New Times: What’s the difference between Cal Fire and local fire stations?
Rose: The County of San Luis Obispo contracts with the state of California, which is Cal Fire. We cover the unincorporated areas. We have contracts with Cayucos, the City of Pismo Beach, and Los Osos, for example.
New Times: Are there any regional fires that Cal Fire is assisting in right now? If not, what is the likelihood of one breaking out?
Rose: Currently there are no major incidents going on. The likelihood is almost a guaranteed thing in California. California was built to burn. It is guaranteed that every year there will be burns. The active months are later in summer: August and September. However, last summer we were fighting fires in June.
New Times: Do you have a Dalmation at the station?
Rose: At this station we do not. We generally never have dogs at the station because we’re always gone. It’s an old firehouse tradition and we wish we could have one, but we aren’t there enough.
New Times: Do you have a sliding pole at the station?
Rose: No, we don’t have a dog or a pole. Those are back East. I went to New York City and almost all of them have sliding poles.
New Times: Which do you deal with more often, residential fires or wildfires?
Rose: The majority of all our calls are medical aid. The majority of our fire calls would be wild-land fires. Cal Fire is the best in the country for wildfires, hands down.
New Times: Is Cal Fire responsible for carrying out controlled burns?
Rose: Every year we do have what we call prescribed fires and those are carried out under extremely strict conditions. They are very, very strictly controlled prescription burns.