The American Canyon Fire Department is getting a new heavy rescue vehicle after receiving a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant to cover most of the cost.
The fire department also honored one of its reserve firefighters for taking the initiative during a medical emergency last month.
The new truck, known as a “heavy rescue fire apparatus,” will replace the existing one used by the American Canyon urban search and rescue team.
The team has helped with local disasters, such as the 2014 Napa earthquake, and is certified to assist statewide if needed.
Fire Chief Glenn Weeks said during the Aug. 29 board meeting of the American Canyon Fire Protection District that the department’s current rescue vehicle is 25 years old, and does not comply with national fire protection safety standards.
Its replacement, costing $589,139, will serve as the “platform” for search and rescue team members, according to Weeks, who called the vehicle “state of the art.”
Most of its cost will be covered by a $556,897 FEMA grant awarded to the fire department.
Weeks said he expects the new vehicle to last as long as the old one, if not longer. “We’ll be set for the next 30 years,” he said.
At the Aug. 29 meeting, the board members also adopted a proclamation honoring reserve firefighter Charles Mallorca.
The 11-year firefighter demonstrated “dedication, initiative, and competence” while helping an on-duty fire crew care for a resident having a heart attack, according to Weeks.
On the evening of Aug. 5, Mallorca “responded to the fire station from home because he knew multiple emergency calls were coming in,” Weeks wrote in a report to the fire district board.
The fire station found itself without ambulance support from American Medical Response due to multiple calls occurring at the same time in the county.
So Mallorca went and got the department’s “surge” ambulance, which is stored in American Canyon for situations when ambulances aren’t available.
“Charles promptly delivered the surge ambulance” so on-duty personnel could transport the patient having a heart attack to the nearest hospital, according to Weeks’ report.
The fire chief told the fire district board members, “Charles definitely deserves some special recognition because he got off his couch at home to come in and answer the call of duty.”
He also called Mallorca “an exemplary” reserve firefighter who has been acknowledged by his peers “for his dedication and excellence no less than three times” as the district’s Firefighter of the Year in 2009, 2010 and 2013.
Mallorca did not attend the meeting to receive his proclamation, though he had planned to be there, Weeks said.
Instead, he was in Spanish Flat near Lake Berryessa providing support to Cal Fire, which was in need of personnel after sending crews elsewhere to fight fires.