The Ripon Fire District covers an area of approximately 55 square miles. Only 3.5 square miles is within the city limits. This area and Franzia Winery property on Highway 120 are the only two areas within the district that have hydrants. Within the city limits of Ripon, 5" large diameter hose (LDH) is used for all working fires. This essentially brings the fire hydrant to the fire scene for unlimited and uninterrupted water supply. However, this leaves approximately 50 square miles that have no permanent water supply. This warrants a different tactic when fighting fires in the rural areas of our district.
The Ripon Fire District uses a system of portable tanks and Water Tenders to shuttle water from the nearest water supply to the fire scene. We have one water tender with a 3500-gallon water tank. The Ripon Fire District's participation in mutual aid agreements provides access to four additional 3000-gallon tenders from neighboring districts, should the need arise. When a large fire occurs, the first tender on-scene can drop its portable tank on the ground, and then dumps its load of water into it using special quick-dumping valves at the rear of the vehicle. The tender then proceeds to the nearest water source to refill. The next tender on the scene repeats the process. This provides a greater volume of water that can be moved to fight the fire.
The District complies with federal OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requirements for "two in/two out" by establishing a Rapid Intervention Crew (RIC) using personnel from the first-due Engine and Rescue. We then go one step further to ensure the safety of our members by assigning a safety officer to every major incident. District personnel implements the Incident Command System on all incidents, excluding medical runs.
Ripon Fire District responds with Advanced Life Support (ALS) Paramedics to emergency medical incidents within our district.
All Ripon Fire Paramedics and EMTs undergo regular training and education to maintain the highest level of knowledge and expertise. This allows the District to provide constant staffing of one ALS transport ambulance, in addition to one engine equipped and staffed with ALS, as scheduling allows.
Ripon Fire is tasked with the additional responsibility of water rescue. With a river and numerous canals traversing the district, our training and education get put to the test. We provide automatic-aid to the Escalon and Lathrop-Manteca fire districts, as well as mutual aid to any agency that requests assistance. Ripon Firefighters have been trained to River and Flood Rescue or Swift Water Rescue Technician levels. The team is equipped with a full complement of swift water rescue gear, including a 12-foot zodiac boat with a 25hp jet motor.
The Ripon Fire District works with the surrounding fire agencies, as well as the San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services, to provide a joint hazardous materials response team. All members of this team are Technician- or Specialist-level certified. The district training officials coordinate ongoing training by conducting quarterly drills or by sending team members to off-site classes, as needed. All other district fire personnel have achieved either hazmat FRO or hazmat DECON level training and certification.
URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE (USAR)
Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) involves the location, rescue (extrication), and initial stabilization of victims trapped in confined spaces. Structural collapse is most often the cause of victims being trapped, but they may also be trapped in transportation accidents, machinery, or collapsed trenches.
USAR is considered a "multi-hazard" discipline, as it may be needed for a variety of emergencies or disasters, including earthquakes, storms, and tornadoes, floods, dam failures, terrorist activities, or hazardous
material releases. The events may develop slowly, as in the case of a tornado, or suddenly, as in the case of earthquakes.
Ripon Fire District includes a designated California Office of Emergency Services (OES) "light rescue" USAR team. This USAR team participates in the San Joaquin County Joint USAR Team. The joint-team is comprised of fire and emergency service departments from throughout San Joaquin County. Through this joint-team, any type of USAR discipline necessary to handle a variety of emergency situations is readily available to the Ripon Fire District. These emergency situations include, but are not limited to, heavy rescue, trench rescue, high angle rope rescue, or water rescue.