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Response of the San Francisco Fire Department
to the Oakland-Berkeley Conflagration
of October 20 and 21, 1991

Frederick F. Postel
Chief of Department
Edited by
Dave Fowler

San Francisco, California
July 1992

San Francisco's response to the East Bay conflagration was the greatest commitment of mutual aid forces in the history of the Department, and it again demonstrated the skill, dedication and professionalism of San Francisco firefighters.

Many of the lessons learned from the 1989 earthquake made this sudden and massive movement of apparatus and personnel to Oakland an efficient and well-run operation.

San Francisco firefighters who responded to Oakland knew what to do and how to do it when confronted by fire conditions that have not been experienced in the United States since the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906.

This was also the Department's first use of the Incident Command System under disaster conditions, and procedures under ICS worked well. ICS operations were established at the Communications Center, Division of Training and at the San Francisco command post at the Claremont Hotel.

All members of the Department who responded to Oakland – on-duty and off-duty – can be proud of their actions in fighting the second-most destructive conflagration of this century.

Frederick F. Postel
Chief of Department

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