Sharon Robinson (center) “won” the surprise raffle prize of being dressed in full firefighting turnouts at the October Chamber of Commerce Mixer at SPFD Fire Station 82. Assisting Robinson to dress in the firefighting gear ware (left) Firefighter Andy VanSciver and Captain Jerry Byrum.

Contributions of SPP&FF highlighted
at SPFD hosted Chamber Mixer

November 04, 2015
Santa Paula News

The Santa Paula Fire Department hosted a Chamber of Commerce Mixer at Station 82 where guests enjoyed barbecued snacks, tours of the fire station and updates on the continuing support offered to public safety by the Santa Paula Police & Fire Foundation.

Chamber President-CEO Fred Robinson introduced Board Chairman Zahid Shah, board directors and elected officials at the event that included tours of the recently renovated living quarters at the West Main Street station.

Robinson introduced Don Johnson, a SPP&FF Founder, former Mayor and retired publisher of the Santa Paula Times.

Johnson told the crowd the foundation continues to offer financial support to Santa Paula Fire and Police departments through grants funding equipment the cash-strapped city cannot afford.

The foundation has provided the Jaws of Life, CPR equipment and stocked a fire engine with all needed accessories as well as funded so-called “Stair Chairs” that allow for easier transport of medical patients on second stories.

Johnson noted that all such funding benefits the public via better services.

The foundation’s major fundraiser is the annual Moonlight at the Ranch and “The money is used very well,” said Johnson, and, “One of the biggest purchases the foundation has made was body cameras for Santa Paula Police Officers.”

SPPD Commander Ish Cordero told the crowd that the body cameras have become increasing important in law enforcement, governed by “strict rules and regulations.”

The use of such cameras has proven effective in showing what actually happens during incidents, providing legal backup for both law enforcement and citizens. In addition, other law enforcement agencies have reported a drop in resisting arrest incidents linked to the high-tech cameras.

Cordero thanked the foundation for all its support noting grants have also sent Explorers to the training academy, provided specialized training to officers, revived the Bicycle Patrol program and provided headphones to the SWAT Team that allows them to quietly communicate during risky operations. 

“We’ve purchased bicycle helmets for kids and held 4th grade Bicycle Rodeos,” and Cordero said “We’ll ask the foundation,” to fund an upcoming program to register bicycles.

“Station 82 is especially grateful,” to be hosting the mixer said Assistant Fire Chief Dustin Lazenby who noted the foundation has supplied “tools that are used all the time.”

He noted the Jaws of Life had been used in a recent vehicle accident where the occupant was trapped; in addition, the vehicle had landed on a tree that punctured the car. 

Santa Paula Fire was first on the scene and the use of the Jaws of Life “May have saved that man’s life…the foundation has provided the fire department with tools that are used constantly and,” said Lazenby “we are grateful for all the support.”

A surprise raffle prize capped the event when Sharon Robinson, wife of the chamber President-CEO, “won” being dressed in full firefighting turnouts assisted by Firefighter and SPFD PIO Andy VanSciver and SPFD Captain Jerry Byrum.

Robinson was good-natured but did seem relieved that there was no call for service while she was wearing the turnouts.

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