all the other fire departments who participated
    Engine 101
    The Pride of Old Town



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