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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June Fire Foundation Chairman's Letter - War and Wildfires




Follow Us!



MAY 30 – JUNE 6

United States Police & Fire Championships
Where: Towne and Country Hotel.

Law enforcement, firefighters, and officers from corrections, probation, border protection, immigration and customs compete in Olympic-style sports in 35 venues through-out the county.

Go Fire!!!

• • •


What: Dedication of new Boulevard Fire Station.
See Article.

• • •


Burn Institute's 25th Annual Fire Expo/Firefighter Demolition Derby
When: Events start at 10 a.m.
Where: San Diego County Fair, Del Mar Fairgrounds
“Live” firefighting demonstrations, a fire and burn prevention pavilion, safety demos, a firefighter obstacle course for the kids, live music and more.  all kicking off at 10 a.m.

See Article.


• • •


Julian Receives Donation for New Fire Engine!

Long-time community supporter Qualcomm has donated funds to help Julian acquire a new fire engine! 

What: Fire Engine Dedication followed by a parade and BBQ
When: July 4, 11:00 a.m. 
Where: Julian Main Street. 
For more information: email Shawna Simonds or call (760)533-2096.


Six-Foot tsunamis in San Diego?

Geologists just published a paper in the "Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface" that states faults off the California coast could generate 8.0 earthquakes and bring six-foot tsunamis to San Diego. 

Is your home safe?  Check out the Department of Conservation's Innundation Map.

Shopping Amazon?

Help us raise money for our San Diego County firefighters! 

Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchases to the Fire Foundation. Just click our link to It will take you to your Amazon account, and when the popup asks if you would like to designate The San Diego Regional Fire and Emergency Services Foundation as your charity, click YES. Then shop.

Win-win! Thank you so much for your support of our San Diego County Firefighters!

The Maltese Cross, a Burn Institute Spirit of Courage Award, was presented to our Foundation Chairman Frank Ault by the San Diego County Fire Chief's Association. 

War and Wildfire: Almost 40 Years on the Front Lines

De Luz Volunteer Fire Chief Manchor beside his patrol engine, which was provided by the San Diego New Car Dealers Association.

After five days keeping Camp Pendleton’s Roblar II Fire outside the De Luz boundaries, firefighters heard an urgent call from Paradise Fire Incident Command. “We need more engines NOW!”

The dispatch response was chilling. “There are none available.”

De Luz Fire Chief Mike Manchor quickly assembled half of his  Department’s  force into a five-engine quick response task force and convoyed the aging apparatus and firefighters (19-80 year olds) 45 miles to Valley Center. Santa Ana winds rapidly spread fire embers, igniting dry vegetation ahead of the main flames. The sky was brown and thick with smoke. “It reminded me of 12 years earlier when I led a convoy through the burning Kuwaiti Oil Fields during Operation Desert Storm,” says Manchor. “But now, instead of being responsible for a dozen highly-trained combat Marines, I had a score of volunteer firefighters to lead.”

Chief Manchor inside vehicle 8862 as a 500-gallon tank of racing fuel explodes during the Paradise Fire

The Paradise Command Center quickly assigned their task force to the North Lake Wolford area, but fire had blocked the road to their assigned area. Families and homeowners ran down driveways, terrified. They grabbed onto the fire engine mirrors and hung off the engines crying, “Please save our homes!”

It must have been a heart-wrenching and frightening scene. But Manchor is thoughtful when asked how he felt. “John Wayne once said ‘Real courage is being scared to death yet saddling up anyway.’ Being scared for myself was replaced by concern for my crews and for these people. I knew I had to lead my men and women into that firestorm from the front.”

De Luz’s small agile engines were well suited for firefighting in these kinds of neighborhoods—steep, unpaved driveways, low tree branches, and drainage culverts that might have buckled under heavier engines. "I gave the order on the radio, ‘we’ll make our stand here, disperse and save what you can.’ I watched in the rear view mirror my small engines racing up driveways and going into action like I trained them."

De Luz crews spent 11 hours in that neighborhood that day.  The fire approached the crews three times from three different directions. “We stayed until all homes were safe and then limped home on fumes. We were exhausted, but we saved 23 homes.”

The next day they were dispatched to the Cedar Fire. Over an eleven day period they fought three major fires. Then on Halloween, it started to rain, and it was over... this time.

Because of their dedicated service during the Paradise Fire, County Supervisor Bill Horn recognized the De Luz firefighters during his annual State of North County Address, and Valley Center awarded them and the other firefighters there that day the Meritorious Fire Service medal.

Read more of the Chief's impressive story on our website!

Thank the De Luz Volunteer Fire Department for all they have done! To continue to serve their community, they need $6,000 to purchase:

  • Helmet lights: Help firefighters see in dark places without having to hold flashlights. Frees up firefighter's hands for rescues, medical emergencies, etc.
  • Hand spot lights for De Luz engines: Illuminates a larger area than flashlights can cover. Aids in looking for lost people or walking through brush to get to a fire.
  • Set of infra-red land zone strobe lights for the Chief's vehicle: Used to assist helicopter landings or assist in a rescue.


