Taiwanese government officials visit Menlo Park Fire Station 6

by Contributed Content on August 25, 2019

Representatives from the Taiwan Government visited with Menlo Park Firefighters at Fire Station 6 this past week, prompted by a long standing relationship the Fire District has with Stanford’s Center for Professional Development.

For the last five years, Stanford’s Executive Leadership Program for local governmental officials has annually held an educational dinner in one of the District’s newest Fire Stations. ‘This may be their first time in an actual working fire station,” said Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman. “That certainly was the case for this Taiwanese Group.”

The Taiwan Executive Leadership Development Program is in its first year. At Station 6, participants were exposed to the Fire District’s history and culture, emergency equipment, modern station construction and design including a demonstration by vendor Sky Alert, that integrates with the State’s Shake Alert earthquake early warning notification system. Firefighters discussed equipment on their new Heavy Rescue and also provided a Drone demonstration.

The Fire District and one of its other partners, the Industrial Emergency Counsel (IEC), have trained hundreds of Taiwanese Firefighters and Red Cross workers over the last 20 years in Structural Collapse Search and Rescue Techniques.

“This group really warmed up to us when they found out that we had responded to what they call the 921, or Chi Chi Earthquake, that occurred in September of 1999 in Taiwan, almost 20 years ago.” Chief Schapelhouman said.

The 921 or Chi Chi Earthquake measured 7.3 on the Richter scale.  2,416 people died, 11,441 were injured, 44,338 buildings were destroyed and another 41,336 were badly damaged. 100,000 people were left homeless, and the earthquake was reported to have cost the country over $9 billion.

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