Tag: Santa Monica Fire Department

Celebrate Fire Service Day At Fire Station 1 On May 11

May 8, 2024 ·

The public can participate in celebrating Fire Service Day at Fire Station #1 on May 11. Photo by Michael Jeffrey via Unsplash.

SANTA MONICA—On Monday, May 6, the city of Santa Monica announced that the Santa Monica Fire Department will host a community celebration May 11 for Fire Service Day at Fire Station 1.

Open house activities for families and children include:

-Exploring fire engines and the ladder truck

-Fire station tours with firefighters

-Hands-only CPR and important emergency preparedness information with American Red Cross

-Stop the Bleed education in partnership with University of California, Los Angeles

The event will be held on Saturday, May 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1337 7th Street.

During the year, the SMFD offers outreach programs, including fire station tours, fire engine visits, and education on fire and life safety topics. The event offers an additional and unique opportunity to meet local firefighters and learn about what they do through a hands-on experience.

Fire Station 1 serves the downtown core and is Santa Monica’s most active station with 7,430 calls for service received in 2023. Fire Station 1 houses the department’s largest equipment, including its ladder truck, which will be on display for Fire Service Day.

By Trevor

Fire Chief Matthew Hallock Swear-In Ceremony March 27

March 27, 2024 ·

The Santa Monica Fire Department will hold a Swear-In ceremony for Fire Chief Matthew Hallock on March 27. Photo by Marc Kleen via Unsplash.

SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica announced on its website that the Santa Monica Fire Department will host the swearing-in ceremony for Fire Chief Matthew Hallock on Wednesday, March 27. The event begins at 11 a.m. inside Fire Station 1, 1337 7th St.

Deputy Fire Chief Tom Clemo will open the ceremony followed by a presentation of colors by SMFD Department’s Honor Guard. An invocation will be led by fire department chaplain Josh Young followed by remarks from retired Santa Monica Fire Chief Ettore Berandinelli.

Interim City Clerk Nikima Newsome will perform the swearing-in ceremony followed by a badge pinning by Hallock’s wife, Cheryl.

Chief Hallock will give remarks to close the ceremony, followed by a reception where light refreshments will be served.

The event will be live-streamed and available for viewing on Santa Monica’s YouTube channel here.

By Trevor

Matthew Hallock Appointed Santa Monica Fire Chief

January 29, 2024 ·

SANTA MONICA—On Thursday, January 25, the city of Santa Monica announced on its website that Matthew Hallock was appointed to become the new chief of the Santa Monica Fire Department, City Manager David White disclosed. He comes to the area from the city of Monterey Park, where he has served as fire chief since 2020.

Hallock has over 24 years of experience in public safety and emergency response, starting his fire service career as a reserve firefighter in 1994, then returning as a firefighter in 2002 and rising through the ranks. He has experience working in the private sector, spending four years as an emergency preparedness planner at Southern California Edison.

Photo courtesy of the city of Santa Monica.

As chief in Monterey Park, he led his department and the community through the pandemic, as well as the shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio.

“Chief Hallock showed outstanding leadership and compassion during his tenure in Monterey Park, shepherding the fire department and the entire community through two major crises,” said White. “And with his vast experience in emergency preparedness and response, I am confident he will be a tremendous asset to our city leadership team.”

Hallock replaces Interim Fire Chief Wolfgang Knabe, who has held the acting role since September 2023.

“Santa Monica is known for its commitment to community safety, and I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the exceptional Fire Department team,” said Hallock. “I look forward to building upon the department’s strong foundation and working collaboratively with our community to ensure the highest level of emergency services.”

Hallock has a master’s degree in public policy and administration from California State University, Long Beach and is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer program through the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy. He will begin his position on Monday, February 12, where he will earn a yearly salary of $303,588.

By Trevor

SMFD Hosting Activities For Fire Prevention Week

October 6, 2023 ·

SANTA MONICA—Cathy Taylor, the Fire Prevention Coordinator for the city of Santa Monica indicated in an email to Canyon News that the Santa Monica Fire Department will be raising awareness about cooking safety for Fire Prevention Week, October 8 thru October 14 with free community events and activities along with hosting a proclamation at the October 10 City Council meeting.