Chief Don Butz presents our Chairman, Frank Ault, with the Maltese Cross.

Frank Ault receives Burn Institute Spirit of Courage Award

In May, the San Diego Burn Institute presented one of its Spirit of Courage Awards to our own Chairman Frank Ault. The award is presented by the San Diego County Fire Chief's Association to an outstanding individual or corporation for dedication to and support of the fire service. It is called the Maltese Cross.
Viejas Fire Chief Don Butz, President of the San Diego County Fire Chief's Association thanked Frank, “for devoting more than a half century to firefighting and support of firefighters." 
He shared Ault's fire service history, including:

  • Firefighter at four volunteer fire departments
  • Palm Desert Volunteer Fire Department Chief
  • Board Chairman Mount Laguna Volunteer Fire Department
  • Chairman of the San Diego Regional Fire Foundation since 1995
  • Led the Foundation's $5 million of donations to fire agencies.

"San Diego County’s volunteer firefighters are immeasurably safer and better equipped today–and the County as a whole is better protected–because of the dedication of this year’s recipient,” Chief Butz concluded.

Congratulations Frank! You Deserve It!!!

New Boulevard Fire Station a Partnership Between CalFire and SDCFA 

The community of Boulevard, just off I-8 at Ribbonwood Road, is opening the newest San Diego County fire station and the public is invited!

This fire station will improve fire and medical services to the residents of Boulevard and those traveling in the area between Pine Valley and Jacumba on Interstate 8 or Highway 94 between Campo and Jacumba.

The fire station is the result of a partnership between the San Diego County Fire Authority (SDCFA), which will own the station, and CAL FIRE. It will actually be two fire stations in one--a volunteer fire department and a CAL FIRE station.

The benefits of this fire station are:

  • Will for the first time have a paramedic ambulance
  • 7,866 square feet—space for six fire vehicles and 12 firefighters
  • Replacing the old CAL FIRE White Star fire station—an old Air Force support structure in use since 1967
  • Replacing the old volunteer fire station which is need of significant repair.
  • Reduces the cost of improvements and operating costs of two fire stations
  • Improves training and interaction of paid and volunteer firefighters
  • Will produce its own electricity with solar panels recycled from another project
  • Has its own well for station water and holding tanks for water for the fire engines

The cooperative effort of San Diego County and the State of California sets a new model for communities served by multiple fire agencies.

What: Fire station dedication
When: Friday, June 5 at 11 a.m.
Where: Ribbonwood Road, off I-8



San Diego County needs every firefighter properly trained and equipped to protect us

A detailed analysis of all rural fire stations shows that more than $1 million in medical and fire equipment is needed over the next three years, including $440,000 this year for purchasing new and replacement equipment.

80% of emergency calls that these rural fire stations respond to are rescue/medical in nature. The equipment listed below will save lives.  

Equipment needed includes:

$1,450 each  

If you have a heart attack, the most crucial tool that an emergency first responder will use to get your heart beating again is an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator).

When you have a heart attack, the heart stops pumping blood to your body and brain, and your chance of recovering decreases by 7-10% with each passing minute. After about five minutes, there is severe risk of brain damage. Without an AED, your chance of surviving the attack decreases sharply.

Duty jackets for firefighters
$246 each 

The EMS duty jackets are an important part of an emergency responder’s personal protective gear.  These jackets are blood borne pathogen resistant, helping to protect responders on medical calls when exposed to blood or other body fluids. These versatile jackets are waterproof and have chest pockets to store medical or other small pieces of equipment needed on emergencies so that they are readily available when needed. 

Mobile Radios
$5,000 each  

One of the most important tools a firefighter has on any emergency is a mobile radio. They enable communications without having to return to the fire truck or rescue vehicle.

Radios are critical for warning of dangerous conditions, giving incoming units directions, moving and placing fire engines fighting larger fires, providing patient information to paramedics or hospitals, and communications with rescue or firefighting air craft. Without timely communication, patients, firefighters, and properties are at risk.

Extrication Equipment

Even with the safety built into new cars, severe accidents still occur.  Can you imagine yourself, family, friends, employees or customers being involved in a serious automobile accident and the local firefighters arrive but have no extrication equipment to save those trapped in the wreckage?  It is critical for fire departments to have “Jaws of Life”.  The Jaws of Life is used by emergency personnel to extricate crash victims.


Running into a burning building takes extraordinary courage...but making it back out takes training and the right equipment.

Help get our firefighters home safely...

We need your help!

So far the Fire Foundation has raised $100,000 including almost $4,000 from the Wood Ranch fundraiser that we had in May–thanks to those of you that supported this event! 

You could help our volunteer firefighters do their job protecting us-buy an EMS jacket for a firefighter for $246; an AED for $1,450; a radio for $5,000 or a set of extrication equipment for $22,000.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

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


PH: (619) 814-1352


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