By Staff Reports
(Victorville)– The City of Victorville recently hosted a Swearing In Ceremony for its re-established Victorville Fire Department. During the ceremony, 50 line personnel including the department’s captains, engineers and firefighter/paramedics took the oath of office and received their service badges.
“Our fire personnel bring with them a wealth of experience and skill that will benefit Victorville,” said City Manager Keith Metzler.” “They were chosen from an applicant pool of more than 250 applicants and following rigorous testing and background evaluations.”
As with tradition, each fire department member was joined on stage by one family member for the ceremonial badge pinning. During the Ceremony, held at the Hilton Garden Inn on March 13, Victorville Mayor, Gloria Garcia took time to welcome the fire personnel and their family members to the Victorville City Family. “With your support we build a strong fire department and a strong Victorville,” said Mayor Garcia. “We are proud to call you our Victorville Fire Department.”
The Victorville Fire Department is staffed with 60 personnel. The department is led by Fire Chief Greg Benson who was selected following a nationwide search approximately one year ago. Division Chief Fred Stout, three battalion chiefs and the department’s training captain reported for duty in October 2018. Together, the command staff possesses more than 100 years of experience. The department’s line personnel first reported for duty on January 2, 2019. Since that time, they have been training together to develop team cohesion and prepare for the department’s go live date on March 30.
The department is taking extra steps to ensure a smooth transition on March 30. At the official cutover time of 8 a.m. on opening day, all 60 fire personnel will be on duty rather than a typical shift 18 personnel.
“March 30 will be the first time our fire personnel will be operating in our fire stations and using our equipment, so we plan to have extra fire personnel and City staff on-hand to provide support and tend to any issues with equipment, vehicles and facilities,” said Victorville Fire Chief, Greg Benson. “This added support will enable our line personnel to focus on our number one mission of providing for the safety of our Victorville community.”
The department will also have a chief officer in the Confire command center to facilitate emergency 9-1-1 dispatching, and a chief officer will be supervising work at each fire station.
In order to operate a more efficient and cost-effective fire service, the Victorville City Council authorized the re-establishment of the Victorville Fire Department in January 2018 after contracting the service for 10 years. Additional benefits of a city-run fire department include local control, workforce development and strong community connections.
Located in Southern California at the high-point between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Victorville is the leading city for both industry and retail in the High Desert region. Victorville is a growing, vibrant community that is home to approximately 125,000 residents and some of the area’s largest employers. Clean air, abundant mountain vistas, family-friendly recreational activities, spectacular sunsets and breathtaking night skies entice locals and visitors alike to fall in love with this city that is within a few hours of SoCal beaches, National Parks, mountain retreats, other major attractions, and Ontario International Airport.