Last week, Facebook sent the Menlo Park Fire Protection District a check for $150,000 to finance the upgrading or installation of an emergency traffic light pre-emption system on 25 traffic signals that sit between four of the seven Menlo Park fire stations, according to a report by InMenlo.
The payment made by the social network giant was part of an agreement between the Fire District and Facebook struck in April this year, on terms related to impact mitigation efforts and community benefits associated with expanding beyond 3,600 employees for its headquarters.
Under the terms of the deal, Facebook has actually agreed to pay the district up to $300,000 for improvements to aid fire protection, depending on how much the company grows.
You may remember that, in May 2012, Menlo Park city officials approved a deal that will let Facebook employ up to 6,600 workers on the campus.
The agreement with the Fire District is, however, separate.
The first $150,000 check for the district will be applied towards upgrading or installing an emergency traffic light pre-emption system that would allow a fire engine or emergency vehicle to turn the traffic signal from red to green as that vehicle is approaching the signal while responding to any emergency incident.
Needless to say, this would improve emergency response times and limit delays, creating a safer route of travel for Menlo Park’s fire fighters and improving overall service delivery to the entire community (an essential part of the agreement).
Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman, who helped negotiate the deal with Facebook, told InMenlo (which first reported the news):
“We worked hard together to established a very progressive approach to identifying safety enhancements.
The bottom line was, if it made practical sense for the community, Facebook and the Fire District and it was to all three’s best interests and benefit, then we agreed it a was a winner and it went on the list.”