The San Diego
Regional Fire Foundation Presents

Command Post: San Diego

A unique look at Fire and Emergency Response in San Diego County: Meet the men and women who keep us safe, and learn more about what you can do to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

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Fire House 101

Explorer Program Prepares High School Kids for a Career in Firefighting

Help us fill the shortage of qualified candidates to join our fire departments throughtout San Diego County.

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Regional Overview

We're helping the County and CalFire map San Diego's back country, because that's where our wildfires start

Only $47,000 left to raise to provide firefighters with mobile data computers and update County Assessor maps to include truck trails, dirt roads, and irregular addresses.

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Command Post: San Diego
CalFire Incidents fire.ca.gov/
National Interagency Fire Center
(National Fire Tracking)
nifc.gov/fireInfo/nfn.htm
National Incident Information System
(Wildfire Tracking)
inciweb.org
Ready San Diego readysandiego.org
2-1-1 (San Diego) 211sandiego.org

Not finding what you're looking for?

August Fire Foundation Chairman's Letter - drone liability, 20-minute kill ratio, and more

 

Contents

Please help the Fire Foundation equip, train, and prepare our firefighters for  all emergencies

 

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Julian Has a New Firetruck!

Julian Firetruck dedication
(Click to see larger image)

On July 4th we presented a new firetruck to the Julian Volunteer Fire Station, and then got to ride it in the parade! The new truck was desperately needed to help expedite responses to local fires and mutual aid calls.

This grant was made possible by a generous donation from Qualcomm.

The Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District presented a plaque to the San Diego Regional Fire Foundation thanking us for our support and generosity.


 
 


$276,000 Donation for Better Fire Communication

From left: San Diego Regional Fire Foundation Executive DirectorJoan Jones, Cal Fire Deputy Chief Gary Croucher, County Supervisor Ron Roberts holding an AVL, Cal Fire Deputy Chief David Allen, and from SDG&E: Community Relations Manager Penney Newell,  Regional Vice President of External Relations Frank Urtasun,  Director of Operations Danny Zaragoza.

On June 9, the Fire Foundation, in coordination with SDG&E, presented $276,000 to San Diego County to purchase advanced fire department  communication equipment-automatic vehicle locators (AVL)-for rural fire departments - often the first responders on a wildfire. 

80 AVL units will be provided to  23 fire stations in San Diego’s rural areas to reduce response times. This could save lives in a medical emergency or help keep a small fire from becoming a major fire. AVL also enables fire commanders to better manage wildfires by allowing them to see all unit locations and strategically move them to help save homes in front of the fire as well as protect firefighters as winds shift.

See website for more details.

 


Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index 



The U.S. Forest Service's Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index provides a daily Santa Ana report for Southern California Counties, which classifies the fire threat potential based on Santa Ana wind conditions in five levels ranging from extreme risk to no risk, along with event descriptions and recommended actions. 

Check out their website!
 
 

Upcoming events

Maritime Security West

AUGUST 17-19

Maritime Security 2015 West

Strategies and technologies to counter maritime security threats encountered by governments, law enforcement, and port/terminal owners and operators.

Visit the website.
 

SEPTEMBER 5, 2015

San Diego September 11 Stair Climb

San Diego Hilton Bayfront, 7:00 am - 3:00 pm

Visit the website.
 


Mommy, Daddy, help! The car is too hot!

"It will only be a few minutes while I go into the store.”

“I cracked the windows, so it won't get too hot...” 

These are the kind of excuses people use when confronted about leaving a child or pet in a hot car, but they are just that—excuses. Annually in the U.S., 31 children (73% age 2 and younger) and hundreds of pets die from heat stroke and related heat conditions. Additionally, children and pets who survive can have serious injury often impacting their organs.

Your Car Is An Oven!

Here in San Diego, our daytime temperatures are mostly moderate - in the  70  to 75 degree range. In slightly more than 20 minutes, your car can go from the 75 degrees to a lethal 105 degrees. (See chart, below.) The longer you wait, the higher the temperature goes. So even on days when it does not seem too hot, your vehicle can be an oven. If it is 75 degrees outside, it can be 120 in your car in just an hour.

In 10 minutes, car temperatures can raise enough to kill children and pets.
On an average San Diego day, 20 minutes is all it takes to heat your car enough to kill your child or pet.
 

Don't Put Your Children at Risk

Leaving a child in a hot car can be considered felony child abuse, and the parent/caregiver responsible can face prison time. In such cases, the conviction rate is more than 80%. In July of this year, a San Diego mother was convicted of child abuse for leaving her four-month old in her hot car overnight. The child died.
 
Parents and other caregivers need to understand that a vehicle is not a babysitter or play area.

