Residents living in Inyo, Mono, and San Bernardino counties interested in a fire prevention program email

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Esperanza Fire Deaths Remembered

Five years ago this coming Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at about 7:30am, the Esperanza Fire killed five valiant firefighters. Taken from us that morning at the fire were the following United States Forest Service, San Bernardino National Forest personnel assigned to BDF Engine 57:

· Captain Mark Loutzenhiser, 43, Idyllwild, California
· Engineer Jess McLean, 27, Beaumont, California
· Assistant Engineer Jason McKay, 27, Apple Valley, California
· Firefighter Pablo Cerda, 23, Fountain Valley, California
· Firefighter Daniel Hoover-Najera, 20, San Jacinto, California

The fire created for many of us memories we will never forget. Some of the memories are positive and have further led to positive changes in how we do business or created a reflection on all the great work we all did at the Esperanza Fire. Some of the memories remain very difficult for others and will never be forgotten. For many, life will never be the same after the Esperanza Fire. We must respect our feelings; they are real. My heartfelt feelings of loss go out to the families of the lost firefighters and to the USFS family.

Monday, October 24, 2011

CAL FIRE Cares Enough to Wear Pink

So does the CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit. Many of the firefighters working in the San Bernardino Unit are supporting this vital effort by wearing pink this week along with their fellow emergency service workers throughout San Bernardino County, California, and the Nation.

The Sacramento CAL FIRE Information Office says... Firefighting has long been a profession known for providing help to those in need. That’s why it wasn’t difficult for CAL FIRE’s firefighters, dispatchers and employees to decide to show their support for the battle against breast cancer by wearing modified CAL FIRE T-shirts with pink logos on them. October 24 - 28, 2011, CAL FIRE will join over 900 fire and police departments across the nation by participating in the 2011 national "Cares Enough to Wear Pink" campaign. The campaign raises awareness and money for cancer research and is part of October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when wearing pink signifies support for breast cancer research.

"Cancer affects millions of people worldwide including firefighters," said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. There is a proven correlation between cancer and our profession, that’s why I’m proud the men and women of CAL FIRE are joining me in sending a strong message that we "Care Enough to Wear Pink."100 percent of the proceeds from the T-shirt sales generated by CAL FIRE’s employee's voluntary participation are being donated to cancer related non-profit organizations.

CAL FIRE is one of the largest fire departments in the nation and the over 7,000 men and women of our department have an opportunity to make a significant contribution to this worthwhile effort by voluntarily joining in on the "caring enough to wear pink" campaign. CAL FIRE is proud to help raise funds to find a cure and send a strong message of hope to those suffering from this disease.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hot or Cold, Fire Safety Should Be Your First Concern

Weather forecasters are saying that this unseasonable weather will be leaving by the end of the week and we will return to our usual warm and dry fall weather. The rain and cool temperatures will reduce the possibility of wildland fire starts. However, as the vegetation dries out and the temperatures return to their seasonal norms the potential for wildland fires increases. When you add in the possibility of Santa Ana winds over the next couple of weeks, we need to keep our fire prevention guard up.

Something else that should increase our safety awareness is this bout of cold weather. As we turn on our household heaters and furnaces that have been off for a couple of months, be careful. Check the filters to make sure that they are clean and functional. Make sure that there are no gas leaks. DON’T use unapproved heaters, such as charcoal barbeques, kerosene heaters or any other type of heater that was intended for outdoor use. Along those lines, remember that these types of heaters give off carbon monoxide which can be deadly. Beginning July first of this year, single family homes are required by law to install carbon monoxide detectors.

Home fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, wildfires, all are possible during this time of year. Remember to turn fire awareness into fire readiness. October 9 through 15, 2011 is National Fire Prevention Week. Find out where an event is being held close to you and plan to attend. You can receive fire prevention and safety information and the children can have a fun time learning with you how to be fire safe.

Monday, October 3, 2011

California Wildland Firefighter Memorial Dedication

The final dedication ceremony for the California Wildland Firefighter Memorial is scheduled for Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 10:00 A.M. The Memorial has been a work in progress since 1995. It is located just west of Highway 74 (Ortega Highway) on South Main divide Road about eight miles west of Lake Elsinore. Event signs will be set up to aid in finding the event.

The California Wildland Firefighter Memorial (CFWM) is a tribute to firefighters that have paid the ultimate sacrifice fighting wildland fires in the State of California. Conception came about in 1995 when a group of retirees, fire survivors, CAL FIRE, and USDA Forest Service sought to repair and replace missing markers from the Decker Fire of 1959. This fire killed 6 firefighters within the Santa Ana Mountains above Lake Elsinore.

Presently the Memorial site consists of a circular area containing a red brick Maltese cross in the center with a rock wall behind in a semi-circle. Picnic benches and tables are placed around the perimeter with native plants integrated into the Memorial area. The serene tree filled area promotes the tranquility that inspires the Memorial and its purpose.

2011 Blue Mass for Public Safety

The 10th annual Blue Mass for Public Safety is being held on Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 6:30 P.M. at St. Catherine of Alexandria at 3680 Arlington Avenue in Riverside, California.

The event began back in 1934 in Baltimore, Maryland when a Catholic Priest named Thomas Dade initiated the Catholic Police and Firemen's Society. About 1,100 police and firemen attended the first Blue Mass on September, 29, 1934. The Blue Mass became an annual tradition in the northeastern cities of the United States. The Blue Mass began in San Bernardino, California in 2002 when the Most Reverend Gerald R. Barnes celebrated the event which drew more than 200 men and women in blue from the Inland empire.

Since it began, it has become part of the tradition to alternate the the Mass between San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Each year, a member of the Public Safety Community is recognized by the Diocese with the Chief Patrick G. Crowe Memorial Public Servant Award.

This is a non-denominational event and has become a collaborative effort between the Diocese of San Bernardino and Public Safety Agencies.