by Kassandra Gutierrez
Monday, May 3rd 2021
REDDING, Calif. — It’s a historic moment for the Redding Fire Department, as their fire engines will be fully staffed year-round for the first time ever, since 1896. Fire Chief L. G. Wade explains need for firefighters in a 1972 newspaper article Now, instead of two firefighters each station and their engines the goal is to have three firefighters, allowing them to meet the national standard.
The Redding Firefighter’s Facebook post reads, “For the first time in Redding Fire Department history, Engine 2 at Placer Street and Buenaventura Blvd is staffed with a permanent firefighter.” The post continues, “A Council approved request from Fire Chief Vanlandingham to restructure the personnel assigned to the apprentice firefighter/ vegetation management crew allowed this monumental staffing to happen at a zero cost to the taxpayers. Station 4 and 7 will be staffed in mid-June.” This means faster response times and a safer more efficient working environment for their firefighters.
Fire Chief Jerrod Vanlandingham says this change has been a long time coming, for decades the Redding Fire Department has not been able to meet the national standard of three firefighters per engine, for reasons including finances and funding. Chief Jerrod Vanlandingham says, “We are able to take 12 apprentice positions, convert those down to six firefighter positions, three apprentice positions and then provide a couple of positions for parks to be able to do the fuel mitigation work.”
Chief Vanlandingham says it has been a community effort, “The city council has done a really good job in helping us get new funding for new engines and ladder trucks and things like that so in the next year year and a half we are going to start seeing new engines and new fire trucks come into the Redding Fire Department which we are really excited about.”
As of Sunday, Redding Fire Department Station #2 has been fully staffed with three firefighters. Firefighters at this station say having a third firefighter is going to be a huge help when they are out on calls. All new firefighters are expected to complete full training and graduate by June, and the Redding Fire Department is expected to be fully staffed by then.
Fire Chief Vanlandingham says this is a huge step in the right direction and knows there is a need for another fire station in coming years. “The goals that we have as an organization are that number one we don’t have a big incident here in the Redding area, but if we do, we want to be ready for it, and make sure we operate safely in protecting our firefighters but also most importantly protecting our citizens and those that live in, work in and play here in the Redding area,” says Fire Chief Vanlandingham.