April 25’s County Wildland and Wildfire Drill sponsored by San Diego Gas & Electric for the 19th year caught the attention of national and international media including KPBS and XEWT Televisa Tijuana that reported “The training was attended by 750 firefighters from different parts of the State of California, nine from the city of Tijuana and from other parts of the State to reinforce the preparation of firefighters and Civil Protection elements as the hot and low humidity season approaches in the coming months.”
The three-day multi-Agency training took place from April 25-27 in Valley Center and simulated lifesaving emergency situations.
“The Training Officers section of the San Diego County Fire Chiefs’ Association is responsible for the drill, along with a large and dedicated cadre of fire service professionals from more than a dozen fire agencies throughout the county,” said SDG&E Fire Coordinator Michael Rottenberg “and they are responsible for its ongoing success,” Rottenberg continued. “SDG&E is proud to sponsor the event and have several of our personnel participate each year at the invitation of the training cadre.”
The goal of the Wildland and Wildfire Drill is to educate new firefighters and retrain seasoned firefighters for worst-case scenarios with an emphasis on how best to work together to reduce accidents and near misses.
“More than 700 firefighters and 60 agencies participated in real life scenarios that allowed them to sharpen their skills and make mistakes while practicing because these types of trainings will help save lives when the time comes,” said Rottenberg. “With fire season right around the corner, this exercise that includes classroom training, weather and situational awareness, and communications is more important now than ever.”
Fire officials ask, that with much of California already in wildfire season after an extremely dry winter left vegetation brittle and water levels low, that not only firefighters but everyone do their best to be prepared for fire season by creating a defensible space around their homes and preparing for wildfire evacuations ahead of time.
To learn more about wildfire preparedness log onto SDG&E’s Wildfire Safety page. To learn more about How to Develop your Emergency Preparedness Kit and Power Outage Safety Tips feel free to view these English / Spanish videos.