With keen attention to detail, the San Marino Fire Department (SMFD) conducted its annual inspection and audit of the department’s apparatus, equipment and records on April 15, 17 and 19. This is the second year the SMFD has undergone the rigorous inspection and audit led by Fire Chief Mario Rueda and his command staff. In that time, each of the three shifts of the department undertook the work to cover all areas of the station which included verifying compliance with city and department policies, procedures, record keeping, safety equipment maintenance and checking the condition of the apparatus, equipment and quarters.
“Most importantly, we’re ensuring that every part of our maintenance system is being carried out as per policy,” said Rueda. “Our maintenance system is really designed so that 100 percent of the time, when we get an emergency in town, when we jump on the apparatus, we go to respond and we go to use our tools and equipment, that it all works.”
On April 17, Rueda and Battalion Chief Mark Dondanville checked over each piece of gear from personnel of Engine 91 and Rescue Ambulance 91 and from there moved on with flashlights alongside Battalion Chief Chris Szenczi and Fire Captain Russ Wilcox with clipboard to check the quarters, kitchen and other internal spaces. No corner was left unchecked. Rueda explained that prior to last year, the annual audit and check had not be done since 2010. Although few members of the public may see the inside of the station, he views each detail as an essential part of the process to maintain safety, wellness and culture as well. On top of the annual check, the fire department undergoes daily, weekly and monthly checks as well.
“I think it’s an important part of making sure as a public safety agency that we do our due diligence, to make sure, like I said 100 percent of the time, we go to push the start button and everything works like it’s suppose to,” Rueda explained.