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March 8, 2010 (Warner Springs)--Warner Springs and the San Diego County region are safer after the County used approximately $475,000 in federal stimulus money to buy a new Type 1 fire engine to improve backcountry protection.


The 21-ton fire truck can fight wildfires and structural blazes, pump water from its 500-gallon tank or siphon it from ponds, pools or other water sources, has a 24-foot extension ladder, carries full medical gear and up to six firefighters. The engine is owned by the County but will be stationed in Warner Springs to serve that community. It will also provide mutual aid to help fight wildfires to keep them from endangering the region like the 2003 and 2007 firestorms. Warner Springs is a "hub" location that can easily provide mutual aid to numerous neighboring communities.


"Placing a new engine in Warner Springs will help protect the entire region," said County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Pam Slater-Price. "This new, valuable piece of equipment will help the County fire Authority fight fires and provide emergency medical care for people in the backcountry."


In the last five years, the County has purchased 33 fire engines and other equipment, and formed the San Diego County Fire Authority, to improve fire protection and emergency medical response throughout San Diego County.


"Bolstering the County's firefighting resources is a great way of putting federal stimulus dollars to work for San Diego County," said Supervisor Bill Horn, whose district includes Warner Springs. "Since 2007 we've made major strides to strengthen our fire protection system by buying and sharing firefighting resources. Our entire region will benefit from having this new engine."


The new fire engine was purchased with federal stimulus funds awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the County's Housing and Community Development Department through a Community Development Block Grant. For a complete list of the County's stimulus-funded projects, please visit RecoverySDCounty.org.