By Lt. Kirk Geringer, AA/PIO
The PVSP firefighters joined others from the Coalinga Fire Department, Fresno County Fire/Cal Fire and Reedley Fire for the live burn of a condemned house in the Coalinga.
“The inmates can take the paramilitary training learned today to further their ability to becoming successful when paroled, while providing an invaluable service to the local community at present,” Correctional Fire Chief Arturo Munoz said.
The PVSP Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, community service, and responds to vehicle accidents. The training for inmate firefighters contributes to their fire apprenticeships and educates them about fire safety.
In addition to providing fire protection for the prison, the department has a mutual aid agreement with Fresno Country Fire Protection to provide better service to Coalinga and almost 1,200 square-miles of western Fresno County.
Last year, PVSP firefighters responded to more than 50 requests for mutual aid.
To provide 24-hour/7-days-a-week coverage, the prison fire department runs a three-platoon schedule. They are staffed with 8 full-time firefighters, 5 Fire Captains, 1 Associate Hazardous Material Specialist and the Fire Chief. Each shift has 1 Captain, 1 Engineer, 3 Firefighters. This level of staffing allows for a four-man engine company.