Press "Enter" to skip to content
A probationary Kern County firefighter of Station 81 pulls more hose as he begins an attack on this fully engulfed mobile home and yard. The fire occurred at approximately 7 PM on Sunday at the 4000 block of Sydnor Ave. / Laura Austin Photo

KC Fire Dept creates desert Battalion 8

By Laura Austin News Review Staff Writer–

On April 22, 2023, the Kern County Fire Department introduced Battalion 8 to eastern Kern. Creating the new Battalion 8 allowed the department to add three new Battalion Chiefs to the new desert Battalion—one Chief for each shift, A, B, and C.

Battalion Chief Travis Stout speaks with Captain Jacobs Station 81.  /  Laura Austin Photo

Battalion 8 comprises the same existing stations and engines but with new numbering. Station and Engine 81, formally Station and Engine 77 Ridgecrest Heights, will house the Battalion chiefs and serve as Battalion 8 Headquarters. Station and Engine 83, formally Station and Engine 73 Inyokern, and the remaining stations will also receive number changes. Station and Engine 84, formally Station and Engine 74 Ridgecrest; Station, and Engine 85, formally Station and Engine 75 Randsburg; and Station and Engine 87, formally Station and Engine 17 in Boron.

With the previous seven Battalion departments, when a multi-company response happened in the desert area, the Battalion Chief in charge would be responding from South Lake (Lake Isabella) or potentially a further distance. The creation of the eighth Battalion creates shorter response times for the Battalion Chiefs. It allows the first on-scene Engine Captains to stay with their crews and will enable them to better oversee the tasks being completed.

This addition has been long in the making. According to a Kern County Fire Department member, there was talk of a desert battalion back in 1989 when Fire Station 77 was built. It was built with anticipation of a battalion chief’s quarters. Now Battalion 8 is a reality.