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Fire Department

July 25, 1999

In regard to your July 18 story on fire protection if the San Fernando Valley should succeed in breaking away from Los Angeles:

Breaking up the L.A. Fire Department, one of the most efficient in the U.S., would be a disaster for the citizens of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Fire protection needs are different than in law enforcement--the need for quick move-ups for major fires is mandatory.

When there is a high fire hazard, commanders move companies from the "flatlands" to the Valley for quick response. And there are four fire stations on Mulholland from Laurel Canyon to Sepulveda--if you divided the Fire Department how could they respond to West Los Angeles and the Valley?

The idea of setting up a fire authority or special district to continue providing Class 1 fire protection is the answer if the secession should take place.

CLIFF DEKTAR, North Hollywood

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