John Muhr


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Many of our citizens probably don’t know it, but Cathedral City Fire Department participates in a program referred to as Mutual Aid (MA). The California Master Mutual Aid system (as we know it today) was devised right here in Southern California during the early 1970’s.


Early Fire and Law Enforcement leaders recognized that fighting fires and managing large emergency incidents could not be managed by any one Fire or Police Department alone. In the case of fire departments, Mutual Aid is simply fire departments helping other fire departments. You can see this every year when California experiences our large wildland fires. 


As it relates to Cathedral City, we have an agreement with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Cathedral City was issued a brand-new fire engine, similar to our regular engines in 2007. This fire engine, OES Engine 351, is maintained and used here locally as a back-up fire engine to help when our fleet is out for repair. In turn, Cathedral City agrees to staff OES 351 for large fires and emergencies as they arise. Cathedral City is then reimbursed for the costs of covering behind the responding firefighters by the State and Federal Government.

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All told, there are over 300 OES fire engines throughout California. It is a program that many cities participate in statewide. In our County alone, there are five fire agencies that operate OES fire engines to help fight fires throughout the state, and sometimes in neighboring states. In 1998, Cathedral City sent our OES engine to fight fires in Colorado, Idaho, and Montana. Cathedral City Fire Department is proud to be able to aid not only our local citizens, but also to be able to assist those in need elsewhere.


So, when you see our lime green fire engine on the streets of Cathedral City, or even on the news throughout the state, you will understand why.

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Your safety is our business.