Peter Antonini Foundation donates 40 wetsuits to SFFD

Friday, March 13, 2015
San Francisco Fire Department's new red and black wetsuits
San Francisco Fire Department practicing a water rescue with new red and black wetsuits that were donated to the department by the Peter Antonini Foundation. (March 12, 2015/ABC7)

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Fire Department received a special gift on Thursday that will help its firefighters safely rescue people swept out into the ocean.

The Peter Antonini Foundation donated 40 top-of-the-line wetsuits. Back in 2002, Antonini passed away a week before he was set to become a firefighter. He was on a run at Ocean Beach when he died from a heart attack. His family has generously carried on his commitment to service and his desire to give back.

"These particular suits as you can see are bright red which will make it easier for our incident commanders at a surf rescue incident to keep eyes our swimmers to mark them and see where they are at, because again, the ocean can become very unpredictable," Fire Chief Rudy Castellanos said.

Last year there were 170 rescue calls at Ocean Beach alone. There are nearly 300 San Francisco firefighters who are certified to conduct water rescues.