Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin today announced a major victory for public safety in Pacific Palisades—the restoration of Engine Company 69.
Bonin made the announcement at Station 69, which was hosting an open house as part of the Los Angeles Fire Department’s annual Fire Service Day.
The engine restoration has been one of Bonin’s top priorities for the Palisades community and was an issue he pledged to address during his 2013 campaign.
“Pacific Palisades has narrow roads, only two routes in and out and an extremely high risk of brush fires in the hillsides and canyons. Engine 69 will be a necessary and invaluable resource to protect people and property in Pacific Palisades,” Bonin said. “I am incredibly excited to deliver on the promise I made to this community to restore this engine company. This would not be possible without phenomenal partners like Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas and Mayor Eric Garcetti, and I am very proud that we were able to work together to put neighborhood safety first and get this done.”
Engine 69 was established in 1929 to provide fire protection to the small but growing community of Pacific Palisades, and the engine company protected the neighborhood for 80 years before budget cuts forced rotating closures and periodic redeployment of first responders to other fire stations in 2009.
The engine closure was made permanent in 2011, diminishing the effectiveness and operational capability of the single remaining fire suppression resource at Fire Station 69.
“The restoration of Engine 69 is critical to ensuring that the residents of Pacific Palisades are adequately protected from a wide variety of hazards—most significantly brush fires, structure fires and serious traffic accidents,” Chief Terrazas said. “Engine 69 also serves as a vital component of the LAFD’s effective response force in the surrounding hillside and canyon neighborhoods of the Palisades Highlands, Brentwood and Mandeville Canyon. This is a big win for this community.”
Importantly, the restoration of Engine 69 will increase the number of firefighters at the station on Sunset Blvd. from six to 10 per shift. The two fire companies assigned to Fire Station 69 will allow first responders to accomplish crucial emergency tasks simultaneously.
“Restoring Engine 69 will help first responders reduce the spread of fire, increase the speed of rescues, further limit property damage and most importantly, save lives,” Bonin said.
Engine 69 is only the fourth fire engine to be restored in Los Angeles since the 2011 budget cutbacks, and Bonin fought for the restoration as a member of both the City Council’s Budget and Finance and Public Safety committees.
In addition to working with LAFD leaders like Chief Terrazas and Chief Pat Butler, Bonin partnered with the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City (UFLAC) to champion the issue of improving emergency service in the Palisades.
“Councilmember Bonin never gave up the fight for this engine to be restored,” said UFLAC President Frank Lima, who also served as a Captain at Fire Station 69 during the budget cuts. “This engine restoration is a sign that our city leaders continue to realize the critical importance of restoring the LAFD and making it a top budget priority. On behalf of the men and women of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, I would like to thank Councilmember Bonin, Mayor Garcetti and Chief Terrazas for their support.”
Bonin, Terrazas and Lima were joined at a Saturday morning news conference announcing the engine restoration by local leaders, including Pacific Palisades Community Council Chair Chris Spitz.
“We can’t thank Councilmember Bonin, Chief Terrazas and everyone who fought for Engine 69 to be restored to our community enough,” Spitz said. “This is a big, big deal for our neighborhood. Lives are going to be saved because we have local leaders who are putting neighborhoods first.”