California Water Service Awards More Than $186,000 in Grants to Eight Fire Departments

SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 29, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- To support local fire departments and their efforts to provide rescue and emergency services, California Water Service (Cal Water) today announced it will award $186,077 in grants to eight California fire departments as part of the utility’s fifth annual Firefighter Grant Program.

“As a water provider, day in and day out we work together with fire departments in our service areas to supply the water and pressure they need to extinguish fires and save lives and property,” said Martin A. Kropelnicki, Cal Water President and CEO. “Their heroism is why we are compelled to support our local fire departments further and help make sure that they have the resources and tools necessary to keep our communities safe.”

From obtaining infrared cameras that firefighters can use to find people trapped in fires to the latest in firefighting hose technology, the grants are designed to offset costs associated with fire protection efforts, life-saving equipment, and training. The financial support is greatly needed, which has made the program popular since its start in 2019, according to the utility. That’s one of the reasons Cal Water has tripled its grant funding from the $60,000 it originally allocated.

Cal Water awarded its 2023 grants to the following departments in its service areas, based on need for resources to protect citizens or firefighters:

  • Chico Fire Department, for ballistic personal protective equipment and bleeding control supplies to help firefighters save lives during and following incidents of mass violence.
  • Colma Fire Protection District, for a variety of hoses that will help the department quickly and efficiently fight fires, including those on high-rise buildings, to prevent fires from spreading.
  • Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department, for a Seek Thermal FirePRO X camera to recognize victims, fires, and escape routes in low- to zero-visibility conditions.
  • Montebello Fire Department, for a complete simulation system including a monitor, defibrillator, and CPR and mobile media system, which will help train firefighters to handle increased medical emergency service calls.
  • Monterey County Regional Fire Protection District, for 70 tactical helmets for firefighters to wear when responding to active shooter, violent, or potentially violent incidents.
  • Oroville Fire Department, for 10 handheld thermal imaging cameras that help firefighters quickly recognize movement in smoke-filled rooms.
  • Visalia Fire Department, for watertight batteries to power the department’s Jaws of Life, which are used to free victims of car accidents as well as for rescues in small spaces.
  • Woodside Fire Protection District, to replace an aging and obsolete inventory of firefighting nozzles.

The firefighter grants are funded through Cal Water’s philanthropic giving program and do not impact customer rates.

About California Water Service

California Water Service provides high-quality, reliable water utility services to about 2 million people statewide through 496,400 service connections. What sets Cal Water apart is its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for its customers and communities. Guided daily by their promise to provide quality, service, and value, the utility’s employees lead the way in working to protect the planet, care for people, and operate with the utmost integrity. Integral to Cal Water’s strategy is investing responsibly in infrastructure, sustainability initiatives, and community well-being. The utility has also been named one of “America’s Most Responsible Companies” and the “World’s Most Trustworthy Companies” by Newsweek and a Great Place to Work®, and is No. 1 in Customer Satisfaction Among Large Water Utilities in the West Region* by J.D. Power. More information is available at

*California Water Service received the highest score in the West Large segment of the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study of customers’ satisfaction nationally among water customers in the US. Visit for more details.