WHITTIER – Río Hondo College has been gifted a 2002 American La France fire engine to further enhance its Fire Academy training program and provide additional support for emergency services in neighboring areas.

The engine, which pumps 1,500 gallons per minute, was donated by the City of Montebello’s Fire Department to the College on Dec. 22 at the City of Montebello Community/Civic Center. The ceremony was attended by Montebello Mayor Kimberly Ann Cobos-Cawthorne, Mayor Pro Tem Angie Jimenez, Montebello Fire Chief Fernando Pelaez, Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss, Río Hondo College Public Safety Dean Mark Yokoyama, two Río Hondo College Board of Trustees members and the city’s fire crew.

Yokoyama said the additional fire engine will bring the fleet of emergency vehicles at the College to four, expanding opportunities for its cadets to learn skills including hose handling, basic pump operations and use of other emergency tools and equipment. Yokoyama said the engine is being readied for the next Fire Academy class in February.

“Equipment like this enhances training for our fire cadets that in turn are the ones who come to our aid in our local communities,” Yokoyama said. “Having such equipment provides real life experiences and training for those who will be coming to our rescue.”

“We appreciate the cooperation and dialogue among Montebello City Administration and Río Hondo College that enabled us to make this happen,” Pelaez said. “I would like to thank Captain Castillo and Drillmaster Beckman for their contributions in turning this vision into a reality.”

Yokoyama said the donation further solidified the longstanding partnership between Río Hondo College and the City of Montebello – many of the College’s fire and police academy graduates go on to serve in the City of Montebello.

“We are deeply appreciative of this donation from the City of Montebello – it means so much to our Fire Academy, College and our community,” Dreyfuss said. “This additional fire engine will provide our Fire Academy with yet another avenue for success.”


DONATION1: Río Hondo College received a fire engine, which will be used to teach cadets at its Fire Academy training program, from the City of Montebello.