Santa Paula Fire Department has expanded

April 10, 2009
By Rick Araiza, Fire Chief The Santa Paula Fire Department has expanded. The recent retirement of longtime Building and Safety Director Steve Stuart has resulted in a change within the City of Santa Paula Fire Department. The Santa Paula Fire Department has now taken over the day-to-day operation of what previously was the Building and Safety Department. The Fire Department is now responsible for issuing building permits under the name of Inspection Services, while the code enforcement operation will be known as Santa Paula Fire Code Enforcement. This change took place as of March 1, 2009 and as a result you will now see all inspection vehicles marked as Santa Paula Fire Department. Mr. Larry Beem is the new Building Official and Ms. Teresa Young-Kiernan will continue to be in charge of all code enforcement operations, both will report directly to Fire Chief Rick Araiza.The recent changes will keep the Fire Department busy, while still providing necessary building permits and providing code enforcement services. As in the past, please remember that permits continue to be necessary for new construction as well as specific repairs and building alterations. The main public counter located at 200 South 10th Street will continue to be the available for a complete list of items requiring building permits, code enforcement questions or to report a code enforcement problem.The City building located at the corner of 10th and Ventura Street is also the new home of the Santa Paula Fire administration offices. In addition the building will continue to be the main public counter for all development and building services, which includes Inspections, Code Enforcement and Planning Department services.Over the next several months you will continue to see changes within the Inspection Services Division as a result of the current economic challenges faced by the City. As the financial crisis continues we are seeing building projects either slow down or in some cases remain unfinished. This leads to code enforcement (health and safety) issues as well as problems with expired permits due to construction inactivity. We will be working to make sure that people understand that the law requires diligent effort on their part to complete a project which has been started. If it is not possible to complete a project, it is necessary for the City to ensure that the public is safe and that the unfinished condition does not present harm to anyone. We are currently exploring a policy to address the expiring permit issue, which could potentially suspend the permit until the individual is ready to start the project once they are financially ready.
In addition to the new duties of the Santa Paula Fire Department, we will continue to provide the citizens of Santa Paula with a full service Fire Department operating out of two stations. Engine companies continue to respond to all emergencies and provide EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) services on all medical calls. Both stations are on duty twenty-four hours a day with three person engine companies serving the City of Santa Paula and providing automatic aid to areas outside the City limits. All engines have GPS location devices and are dispatched by their proximity to the emergency. This ensures that the closest engine responds to your emergency in the most efficient manner possible. Ventura County Fire also uses similar GPS devices, thus a passing Ventura County engine could get a call if they are the engine nearest to the emergency.Our goal at the Santa Paula Fire Department is to provide the best service possible and continue our excellent community relationship. Our doors at both stations are always open and the public is always invited to stop by and see our firefighters at work. The same relationship will exist with the new additions to our department. We are available at the public counter to help with any of your building and code enforcement needs or to answer any question.

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