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Assistance To Firefighters Grants Success Stories - San Jose, California

This page highlights how new equipment was bought with a grant awarded to the San Jose Fire Department.This page is intended for fire departments and non-affiliated Emergency Medical Service organizations (EMS).

Grant Helps San Jose Fire Department Acquire New Hoses

Given that it is the 10th largest city in the US and the 3rd largest in California, San Jose and its fire department have not been immune to the current economic hardships that have affected many departments across the United States. Over recent years, the region’s economic climate has necessitated a number of organizational cost controls, including reductions in non-emergency and administrative services. In addition to using outdated equipment, the San Jose Fire Department (SJFD) had to lay off 49 firefighters in 2010 which greatly affected the department’s effectiveness. 

“We are in a deficient now and it’s been difficult to replace required equipment let alone bring firefighters back,” said Deputy Director Ron D’Acchioli. Fortunately, the SJFD successfully applied for a 2012 AFG Grant to update their hose supply in order to increase the effectiveness of their department.Image of firetruck with lights on at night

With the $441K grant funds, including the federal share of $328K, the SJFD was able to purchase over 1400 hose units of varying sizes and function, including 50' x 3" attack fire hoses, 100' x 1 1/2" forestry hoses, 50' x 1 3/4" high combat attach hoses, and 100' x 5" supply hoses.

“The older hoses have a tendency to fail in testing or on the line and that’s not good,” said D’Acchioli, noting how the previous equipment was 10 to 20 years old and unsafe. “There is a higher risk of failure and injury [with the old hoses].”

The new synthetic hoses, which have been used for almost a year, are lighter in weight, lessen deployment time, and increase performance and response time.

“Because of the lack of resources, and population increase and call volume, we need to get our service in quicker,” said D’Acchioli. “The hoses definitely impact our response time.”

Firefighters outside a supermarket The grant funds were awarded in May 2013. There was an amendment to the scope of work in August to change the lengths of the forestry and supply hoses. A second amendment was approved in October to put the excess funds towards procuring additional high combat attack hoses. Purchasing of all hoses began in July 2014 and concluded in August. No training was needed and the hoses were able to be used immediately.

Thanks to the upgrade, D’Acchioli now has more confidence in the strength of his department’s inventory. SJFD is a high-performance, all-risk department, administering everything from hazmat to serving the airport to medical services. Every year, their department receives over 5,000 calls and responds to thousands of structure fires. Having updated equipment not only brings the SJFD into compliance with the NFPA 1961 and 1962 Standards on Hose, but protects their personnel as well.

 “At the end of the day, it’s about firefighter safety,” said Assistant Chief John Dellinger. “With the new hoses, there’s less chance of injury and catastrophic failure. We needed the support from the federal government.”

“San Jose Fire Department has benefited from federal funding,” said D’Acchioli. “We really appreciate it. We’ve been able stay safe and continue our business.  We appreciate our federal government in helping to leverage tough times.”

Last Updated: 
08/21/2015 - 10:31