RSFFPD Training Facility on CBS 8
Earlier this week we conducted live fire training at our RSFFPD Training Facility as part of our fire academy for our probationary firefighters. CBS 8 stopped by to report on the facility and how it helps firefighters prepare for real life emergencies. Thank you, CBS 8!
On January 11 we promoted 9 personnel: Paul Roman (FF), Bruce Sherwood (Capt), Cole Thompson (Eng), Jake Elkins (FF), Brian Ciuchta (FF), Scott Young (FF), Sean Canfield (FF), Correy Cooper (FF), and Curtis Benz (FF, not pictured). Congratulations, everyone!
We kicked off the new year by swearing in three probationary firefighters. Welcome to the RSFFPD Chase Cantrell, Jake Barkhimer, and Alex Trottier!
Become a Volunteer Firefighter!
Fore more information or to download the application packet, please visit our Employment page.
Congratulations to Firefighter/Paramedic Benz for successfully completing his probationary period!
Smoke Alarm Saves Man, Dog from Residential Structure Fire
On Sunday, October 30, just after 11 pm, firefighters from the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District responded the to the report of a residential structure fire in the 18000 block of Avenida Alondra in Rancho Santa Fe. Upon arrival they saw the house was fully involved in fire. They attempted to enter the home but it was quickly determined that it was too dangerous to proceed. A second alarm was called bring more resources to the scene to help keep the fire from spreading to nearby vegetation and homes.
It took approximately 2 hours for crews from Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Vista, and Carlsbad to extinguish the fire. Units remained on scene until noon on Monday to make sure all hot spots were put out. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The house appears to be a total loss.
One resident was home at the time of the fire. He was alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm going off and was able to safely exit the home with his dog. “This was a very intense fire,” said incident commander Bret Davidson. “If it weren’t for the home having working smoke detectors, this incident could have had a much different outcome for the resident. The smoke alarm most likely saved his life.”
Fire District Actively Sending Violation Notices to Remove Dead and Diseased Eucalyptus
In an effort to protect lives and property, the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District (fire district) is vigorously working to eliminate hazardous trees within the district and bring properties within compliance of existing fire codes. Over the last few years, the fire district has seen a dramatic increase in the amount of tree mortality, brought on by prolonged drought, insect infestation, and disease. These changes have led to an increased fire hazard that threatens homes and communities within the fire district boundaries. Within the last few months, tree mortality has skyrocketed and the problem in the eucalyptus forest has become very evident. The fire district is actively inspecting properties within the western part of the fire district.
Historically, the eucalyptus forests created a rural, peaceful setting for those living in Rancho Santa Fe. Unfortunately, these once celebrated trees have now become a fire hazard. “It is the responsibility of the Fire District to identify and address fire hazards within our communities,” said Tony Michel, Fire Chief. “We are working aggressively to mitigate the threat posed by the dead and diseased trees within our Fire District. This effort is paramount for the safety of our communities.” Approximately 90% of the dead or diseased trees are on private property. The fire district is sending out violation notices to all homeowners, property owners, and public areas within the fire district. This is a priority for the fire district. “Unfortunately, we have property owners that believe their trees still have a chance for recovery or that their trees are not dead. If a resident receives a violation notice for dead or diseased trees, that tree has been identified as a fire hazard and must be removed. If the property owner fails to remove the dead or diseased tree, the fire district will force abate the fire hazard within the perimeters of the fire code,” said Michel. (Read more...)
It is possible for trees to have leaves on them, or for leaves to re-sprout, and still be diseased and dying. Other trees have simply reached the end of their life cycle. Trees such as these within 20 feet of roadways or 100 feet of structures will be required to be removed.
Fire Prevention Fee Schedule
The Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District has adopted a fee schedule which lists the district's updated fees for services provided to customers. PLEASE NOTE: A new fee schedule went into effect July 1, 2016:
In 2011 the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection voted to adopt regulations to implement an annual fee mandated by the California Legislature. The California Board of Equalization, who is invoicing the bill, has begun sending out this year's notices. The State Responsibility Area (SRA) bill, which will be separate from your property tax bill, will be used for fire prevention services and programs provided by the state, not local agencies. For more information, please visit our SRA Fire Prevention Fee page. In addition, the following links may be helpful:
Are You Prepared?
Wildfires are a constant threat for those of us living in Southern California, especially within wildland-urban interface areas like Rancho Santa Fe and its surrounding communities. The Fire Protection District employs a hazard abatement inspector who surveys properties for fire hazards and mails violation notices to property owners not in compliance with District Ordinance 2004-02 and 2014-01A.
Residents within the RSFFPD service area should begin to receive a letter reminding them of the local hazard abatement requirements. Learn more about how you can safeguard not only your home, but your entire community, with the following resources:
When someone suffers cardiac arrest, every second counts. The longer a patient goes without Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), the less likely their chance of survival. Unfortunately, that is what happens all too often. According to the American Heart Association, 70% of Americans feel helpless during emergency situations and hesitate to act.
To help ease fears and increase the chances of patients getting the assistance they need, the AHA has developed Hands-Only CPR. Hands-Only CPR involves two simple steps: 1. Call 9-1-1 and 2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest. Learn more on our Hands-Only CPR page. You can also download the Hands-Only CPR app from both Google and iTunes.
RSFFPD, Del Mar Fire Department, Encinitas Fire Department, and Solana Beach Fire Department, along with ambulance service provider, American Medical Response, have engaged in an aggressive "hands-only " CPR campaign to increase survival rates within our communities and are already seeing positive results. The agencies are excited to announce that in the year 2014 they had a survival rate of 16% as verified by the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES), a nationally recognized database dedicated to tracking SCA outcomes. So far this year the agencies have seen 36% of their CPR patients survive to be discharged home.
To schedule a Hands-Only CPR training session for your group, please contact our public education coordinator at 858-756-6008.
In our continued effort to increases the survival rate of patients experiencing sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District, along with emergency services agencies throughout San Diego County, is now a participating agency on PulsePoint. PulsePoint is an app that works to increase SCA survival rates by notifying CPR-trained users if someone nearby is in need of assistance. Users can then go to that person's aid until paramedics arrive.
In an effort to protect homes from a future devastating wildland fire such as the ones experienced in 2003 and 2007, the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District (RSFFPD) does not allow certain types of trees, plants, or shrubs to be planted within certain distances of structures. The fire district has created a booklet that contains valuable information pertaining to both desirable and undesirable trees, shrubs, ground covers, vines, roadway clearances, and palm trees. The goal is to educate the public on RSFFPD's ordinances regarding landscaping so they can increase the the chances of their home surviving a wildfire. Please feel free to download a PDF copy or stop by one of our fire stations and pick one up!
Just a reminder that our Administrative Offices, which were once housed at Station 1, are now located in the Plaza at the entrance to the community of Cielo, across Calle Ambiente from Station 4. The new location is more centrally located to all areas of the district and will allow us to better meet the needs of our customers. Services offered included plan submissions, plan checks, car seat installations, accounts payable, and other administrative or prevention matters.