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

Additional 2019 Grants $51,000

To celebrate it's 30th birthday, the Foundation awarded an additional $51,000 in grants to local fire agencies for equipment and training.

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Prevention & Preparedness

We are keeping local communities & firefighters COVID-19 safe with $410,000 of equipment grants

We have provided $410,000 in grants to fire agencies to keep San Diegans and firefighters safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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San Diego Spotlight

We are keeping local communities & firefighters COVID-19 safe with $410,000 of equipment grants

We have provided $410,000 in grants to fire agencies to keep San Diegans and firefighters safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Regional Overview

We are keeping local communities & firefighters COVID-19 safe with $410,000 of equipment grants

We have provided $410,000 in grants to fire agencies to keep San Diegans and firefighters safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Command Post: San Diego
CalFire Incidents
National Interagency Fire Center
(National Fire Tracking)
National Incident Information System
(Wildfire Tracking)
Ready San Diego
2-1-1 (San Diego)

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February 2017 Fire Foundation Chairman's Letter

In this issue:
Show your love, help keep a firefighter safe!

Winter Safety Tips

We all enjoy the winter as San Diego cools down and refreshes itself with much needed rain and mountain snow. To make sure our winter remains safe and fun, there are numerous safety issues to keep in mind.

  • Do not drive or walk across flooded roadways– only six inches of water can stall cars and strand you. Normally dry gullies, roads, etc. become rivers which have strong currents which can carry you, your children, or pets away easily. A man and a five year old boy died this way in Rainbow (North San Diego County) last week.
  • Going to mountains with snow – carry snow chains, stay on paved roads, dress warmly, and if possible stay in an area with cell service in case of an emergency.
  • Use a carbon monoxide alarm– if you burn fuels such as gas, wood, propane, oil or kerosene, and they don't burn sufficiently, they can cause CO which can poison and kill.
  • Power failure– if you lose electricity, do not use bar-b-q’s, portable camp stoves, etc. in the house for cooking or heat. There is no way for them to vent and they will create CO. Use flashlights and candles, though be very careful where you place candles and make sure they are extinguished when you leave or go to bed.
  • Check your smoke alarms– replace batteries regularly. Vacuum them to keep them clear of dust and cobwebs.
  • In the kitchen – turn pot and pan handles inward to prevent food spills and burns from food on the stove. In case of a cooking fire, always keep a lid nearby or use the bottom of another pan to cover the oil or grease fire to smother it. Do not use water or flour. Never try to carry it outdoors.

Winter time is a special time to enjoy outdoor activities or stay home with the family around the fireplace, but whatever you like to do, do it safely.  


Vallecitos School Fundraising is Making Our Kids Safer!

Your donations have allowed Vallecitos School to fix several holes in the class room siding!

The “Why Aren’t Our Children Safe?” article in the December 2016 Chairman’s Letter is already having significant impact. The Fire Foundation has raised and provided the Vallecitos Schools with $14,800, plus the school has raised about $7,000. These funds are being used to fix all ramps to the portable classrooms and bathrooms, as well as some of the more significant holes in the siding of some classrooms which have allowed water to seep in and created mold.

This is a good start. However, with the heavy rains this winter, a second portable class room has developed leaks. At a cost of almost $10,000 per roof, fixing the two leaky roofs is our next priority. Following that, the Fire Foundation will seek donations to replace the dangerous, rotted patio cover over the student lunch area.

It is not too late!

Join the effort to make this school safe for students. Give them the chance for a good, safe education. 

Whether your donation is $100, $500 or $1,000, when combined with all donors, we can make our children safer!


It’s Not a Matter of If a Tsunami is Coming, it’s When and How Large?


NOAA video demonstrating tsunami formation and landing

webMore than two dozen tsunamis have been recorded in San Diego since 1806, seven of which have caused damage, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tsunami research (see list on our website). 

"Tsunami" comes from the Japanese words for harbor ("tsu") and wave ("nami"), although these waves are more like a swiftly rising tide than a wave.

Tsunami waves can travel 500 miles per hour in the open sea, but slow to as little as 20 mph in shallower waters, increasing wave heights and including the full force of the water behind them.

Like the sets surfers wait for, the first tsunami wave is seldom the highest or the last. Additionally, the waves in these sets can arrive hours apart, depending on the distance at which they formed.

Danger to San Diego

Tsunamis that affect San Diego County communities can originate from local incidents or distant incidents.

USGS map shows large submarine "land"slides that could have created tsunamis in southern California.

Local incidents:

The idea of underwater earthquake/landslides causing tsunamis is not new. They may well have been the cause of disastrous tsunamis in Santa Barbara (1812) and Point Arguello (1927). But only recently have scientists begun to discover areas off the San Diego coast where potential tsunami generating landslides  have occurred in the past and could occur in the future. For example, according to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), new seafloor data has revealed huge landslide scars along the steep slopes of the continental shelf off Huntington beach, Palos Verdes, and five miles off the coast of Del Mar.

In the case of a local underwater landslide, residents would have only several minutes to evacuate and little time for emergency services to assist.

Distant incidents:

Distant incidents include large earthquakes in areas like Alaska, Chile, or Japan, and their tsunami waves take hours to arrive in San Diego. Each earthquake of magnitude 7.1 or larger is monitored by NOAA’s tsunami warning centers, which issue warnings within 15 minutes of the quake. Depending on the alert, San Diego emergency services will activate emergency local alerts for affected areas.

Worst Case Scenario? San Diego County Emergency Services Have It Covered

1:00 a.m. People are sleeping and their electronics are off. A 9.1 magnitude earthquake occurs off Alaska and large tsunami waves begin rolling towards San Diego.

