John Tripp named LA County Chief Deputy

John B. Tripp has been selected to be the Chief Deputy of Emergency Operations for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Chief John B. TrippChief Tripp will be second in command to the Fire Chief, P. Michael Freeman. Tripp has been with the department for 26 years.

He will be taking the place of Michael W. Dyer who left in June to become the chief of Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

LA County has a large wildland fire workload, and one of the largest fire organizations of any kind in the world. As we told you in June when Deputy Chief Dyer left:

Los Angeles County is one of the nation’s largest counties with more than 4,080 square miles and a population of more than 10 million people. More than 65 percent of the County is unincorporated, falling within the department’s 2,278-square-mile coverage area. The Department maintains about 167 171 fire stations with 242 fire engines, 32 ladder trucks, 85 paramedic units, seven helicopters, 11 wildland fire camps and numerous other specialized vehicles and facilities.


And speaking of large fire departments, I did a little research and found these numbers on a forum where the question “which is the largest fire department” was being debated. The data is attributed to Wikipedia, and is dated March 24, 2008:

  1. FDNY- 221 stations
  2. LA County- 168
  3. LA City- 106
  4. Chicago- 98
  5. Houston- 90
  6. Philly- 63
  7. Orange County Fire Authority (CA)- 60
  8. Phoenix- 56
  9. San Diego City- 47
  10. San Fran- 42
  11. This is not including Dallas and San Antonio

I don’t know if anyone knows how many stations the U.S. Forest Service has, but it can be argued that they are not a fire department. That agency insists on calling their firefighters “forestry technicians”, much to the chagrin to those of us who have worked there, or still do. And don’t forget CalFire, which has about 228 fire stations.

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