  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle—Not even for a minute!
  • If you see a child unattended in a hot vehicle, call 9-1-1.
  • Be sure all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading, don’t forget the sleeping baby.
  • If a child is missing, always check the pool first, then the car, including the trunk.

Leaving windows open a crack has been shown to have very little impact on heat.

Pets Need Cool Temperatures Too!

If you leave your pet in the car, be sure the car is in the shade, they have water, and that you are gone for only a short time.  Better yet, leave your pets at home when you can–they will be safe and happily waiting for you to come home.

 
 

Arson is a Felony


Photo courtesy of Kevin Pack, Kevin Pack Photography
 
A 44-year old Poway man was recently arrested for 12 arson fires in San Diego County between 2012 and 2015. Arson is a very serious crime that can destroy property and lead to deaths, particularly this year with our tinder-dry vegetation. (CalFire responded to four fires that started the day after the recent rainstorm.) Additionally, arson is often considered a felony that includes jail time and victim restitution.
 
“To commit arson during these drought conditions is an exceptionally heinous act and we will seek prosecution to the fullest extent under the law,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CalFire Director.  “Residents should always be vigilant in their preparedness and aware of suspicious persons when a fire starts and report that information to law enforcement immediately.”


 
Cal Fire reports that this year the number of wildfires on State Responsibility Areas has increased 53% to 3,897 through July 25 compared to the average of the last five years. Fortunately, quick response times, effective firefighting and calm winds have kept the area burnt to 29,357 acres, 23% less than the five-year average for this time of year. Everybody must be extremely careful, as most wildfires are human caused. When the winds increase in late summer and fall, the fire situation in San Diego County will be severe.   
 

Flight risk:

Drones pose new obstacles–and opportunities–for firefighters

Legal misconceptions among drone operators and slowly evolving regulations lead to turbulent skies


Drone takes video of a house fire. Photo courtesy of Roswell Flight Test Crew and taken in collaboration the LongView Fire Department as part of a training exercise.

It is hard to imagine a more terrifying scenario: hundreds of people abandoning their vehicles and running for safety on a California freeway surrounded by fire. For San Diegans, who have grown accustomed to both large-scale wildfires and grinding traffic delays, the scene from the July 17 North Fire in San Bernardino County was a particularly ominous reminder of how quickly emergency situations can escalate.

Hampered by the gridlocked traffic, responding fire crews were unable to reach the scene in time to stop the fire from sweeping through dozens of deserted vehicles. Meanwhile, aerial firefighting units were facing traffic conditions of their own, as fully loaded air tankers were grounded for 25 minutes due to reports of as many as five hobbyist unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones (UAVs) flying in the vicinity of the fire. Without the means to identify or contact the drones’ operators, officials were forced to let one of their most effective tools sit idle while the fire grew.

A growing concern

Miraculously, no lives were lost and only minor injuries reported due to the North Fire. However the 4,250 acre fire ultimately claimed 23 buildings–including 7 homes–and 44 vehicles. While it’s impossible to say what impact the drones’ delay contributed to the total damage, the incident is an ominous sign of what’s ahead.

As head of the Ramona Air Attack Base, CalFire Battalion Chief John Francois coordinates aerial operations across the county and is unequivocal in his assessment of the danger. “If we see an unauthorized UAV, we ground our aircraft. That cripples the firefighters on the ground, potentially losing  homes and and possibly lives.”

Is there a drone in this photo that is going to endanger the firefighting planes below and helicopters below them? How could you tell?  Photo courtesy of CAL FIRE Battalion Chief John Francois.

“I’m in the command aircraft, 2,500 feet over the fire, trying to make sure the area is safe for our crews. I’m directing planes below me and helicopters below them. I’m constantly looking for antennae, telephone lines, aircraft – anything that puts our pilots in danger. If there is a drone out there, we can’t see it until it's too late. If we hit one, it’s going to 'frag' the engine and we’re going to possibly lose the plane or helicopter along with their pilots, and anything around that aircraft when it comes down."

Chief Francois says he is aware of eight incidents this year involving drones interfering with firefighting efforts in California.
 
“We are seeing more UAVs because they are now affordable and they’re fun. But when there’s an emergency, and your first instinct is to send the drone up to see what’s happening, don’t. If you fly, we can't." 

Read more on our website:

Enjoy your summer and stay cool!
 

Frank Ault Joan Jones
Frank H. Ault
Board Chairman
Joan Jones
Executive Director
Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved.

SAN DIEGO REGIONAL FIRE FOUNDATION
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SAN DIEGO, CA 92106

PH: (619) 814-1352

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A 501(C)(3) TAX-EXEMPT ORGANIZATION
San Diego Regional Fire Foundation
A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization
TEL: (619) 814-1352
2508 Historic Decatur Road Suite 200,
San Diego, California 92106.
FAX: (619)239-1710