Each of the 17,430 calls the San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department responded to last year came whenever and however they wanted. They didn’t send calendar invitations or save-the-dates. They simply showed up and changed lives forever.
And for every one of those incidents, Chief Ray Iverson was ready. He always is.
His department, which is still pretty new, merged three nearby stations—San Mateo, Foster City and Belmont—into one powerhouse emergency response unit that’s comprised of nine stations, 154 full-time employees, 19 fire engines, four ladder trucks, two hazmat response vehicles and thirty light- to medium-duty support vehicles.
Imagine the dizzying logistics of keeping that armada at the ready to keep hundreds of thousands of lives safe on a good day. Throw in some COVID-19 and all of a sudden, we’ve got a firestorm on our hands.
But Chief Iverson is up to the task. To hear him say it, maintaining the safety of so many is just another day on the job. To hear Joe Goethals, the San Mateo Fire Board Chair say it, “Between his experience and passion for service, Chief Iverson helps ensure we maintain the highest level of service to our communities. He’s not just our fire chief, he’s a member of our community.”
As fire chief, three things are constantly on his radar: safety, efficiency, and sustainability. And these reasons are why he began using Booster Fuels.
Booster Fuels: Way More Than Just a Gas Station
Booster delivers gas and diesel directly into vehicles parked at the San Mateo Consolidated Department’s fire stations. What started as a small trial for one station has ballooned to a growing relationship between Booster and the entire San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department. The fueling operations specialists at Booster have helped Chief Iverson address a number of challenges he faced on a daily basis. Let’s look at one of the trucks in the chief’s armada: Truck 23. Many challenges arise every time #23 needs gas.
By delivering fuel directly to the yard during off-peak hours, Booster removes the need to travel to the gas station altogether. In doing so, the fuel tanks are always at the ready. And so is its crew.
According to a recent Booster survey, drivers of medium-duty vehicles travel about two miles out of the way to get gas. They spend about 8 minutes at the gas station each time they stop for fuel. Overall, a trip to the gas station adds more than 20 minutes to the trip. So imagine how these numbers translate for a ladder truck with a 65-gallon tank.
“Maximizing efficiencies by not having to get fuel has really helped,” Chief Iverson told us. “Being able to focus more time and energy on the things that are necessary and important, including emergency response, training, physical fitness, operational readiness, vehicle maintenance, station clean[lines]. [Not having to take the time to get fuel] allows them to focus on those other critical functions and tasks through[out] their day and be more effective and efficient.”
When COVID-19 hit, the chief was to-the-point about the measures they took to keep their people safe. “We initiated a lot of different protocols from the CDC and our county health officers on what we need to do to protect ourselves, our members and the public from transmission of COVID-19: wearing personal protective equipment for firefighters dealing with patient contacts, N95s, gowns, eye protection. We had to initiate protocol for hygiene and cleanliness in the fire stations, too.”
Booster helped limit firefighters’ exposure as well. Mobile fueling is the only 100% contactless way to fill up. 71% of gas station pump handles are highly contaminated with pathogenic microbes. Some viruses, including COVID-19, can live on plastic surfaces like gas station pump handles for up to three days. In those three days, these pumps can be touched by hundreds of people.
In response to COVID-19, Booster has teamed up with fire stations like San Mateo Consolidated, ambulance companies, food delivery, and other essential businesses to help them stay fueled while limiting their staff’s exposure to potentially contaminated surfaces.
Chief Iverson is constantly on the search for “more green technologies and opportunities such as fuel delivery to reduce the opportunity for carbon emissions.”
By eliminating the trip to the gas station, Booster eliminates these strains altogether. No trip means reduced CO2. As a matter of fact, every boost in our 100% carbon neutral mini tankers prevents 1.4 lbs of CO2 emissions.
Our trained service professionals are an added safeguard for the environment: each undergoes a thorough training process fueling best practices and spill-prevention training. When they’re at the helm, the environment can breathe a sigh of relief.
Chief Iverson has fuel delivered by the fueling operations specialists at Booster Fuels. No trips to the gas station. No exposure to accidents that may harm the equipment or the people. No added wear and tear on the trucks.