My name is Officer Christopher Scheil. I am the fire-training officer here at the San Diego Harbor
Police and i've been with the department for nine years.
All of our officers are trained as marine firefighters.
When they get hired with the department, they go through the standard police
academy and when they come out, they have to go through an additional 120-hour
marine firefighting academy.
We teach them the basics of firefighting so, they don't have to have any experience at all.
We teach them fire science and fire behavior.
We teach them hose-handling techniques, all the way through to proper extinguishment:
How to use the water and how not to use the water.
And then we go up to the larger vessels here on the bay:
Some of the freighters, some of the dinner cruises. So, they actually get some
ship-board experience in their fire training.
Harbor Police officers have a very unique job because of the diversity of their
They patrol in vessels,
they patrol in squad cars
and they patrol on foot at the regional airport.
The unique role that we play as both police officers and marine firefighters
demands that we have to be able to change on the fly.
Officers patrolling on vessels –
if they get a call of a vessel fire, they need to, literally, stop what they're doing,
change out into their firefighting gear and respond to the scene
as quickly as possible.
This is a Firestorm 36 that we're aboard right now. It is the newest fire boat
that we have.
It is essentially a floating fire engine:
just about everything that an engine would have we have.
The beauty is that we take the fire hydrants with us so, we don't ever have to
worry about water supply.
The fire gear is called structural firefighting
personal protective equipment. It's multi-layered fabrics of different
materials that basically protect you
from the extreme temperatures of firefighting. Personally, my favorite
part of the job is the firefighting side of it. To me, it is the most unique part
of the Harbor Police. Not many other police officers out there also get to be
firefighters at the same time.
We have millions of
visitors and tourists who come to San Diego Bay
and we attract people from all over the world.
We want to make sure that we have a safe Port for the visitors and tourists who
come from all over the globe and we want to make sure it's a safe Port for those
who live in and around San Diego who frequent our Port every day.