A glimpse into the lives of female firefighters at Central California Women’s Facility

Firefighters from CCWF Fire Department, Station 5, spray water on a burning structure.

Firefighters from CCWF Fire Department, Station 5, spray water on a burning structure.

By Lt. Brian Davi, AA/Public Information Officer
Central California Women’s Facility

An emergency call sounded recently to Station 5 for a response to a vehicle accident on Highway 152 and Road 11 in Madera County. A vehicle rolled into an adjacent field before coming to a stop.

Firefighters arrived at the scene and began to extricate the six passengers from the vehicle, but found one passenger was dead on arrival. None of the occupants were wearing their seat belts.

Female inmate firefighters from CCWF Fire Department, Station 5, extinguish the flames on a burning vehicle.

Female inmate firefighters from CCWF Fire Department, Station 5, extinguish the flames on a burning vehicle.

The firefighters treated the patients at the scene and prepared them for transport by emergency response personnel and medical helicopters, which quickly arrived.

This is just one example of the many calls to which the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) Fire Department, also known as Station 5, responds.

Station 5 services CCWF, Valley State Prison (VSP) and covers a 200-mile radius in Madera County.

The CCWF Fire Department also responds to CALFIRE in Madera, Mariposa and Merced counties, when dispatched.

“The female firefighters at Station 5 maintain a high degree of professionalism and continuously demonstrate versatility during responses in their day-to-day Fire Department operations,” said Fire Chief Christopher Diaz. “The female firefighters are held in high regard among the residents of Madera County, their fire peers and the institutions they provide protection for.”

Female inmate firefighters battle a blaze.

Female inmate firefighters battle a blaze.

By the numbers

Station 5 has responded to more than 1,100 response calls consisting of 794 fires, 201 medical, 71 motor vehicle accidents and 42 public service assistance requests from September 2013 through September 2014.

What do they do?

Fire suppression, medical aid, emergency rescue, hazardous materials emergency decontamination and fire prevention are some of the many services provided by Station 5.  All inmate firefighters receive training in advanced first aid, CPR/AED, Wildland/Structural Firefighting operations, vehicle extrication rescue, fire extinguisher servicing, hazardous materials response certification and the necessary training for the State Fire Marshal FF1 Certificate.

Learn more about CDCR inmate firefighters

Pleasant Valley State Prison inmate firefighters learn techniques during live burn, http://www.insidecdcr.ca.gov/2014/04/pvsp-inmate-firefighters-learn-techniques-during-live-burn/

Inmate firefighters train at Ishi Conservation Camphttp://www.insidecdcr.ca.gov/2014/05/inmate-firefighters-participate-in-training-at-ishi-conservation-camp/

CDCR Captain, inmate firefighters try to save a crash victim, http://www.insidecdcr.ca.gov/2014/02/cdcr-captain-inmate-firefighters-try-to-save-crash-victim/

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1 Response

  1. G. Frantz Monday, June 5, 2017 / 9:09 am

    I know from personal experience what a wonderful job our local CCWF/VSP fire fighters do. A few years ago my sisters home/land was on fire and our fire department got there just in time. My sister lives apx five miles from CCWF. If they would have been just a few minutes later, the home would have burned to the ground. The fire crew were very professional and caring to my family. Again Thank you!!!

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