The primary emergency response unit for the Culver City Fire Department is the engine company. There is one engine company at each of the three stations. Engine companies are staffed with a minimum of three personnel: a supervising captain, an engineer, and a firefighter. All fire personnel are required to be certified at the emergency medical technician (EMT) basic level. However, 75 percent of all personnel maintain a paramedic ALS certification.
Each engine is a triple-combination pumper, equipped with a 1,500 gallon per minute (gpm) pump, a 500 gallon water tank and a full complement of hose. Engines are also equipped with 50 gallons of Class A firefighting foam, pre-connected medium and large diameter hand lines, a deck gun, 600 feet of four-inch supply hose, and two sections of hard suction hose.
The primary purpose of a pumper is to provide firefighters with equipment and water to sustain an initial attack on a structure, wildland or other fire. Each engine company is also equipped with a variety of emergency equipment, such as: basic and advanced life support medical equipment, emergency scene lighting, basic tools for defensive hazardous materials mitigation, basic water rescue equipment and rehab supplies. Each engine company is also equipped with 50 feet of ground ladders, specialized wildland firefighting equipment, forcible entry tools, auto extrication equipment and a thermal imaging camera.
Two stations are equipped with paramedic rescues—Station 1 and 3. Each rescue is staffed with a minimum of two firefighter/paramedics, each having advanced life support (ALS) certification. The paramedic rescues carry both ALS and BLS equipment and provide a high level of emergency medical care. Some of the items carried on the paramedic ambulances are: advanced airway and ventilation equipment, vascular therapy supplies, and portable battery-operated monitor/defibrillators. Firefighter/paramedics are able to supply immediate life saving measures and transport patients to the appropriate facilities.
From routine medical problems to the most critically ill or injured patient, rescues fill a high-demand role in Culver City. Though their primary role is EMS, these units are staffed by firefighters equipped with structural firefighting protective equipment, extrication equipment, a thermal imaging camera and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
The Fire Department's Ambulance, staffed with two Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), enables the provision of basic life support (BLS) and emergency transportation services for the Culver City community. Operating out of Fire Station 2, the ambulance cost-effectively improves the Department's response reliability and helps the Department serve a greater number of patients with pre-hospital care and transport.
The Culver City Fire Department has one truck company located at Station 3. The truck company is supervised by a captain and is staffed with an engineer and two firefighters. The truck is called an aerial ladder truck—also known as a hook-and-ladder or a tractor drawn aerial. Two operators are required for safe handling of this vehicle—an engineer driving the front and a tiller operator controlling the rear. As the rear wheels turn independent of the front wheels, the truck can navigate through small streets and make tight turns in areas such as the movie studio lots.
The truck has a 100-foot truck mounted extension ladder, which is able to reach the equivalent of up to eight stories high. This allows firefighters to access or egress a building from a significant height and also to attack a fire from above. The aerial ladder is capable of allowing firefighters to direct an elevated master water stream of up to 600 gpm from the tip of the ladder. Because the truck does not have a pump or water tank, a pumper/engine must supply the water to fight the fire. In addition to the aerial ladder device, the truck is equipped with over 200 feet of ground ladders, heavy rescue and auto extrication equipment and many other types of rescue equipment to handle various calls for service throughout the City.
Battalion Chief Command Vehicle
One Battalion Chief is responsible for overall field operations from a command vehicle. The command vehicle, located at Station 1, is equipped with advanced communication equipment, a mobile data computer, and a pull out command desk. From this command vehicle, a Battalion Chief is able to direct emergency scene operations and command all firefighting, lifesaving, and fire prevention operations. Some additional equipment carried in the command vehicle includes: SCBA and suppression equipment, command worksheets and reference materials.
Reserve and Specialty Apparatus
The Fire Department maintains a fleet of reserve apparatus. Reserve apparatus are utilized to accommodate periodic maintenance and repair of front-line apparatus, to staff additional units during large scale emergencies and to replace front-line units when they are called outside the City to assist other agencies.
Fire Department specialty apparatus are comprised of a gasoline-powered utility vehicle, CERT command and rehab vehicles, and a trailer-drawn diesel tender.