San Marcos joins regional fire agencies in regional Wildland Fire Preparedness Drill

The San Marcos Fire Department joined numerous fire agencies across the region, in coordination with the Pala Band of Mission Indians, in an annual San Diego County Wildland Fire Preparedness Exercise that took place from Wednesday, April 25 through Friday, April 27. Numerous emergency service agencies from throughout San Diego County will come together to prepare for the upcoming fire season.

SMFD participates in San Diego County
 Wildland Fire Drill
 The San Marcos Fire Department’s mobile emergency operation center served as a command center during the regional drill.
Battalion Chief Bill Frederick participates in regional wildland fire drill
 Battalion Chief Bill Frederick participates in regional wildland fire drill.

“This exercise provides a unique opportunity for the region’s fire resources to come together and train as one team,” said San Marcos Fire Chief Brett VanWey.

Regional firefighting forces joined together for training on inclusive of emergency communications, firefighter survival, structure defense, and hose deployments under simulated emergency conditions.

The area’s firefighting aircraft also participated in this three day training event. These water- dropping aircraft joined ground forces in coordinated fire attacks under simulated fire conditions.

“Fire season is year round and this drill helps us improve regional fire response and identify opportunities to improve,” VanWey said.

With approximately 750 firefighters participating in the training exercises over three days, this training event is a key element in maintaining firefighter preparedness as the region moves into the hot, dry summer months that bring the traditional fire season.

For the ninth year in a row, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has provided funding for the event. The utility company is again sending line crews and utility equipment to participate in one of the training scenarios to educate first-responders on what to do if they come across downed power lines while battling a wildland fire.

“San Marcos is no stranger to wildfire and it is up to all of us to help keep ourselves, our property and the community safe,” continued VanWey. “Residents are also an important part of keeping the community safe, especially during a disaster.”

Now is the time to review family emergency plans, prepare a supply kit, and inventory home items such as important documents and medications so that you would want to take with you so you are ready to go if told to do so by a public safety official.

Homeowners are asked to create and maintain at least 150 feet of defensible space – but to do so only early in the morning when the grasses are still dewy to prevent sparking a fire in the dry heat of the day.

Residents should register all cell phones with AlertSanDiego to receive emergency notifications. This is especially important if landlines are no longer in the home. Residents can also download the SDEmergency App.

During an emergency, residents should stay updated on the latest local safety information by visiting the city’s website; following the city on FacebookTwitter and Instagram with the handle @sanmarcoscity; registering for e-notifications; and turning radios to AM 1610.

For more information about how you can prepare for emergencies, visit www.san-marcos.net/beprepared or visit ReadySanDiego.org. For red flag warning updates or to learn how you can do your part to reduce wildfire risk, visit CALFIRE’s website.

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