“We have a thoroughly vetted tsunami evacuation plan,” says Del Mar Community Services Director & Chief Lifeguard Pat Vergne. “It doesn’t matter what time it is or where we are, because if it is an ocean issue, our lifeguards will get the alert, come in to assess the situation, and take appropriate action.”

As in all San Diego County beach areas, emergency services - firefighters, sheriff, lifeguards, City and County offices, and military - work together to assure residents are safe. In close contact, they watch the NOAA alerts and use their extended networks to assess tsunami size and strength in real time.

“After the 2011 Japan quake, we were in contact with our counterparts on the beach in Hawaii when the waves hit," said Verne. "They were small enough that we knew with certainty we did not need to order an evacuation. If the waves had been larger, we would have worked in tandem with our firefighters, driving through the streets, announcing evacuation procedures over our loudspeakers, and helping those who needed it.”

What To Do in Case of a Tsunami:

According to Holly Crawford, San Diego County’s Office of Emergency Services Director, "If the earth shakes for 20 seconds, that’s a really significant earthquake. You need to leave the coast, go to a place that’s at least 100 feet above sea level or two miles inland if you can’t evacuate vertically."

During a tsunami warning, follow these suggestions: 
  1. Do not go to watch the waves from the beach, or piers. Multiple people have been swept into the sea and drowned.
  2. Know your evacuation routes. Signs have been posted all over San Diego County to help direct traffic, however it’s best to have a plan ahead of time. Click here for a map of your area.
  3. Listen to the emergency alerts issued on television, radio, reverse 911 calls, social media, etc. They will provide instructions and updates for local communities. (Register your mobile phones at to receive emergency notifications. Landlines are automatically included in the reverse 911 outreach.)
  4. Obey firefighters, lifeguards & police. Every beachfront community in San Diego has trained for tsunami evacuation.
  5. Take your "go bag"
  6. Have a designated safe location.
  7. Have a contact out of the tsunami zone with whom family members can check in.
  8. Do not return home until emergency responders give the all clear. Tsunami waves often roll in over several hours.
  9. Do not try to “ride it out.”
  10. Help any neighbors who are unable to evacuate due to physical or health restrictions.
  11. Call 211 for information. Only call 911 if you need assistance. Keep lines clear for those who need immediate help.

If you are surfing
If you are on a boat 
Improving Tsunami Detection

NOAA Tsunami Animation

Tsunami in San Diego?

NOAA's tsunami demonstration

Support our county's firefighters when you shop online at

  • Sign in through Amazon's "giving" link, Amazon Smile,
  • Designate "The San Diego Regional Fire and Emergency Services Foundation" as your charity
  • Buy! Amazon will donate .5% of your total purchase price, at no extra cost to you!

Whenever you log on to Amazon, remember to go to

Please, show your support - try it out!


Dispatcher Answers Daughter's 911 Call

Madisonville, TX: Layla Wray was working an overnight 911 dispatch shift when her 14-year-old daughter called 911 to report that their house was burning. Wray maintained her composure during the call, telling the teen to stay calm and that firefighters were en route.

Her home was destroyed but her family was safe. Sheriff Travis Neely said that she did a "fantastic job" calming her daughter while dispatching firefighters to her own burning home.


Firefighters Use Water Jetpacks to Put Out Fires

Firefighters in Dubai have launched a new system to put out blazes using a jet ski and a water-powered jetpack.

Russian Firefighters Save 150 pigs


Russian firefighters saved 150 pigs & piglets from a huge blaze that broke out in a Siberian village barn. The touching rescue operation was captured on video which sparked a huge response. How darn cute!!


Lower Blood Pressure - Longer Life

One of every three adults suffers from high blood pressure (the silent killer), which causes more than 400,000 deaths annually. Usually high blood pressure occurs when arteries get clogged. 

The primary causes of high blood pressure:

  • too much salt
  • smoking
  • stress
  • processed foods
  • obesity
  • medication side effects

 The American Heart Association also says, “The incidents of high blood pressure are way up from 10 years ago, and 46% of Americans know they have it, yet most refuse to do anything.”
The high and low numbers of your blood pressure represent when your heart contracts and pumps blood (high) and the second number is when your heart is resting and filling with blood.

  • Blood pressure of 120/80 is about normal  
  • Up to 139/89 is a warning to watch carefully
  • Above 140-160/90-100, it is time to see a doctor


What can be done to lower your blood pressure?

  • Lose weight – blood pressure increases as weight increases
  • Avoid foods with high levels of salt (sodium)
  • Eat healthier foods – more fruits, whole grain, vegetables
  • Limit alcohol – one or two drinks actually can lower blood pressure
  • Quit smoking
  • Cut down on coffee
  • Reduce stress
  • Exercise and be physically active – just walking helps
  • Monitor your blood pressure at home and discuss it with your doctor

* Source January 2017 Costco magazine     


USS Midway Museum's Doors open to Police And Firefighters

"Supporting the great Americans who protect our freedom...falls directly on the shoulders of Americans who commit to the military or law enforcement/first responders... We deeply appreciate their service to our community, just as we salute our men and women in the military uniform defending our country.

"So it is with great pride that... we are permanently extending Midway's policy of free adult admission for active-duty military personnel to law enforcement personnel and firefighters."

President & CEO
USS Midway Museum

Upcoming Events


February 4, 2017

Fire Burn Run 5k

February 5-9, 2017

Firehouse World
San Diego Convention Center


March 4-5, 2017

San Diego Fire Rescue Girls Empowerment Camp

March 9, 2017

Firefighter Boot Drive Burn Institute


February 14, 2017

Show your love for firefighters. Remember to support our local heroes, including those along our coast that could be impacted by a tsunami:

Be sure to watch the Vallecitos video!

Frank Ault
Frank H. Ault
Board Chairman
Joan Jones
Executive Director
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