South San Francisco Firefighters Deployed to Major Incidents

South San Francisco, CA  August 30, 2017  Submitted by SSFFD Chief Gerald Kohlman  

This week, members of the South San Francisco Fire Department (SSFFD) teamed up with other regional team members to support state and national neighbors. As of Tuesday, August 29th, SSFFD members responded to the following incidents;


Hurricane Harvey – One Fire Captain deployed with the fourteen member Water Rescue “Mission Ready Package” to Hurricane Harvey. The water rescue team is a component of California Task Force 3 (CA-TF3), which is one of the eight Urban Search & Rescue Task Forces in California. They travelled by ground to San Antonio, Texas, and are now actively operating in the field.


There is a very high potential that other members of the South San Francisco Fire Department will be deployed as additional resources are mobilized from San Mateo County through CA-TF3.


Frequently updated information about Hurricane Harvey can be found at:


Eclipse Complex – One Fire Captain and one Firefighter Paramedic have been deployed to the Klamath National Forest as part of the Federal Incident Management Team (IMT) responsible for managing the “Eclipse Complex” of wildland fires in northern California. A complex is a group of fires that started independently, and due to their proximity or need for resources, have been merged into the responsibility of one incident management team.


The Eclipse Complex involves more than 60,000 acres, and initially involved the; East Fire, Cedar Fire, Prescott Fire, Clear Fire, and Oak Fire. More information on this fire can be viewed at:


General Information – Overall, deployments to these type of incidents is our significant commitment to helping others as we would expect to be assisted during a significant incident or disaster. Our personnel apply skills and learn lessons under real world conditions that will be valuable here in South San Francisco under similar circumstances. These are also career developing management and leadership lessons that you cannot simulate. As with all mutual-aid deployments, South San Francisco is reimbursed for personnel and the use of any vehicles.


We are still protecting our community. Knowing that we may need to send additional personnel with the next wave of CA-TF3 resources, we are very conscious that we do not over-commit to the point where we cannot maintain coverage in South San Francisco. The FEMA Task Force and state mutual-aid systems are structured so that we can decline to fill additional requests once we have reached a point that we will no longer commit resources.

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