Bob Putney introduced Fire Captain, Emily Torlano who has been with the Cam- bria Fire Department since 2000. She received her paramedics license in 2004 and was promoted to Captain in 2015. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Safety Administration and is working on her Masters in Organizational Leadership.

Emily began by introducing Michael Castellanos, a Cambria native and Engineer with the Department. Engineers are required to be certified fire fighter as well as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s). She also introduced Reserve Fire- fighter, Leo Salas.

The Cambria Fire Department was established in 1886 and is the 2nd oldest in San Luis Obispo County. In addi- tion to fighting fires, the department provides advanced life support, ocean and cliff rescue, hydrant mainte- nance (there are 460 of them) as well as rescuing people locked out of their cars, changing batteries in smoke and CO2 detectors and fire weed abatement. The Department recently lost a grant that enabled them to hire additional personnel but they are working on a new grant.

Training requirements have gotten much stricter. There are fewer people willing to be reserve firefighters (part- time) or volunteers because they are required to complete 1700 hours of training. As a result, there are only 12

reserves on the books.

Emily also reminded everyone to register with NIXLE to get community alerts and notifications. To register, simply text your zip code to the number 888-777. She also brought Cambria Area Fire Evacuation Plan brochures for anyone who would like one.

When asked why so many personnel respond to 911 calls, Emily explained that the fire engine must be “at the ready” in case of emergency so the 3 personnel assigned to each engine need to stay together. She also advised anyone noticing cars parked in such a way as to block access to a street, to contact the fire de- partment. They will send someone out to have the car(s) moved.

Fire hydrants need to be maintained on a regular basis because they can rust making it nearly impossible to operate. In an emergency situation, every minute counts so it is important that hydrants be maintained, although maintaining 460 hydrants is no easy task.

We actually went past our usual ending time because it was such a great presentation and there were so many questions. Thanks to Emily and her crew for taking the time to tell us about the Cambria Fire Department.