“I cannot emphasize enough the critical importance of fire prevention when it comes to cooking. Santa Monica has had a total of 378 fires from October 2022 to October 2023.  Cooking related fires are among the most common causes of residential fires, and they can lead to devastating consequences, including loss of life, property damage, and emotional trauma,” said Fire Marshal Joe Cavin. “The use of open flames, hot cooking surfaces, and flammable materials means that a momentary lapse in attention or a small mistake can quickly escalate into a dangerous situation.”

A cooking fire can grow quickly and is one of the most common household fires that can be prevented. Santa Monica Fire Department’s key safety tips to help reduce the risk of a cooking fire include:

-Never leave cooking unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are cooking, and if you need to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove or oven.

-Watch what you heat. Always keep a close eye on what you are cooking. Set a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

-Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.

-Have a “kid and pet-free zone” of at least 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove or grill and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

-Keep a clear workspace. Ensure that there are no flammable materials such as dish towels, paper towels, or curtains near the cooking area.

-Use appropriate cookware. Choose cookware with tight-fitting lids to prevent grease fires, and always keep a lid nearby to smother a potential fire.

-Be cautious with oils and fats. When frying food, use a thermometer to monitor oil temperature, and never overheat it. If grease catches fire, do not use water to extinguish it; use a fire extinguisher or cover it with a lid.

-Install smoke alarms. Make sure your home is equipped with working smoke alarms in or near the kitchen, as they can provide early warning in case of a fire.

-Have a fire extinguisher. Keep a fire extinguisher rated for kitchen fires within easy reach and know how to use it.

-Educate family members. Teach your family members about fire safety in the kitchen, including how to respond in case of a fire.

A series of free community events in support of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign include:

-Sunday, October 8, 2023, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Cooking Safety at Santa Monica Main Street Farmers Market. The Fire Department will provide information and giveaways during the popular Main Street market. Located at 2640 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404

-Tuesday, October 10, 2023, 10:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m., Fire Prevention Storytime at Fairview Library: Santa Monica Fire Inspector Engineer Reyes will read for a special story time and participants will have the opportunity to see a fire engine up close. The event is accessible to all, the library’s self-service Open+ Access is not required for entry. Fairview Library is located at 2101 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

-Tuesday, October 10, 2023, 5:30 p.m. Fire Prevention Week Proclamation at Santa Monica City Hall. Mayor Davis and the City Council will proclaim October 8-14 as Fire Prevention Week during the City Council Regular Meeting. Santa Monica City Hall is located at 1685 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

-Saturday, October 14, 2023, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Open House at Fire Station 1: Participants can get a close-up view to a working fire station. Fire department personnel will provide cooking safety tips and information on preventing household fires. All ages welcome. Fire Station 1 is located at 1337 7th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Fire Prevention Week dates back to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and the goal is to educate individuals to be vigilant when it comes to fire prevention. Fire Prevention Week is a partnership with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) — the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 100 years — to promote this year’s campaign, “Cooking Safety starts with you. Pay attention to fire prevention.” The campaign works to educate people about simple, important actions they can take when cooking to keep themselves and those around them safe.

To learn more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in Santa Monica please contact the Santa Monica Fire Department at 310-458-8761. For additional details about Fire Prevention Week and cooking safety, visit fpw.org. For fire safety fun for kids, visit sparky.org.

Wolfgang Knabe Appointed Interim Fire Chief

August 15, 2023 ·

SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica announced on its website on Monday, August 14th, that Wolfgang Knabe will become the interim Fire Chief. Knabe’s appointment comes after the departure of current Fire Chief Danny Alvarez who will leave his position on August 31st. Knabe has over 43 years of fire department service. He recently retired as the Fullerton/Brea Fire Chief in 2018, after serving Fullerton beginning in 2005, and both cities since 2011 after they merged into one department.

He served as the Santa Monica interim Fire Chief from June 2021 through February 2022, before serving stints as the interim Fire Chief for Manhattan Beach from July 2020 through June 2021, and as the interim Deputy Fire Chief for the city of Beverly Hills from March 2022 through August 2022.

