Mary Foppiano By Mary Foppiano, Avila Beach Civic Association

With all of the fires sweeping our country, I thought it would be interesting to interview our local Fire Department personnel, Captain Kirk Petrie and Cody Vallejo. I have known Captain Petrie for nine years and am grateful for all that he and his fellow firefighters continue to do for our community. They keep us safe and enjoy communicating with all of us…including bringing the “Old Grandpa” fire engine to our Christmas parties at the Avila Beach Community Center. 

I spent time at the Station a few days ago and had a tour of their equipment. The following is a response to my request for a better understanding of Station 62.

Avila Fire Station 62 is staffed with 2 Cal Fire personnel fulltime (24 hours a day/every day). Both Captains at Station 62 each have well over a decade of service to Avila and have extensive knowledge of its special and unique qualities and challenges.

Station 62 currently has 2 Engines, 2 Rescue Watercraft (frontline and reserve), 2 Utility Pickup (4×4 off-road capable), and an Air and Light/Support Unit.

Station 62 responds to vehicle fires, structure fires (home and business), as well as wildland or brush fires. In addition to fires, Station 62 responds to medical aid calls, technical cliff rescue calls, hazardous materials calls, and public service assists (non-emergency calls for assistance). Station 62 also performs routine business inspections throughout Avila Beach, ensuring fire safety for businesses and the public.

Station 62 is staffed with highly trained specialists in the area of ocean rescue. They will provide rescue operations up to 5 miles offshore with their Rescue Watercraft (RWC). Personnel are also trained in water rescue from the shore and piers.

Station 62 also trains with the Diablo Canyon Fire department on a monthly basis and responds to emergency requests for assistance from Diablo Canyon.

Their recent major calls have included initial attack first arrival at the “Avila Fire” and the “Meadowbrook” fire in See Canyon. Currently, they have responded to approximately 400 calls since the first of the year, including fires, medical aids, traffic collisions, CPR calls, and cliff and surf rescues. 

The firefighters of Avila Station 62 and all of Cal Fire will stand strong to defend the people of Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo County, and anywhere they are needed.