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Goleta Buys Hydrogen-Sulfide Monitor for Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Move comes in the wake of a foul-smeling odor last fall that came from a water well-drilling operation

Santa Barbara County Fire Department Engineer Daniel Bertucelli holds a device, called the Jerome J605 Hydrogen Sulfide Detector, which can detect and locate potentially dangerous odors.The city of goleta recently purchased the device for the department. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara County Fire Department Engineer Daniel Bertucelli holds a device, called the Jerome J605 Hydrogen Sulfide Detector, which can detect and locate potentially dangerous odors.The city of goleta recently purchased the device for the department. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

A new hand-held device has been purchased by the city of Goleta to help Santa Barbara County firefighters detect and locate potentially dangerous odors more quickly.

The Jerome J605 Hydrogen Sulfide Detector is a more sensitive detection unit that will be located at Fire Station 11 in western Goleta. The monitor is more than 6,000 times more sensitive at detecting hydrogen sulfide than other devices that have been in use.

“It will allow the Santa Barbara County Fire Department to recognize a hydrogen sulfide leak much sooner than our gas detectors that we carry on our fire engines, and it will allow us to locate the source much quicker,” fire Engineer Daniel Bertucelli said. “It gives an alert when it picks up a reading, and will allow the department to find the source rapidly and mediate the issue.”

The $17,500 monitor was funded by the city of Goleta’s Public Safety Donation Fund, which is financed entirely by the ownership of Camino Real Marketplace.

The purchase was in response to last year’s search for the release of hydrogen sulfide in western Goleta.

Fire crews received reports in October of a strong, foul-smelling odor similar to rotten eggs, gas or sulfur.

The odor came from a deep water well operation on a ranch located to the west of Goleta. 

Members of the Goleta City Council requested a report on what was named the “Ellwood H2S incident,” outlining how local agencies responded, what occurred, and suggested follow up actions. Purchasing a hydrogen sulfide detector was noted in the list of recommendations.

“This is a great day for public safety, the city of Goleta and Santa Barbara County,” Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said. “The device is going to allow fire personal to more quickly identify the source of oder.”

The detector will be available for use countywide.  

The majority of nuisance odor complaints in Santa Barbara County occur in the western Goleta area, according to the Fire Department. 

In 2015, firefighters responded to 175 calls to investigate suspicious odors or steam, with 116 of those calls coming from Goleta and 69 from western Goleta.  

Goleta has an agreement with the Camino Real Marketplace, by which Camino Real, LLC, voluntarily provides annual donations to the Goleta’s Public Safety Donation Fund.  

The contributions are used for public safety needs including operations and equipment purchases, public education, emergency preparedness efforts, community emergency response training and certification, as well as community projects agreed upon by Camino Real, LLC, and city officials. 

City staff, Camino Real, LLC, and Goleta’s Public Safety Committee review funding requests and decide on item funding.

Camino Real, LLC, has contributed more than $1 million for Goleta public safety since 2008.

“We are pleased our donations go towards items that increase in public safety in Goleta,” said Mark Linehan, president of Camino Real LLC and owner of the Camino Real Marketplace.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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