Letter: Re Beacon Boxes

Dear Editor,

Let me see if I understand this: The City has spent $150,000 on these boxes. In case of a fire, these out-of-town fire departments, who won’t know who is assigned to Malibu until the last minute, will have to be given a special key to these boxes while they are gearing up to fight a large fire. In addition, they will have to somehow receive a map as to where these boxes are. Then they have to drive around to find these boxes, open them up and then read the maps to find out where the roads are, access points, hydrants, turnarounds, etc. Will they need a special decoder ring as well? This seems like a lot of steps when time is of the essence.

I’m not a fire expert, and maybe I’m missing something, but it would seem that in 2022 it would be more efficient to text, email, fax, Facebook message, etc. the same information just once to the respective engines, and then they would have it in one step. Perhaps they could scan the maps that are in the beacon boxes and upload them to the computers on the engines. I understand that scanners are pretty reasonably priced these days, probably less than $150K. This way, while they are driving to the fire, someone on the engine could be reading the map and figuring out the logistics instead of having to wait until they get there, find the box, open it and read the map. Just a thought.

Gary Green, Malibu

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