California Water Service supports fire departments with significant grants

November 30, 2023

Major grants awarded to enhance firefighting capabilities

In a significant move to bolster local firefighting efforts, California Water Service (Cal Water) has announced the awarding of $186,077 in grants to eight fire departments across California.

This initiative, part of Cal Water’s fifth annual Firefighter Grant Program, aims to provide crucial support for rescue and emergency services.

Martin A. Kropelnicki, President and CEO of Cal Water, emphasized the company’s ongoing collaboration with fire departments.

“As a water provider, we work together with fire departments daily to supply the water and pressure they need to extinguish fires and save lives and property,” Kropelnicki stated.

He highlighted the heroism of firefighters as a key motivation for the company’s support, ensuring that they have the necessary resources and tools to keep communities safe​​.

Enhanced equipment and training for fire departments

The grants are designed to help offset the costs associated with fire protection efforts, life-saving equipment, and training.

This financial support, which is a significant increase from the $60,000 originally allocated when the program began in 2019, reflects the program’s popularity and the utility’s commitment to community safety.

The 2023 grants were awarded based on the need for resources to protect citizens or firefighters.

The recipients include:

  • Chico Fire Department, receiving ballistic personal protective equipment and bleeding control supplies.
  • Colma Fire Protection District, for a variety of hoses to fight fires efficiently.
  • Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department, awarded a thermal imaging camera to recognize victims and fires in low-visibility conditions.
  • Montebello Fire Department, for a simulation system to train firefighters for medical emergencies.
  • Monterey County Regional Fire Protection District, receiving tactical helmets for violent incident responses.
  • Oroville Fire Department, for handheld thermal imaging cameras.
  • Visalia Fire Department, for batteries to power Jaws of Life for rescues.
  • Woodside Fire Protection District, for replacing firefighting nozzles​​.

Philanthropic commitment without impacting customer rates

The grants are funded through Cal Water’s philanthropic giving program and do not affect customer rates.

This approach underscores Cal Water’s commitment to supporting community safety without burdening its customers​​.

FSJA Comment

The strategic investment of California Water Service in fire departments through its Firefighter Grant Program is a testament to the company’s commitment to community safety and well-being.

By providing substantial financial support to enhance the capabilities of local fire departments, Cal Water not only contributes to the immediate safety of the communities it serves but also sets a precedent for corporate responsibility.

This initiative, particularly relevant in a state like California that faces frequent wildfires and other emergencies, underscores the importance of collaboration between utility providers and emergency services.

The increase in funding from its inception in 2019 reflects the program’s success and the growing recognition of the crucial role fire departments play in community safety.

Cal Water’s approach, which combines philanthropy with operational excellence, offers a model for how companies can effectively contribute to public safety and community resilience.

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