Facebook funds improvement in Menlo Park Fire Protection District technology and response

by Contributed Content on September 9, 2014

When Menlo Park-based social media company Facebook moved to their campus at the end of Willow Road, they agreed to pay the Menlo Park Fire Protection District $150,000 in impact costs.

The Fire District was the first governmental agency to secure an agreement with Facebook based upon three important criteria. First, the use of impact funds needed to benefit the community, second it needed to benefit the Fire District, and finally it had to benefit Facebook.

After several years of effort, the Fire District recently coordinated a $100,000 upgrade and expansion of its existing traffic pre-emption system. The pre-emption system turns red traffic lights to green as emergency vehicles approach the traffic signal. The Fire District is upgrading 14 pieces of emergency fire equipment from infrared, or line of sight technology, to also include newer, faster acting, global positioning (GPS) technology.

The eight pre-existing traffic signals along theWillow Road corridor will be upgraded along with 14 new signals along University Avenue, Marsh Road, and Bayfront Expressway.

“Essentially, every traffic signal between our Fire Stations 1, 2, 5, 77 and the Facebook campus will be upgraded or new in terms of traffic pre-emption capability,” said Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman.

The Fire Chief added: “This benefits response times for any call for service we receive from the community in those areas and improves Fire Crew safety during response which is always of concern”.

The work is anticipated to be completed by late September.

The Fire District provides emergency services to the Town of Atherton, cities of East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, unincorporated areas of San Mateo County like the North Fair Oaks area, and federal facilities like the Veterans Hospital (VA), United States Geological Survey (USGS) and Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC) as well as the Facebook campus.

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