“Chief Knabe’s decades of leadership, knowledge about the Santa Monica Fire Department, and extensive relationships throughout the region will be invaluable during this transition,” said City Manager David White. “I’m grateful to have him return as the City’s interim Fire Chief to ensure our Fire Department has a strong leader while continuing to provide excellent service to our community.”

Knabe’s career started with the Los Angeles Fire Department in 1980 after a tour of duty with the U.S. Marine Corps. He served the LAFD for 22 years before becoming the Fire Chief for San Luis Obispo from 2002 through 2005.

Chief Knabe served as a Reserve Police Officer with the LAPD for 16 years, including 7 years assigned to the department’s SWAT Team.

“I’ve worked first-hand with the incredible women and men of the Santa Monica Fire Department and hope to continue the great work of Chief Alvarez,” Knabe said. “I am looking forward to ensuring that the needs of the department and the community are met as the City searches for a new fire chief.”

He will lead a team of 137 firefighters and staff and manage a budget of $54,447,926. Knabe’s first day on the job will be Friday, September 1st.

By Trevor

Fire Chief Danny Alvarez Leaving SMFD Position

August 7, 2023 ·

SANTA MONICA—On Wednesday, August 2nd, Santa Monica City Manager David White announced the departure of Fire Chief Danny Alvarez. Alvarez has led the Santa Monica Fire Department since February 2022. His last day with the city will be August 31, 2023. He will transition to the Burbank Fire Department serving as the Fire Chief there.

“Our Fire Department has accomplished so many incredible things under Chief Alvarez’s leadership,” said White. “I will miss working with Chief Alvarez, but I’m happy his career has come full circle and he’s going back home to his Burbank fire family as their top leader.”

Santa Monica Fire Chief Danny Alvarez will be leaving the position on August 31, 2023.

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve as the Santa Monica Fire Chief and work alongside the dedicated staff of the Santa Monica Fire Department, who serve our community with the utmost professionalism and compassion,” said Chief Danny Alvarez. “Santa Monica is a beautiful city and a wonderful community. I am incredibly grateful for all the friendships and professional relationships I have developed with members of our community, City staff, and members of the Fire Department.”

Achievement accomplished by the SMFD during Chief’s Alvarez’s tenure include the following:

-Developed the Santa Monica Fire Department’s first strategic plan

-Received recertification for Class 1 rating with the Insurance Service Organization for outstanding fire protection; Class 1 is the highest rating that can be awarded to any fire department nationwide

-Established a formal Fire Department diversity, equity, and inclusion work group

-Initiated the NARCAN leave-behind program as part of the City’s continued efforts to reduce deaths associated with opioid overdoses

-Completed the construction of a new training facility

-Added grant-funded automated LUCAS CPR devices to all front-line apparatus; These devices increase blood flow to the brain by up to 60 percent compared to manual CPR.

By Trevor

Residents Escape Santa Monica Apartment Fire

April 4, 2023 ·

SANTA MONICA—Captain Patrick McNulty, Public Information Officer for the Santa Monica Fire Department indicated in an email to Canyon News that on Sunday, April 2, they received multiple 911 calls at 10:39 a.m. of a structure fire at 1011 4th Street in the Wilmont Neighborhood.

Upon arrival, firefighters discovered a fire in one unit on the first floor of a three-story apartment complex. Firefighters attacked the fire while simultaneously searching adjacent units to ensure no occupants were trapped. Three residents and one dog were forced to jump into the swimming pool to escape the blaze prior to the fire departments arrival.

Within 20 minutes, the fire was extinguished before it spread to the units above and was confined to the first-floor unit where the fire originated.

Due to the size and complexity of the apartment complex and the potential for fire spread and trapped occupants, the SMFD requested resources from LAFD to assist along with help from Santa Monica Public Safety Communications, Santa Monica Police, Building & Safety, and McCormick Ambulance. There were no injuries to residents or first responders, and no residents were displaced as a result of the blaze. The cause of the fire is under investigation by SMFD investigators.

By Donald