South, local firefighters give help wherever they are needed.
When an emergency overwhelms a city's resources, backups are
called in, starting with nearby agencies, officials said.
Depending on the incident, resources can be pulled from agencies
within the region, state and, in some cases, across the country.
In California, mutual aid is used for all types of disaster
situations, said Laguna Beach Battalion Chief Jeff LaTendresse.
In daily emergencies, local agencies assist one another all the
time, LaTendresse said.
"No agency has enough resources to handle the major, major
incidents," said Dave Mais, a battalion chief with the Newport Beach
Fire Department, which frequently responds to incidents in Laguna
The city has an automatic aid agreement with the Newport Beach
Fire Department and the Orange County Fire Authority, LaTendresse
A Fire Authority unit responded to an apartment blaze Monday in
the 200 block of Cliff Drive, LaTendresse said. Anytime there's a
structure fire in Laguna, a unit from the Fire Authority is
automatically dispatched to help, LaTendresse said.
The fire was contained to one unit in the building and caused
$50,000 in damage. The cause is still under investigation, but it
appears to have been an accident, LaTendresse said. The tenant was
not home at the time of the fire and no one was injured.
Two engines from Laguna were dispatched to a fire in Los Angeles
County, one on Sept. 28, the other on Saturday, LaTendresse said. The
city sent three firefighters on each engine; the engines were part of
two separate regional strike teams dispatched to the fires.
The first engine to go was the city's reserve fire engine, owned
by the state's Office of Emergency Services, LaTendresse said.
That engine belongs to the state but is housed in Laguna. It is
called out to respond to incidents throughout the county, LaTendresse
There are a total of 120 Emergency Services engines throughout the
state, with five in Orange County.
The second engine, which left Laguna early Saturday for the