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2 Agencies Unveil Harbor Safety Plan


The county Fire Protection District and Harbor Department have announced joint plans to beef up safety along Channel Islands Harbor.

As part of that plan, Harbor Department patrol officers are being trained to operate defibrillators, hand-held paddles that emit electric shocks and are used to revive heart attack victims.

Also, the Harbor Patrol has agreed to use its boats to transport firefighters to fires on the water, fire and harbor officials said.

Until now, firefighters typically have fought boat fires from slips, which was not as effective as getting out on the water, said county fire spokeswoman Sandi Wells.

"There have been many times where there's been one boat on fire that's affected other boats," Wells said. "If we weren't able to attack all sides quickly, the likelihood of the fire spreading to many boats was great. This way we can attack it."

Firefighting equipment will be upgraded and expanded in the harbor area. And the two agencies will be connected through a pager system for quick joint response to emergencies.

"The first five minutes make all the difference in the world, whether it's fighting a fire or getting someone breathing again," Wells said.

Although the land surrounding Channel Islands Harbor is within Oxnard city limits, the water portion of the harbor is not, and falls under the jurisdiction of county public safety agencies.

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