First Responders Collaborate to Enhance Community Preparedness

Last week, more than 750 firefighters and other emergency personnel took to the streets and hills of the San Diego community of Tierrasanta—but there was no emergency in sight.

Over the course of three days, the fire community joined together to prepare for this year’s upcoming peak fire season by participating in drills that simulated a variety of emergency scenarios that could impact our region.

From the East County to the North Coastal cities, fire stations reaching the far corners of the San Diego region were represented at the exercises where they gained new insights and met the men and women who will be responding by their sides during an actual emergency.

Agencies that work closely with firefighters like the San Diego Police Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, San Diego County Office of Emergency Services and SDG&E, among others, also participated in activities to imitate the close interagency coordination that takes place during a real crisis.

“Coming out and brushing up on our skills in real life scenarios is one of the best ways we can make sure we’re ready before an emergency actually happens,” said Sonny Saghera with Heartland Fire & Rescue. “It’s great we can bring together so many agencies for this event, because this is how we work together in an actual emergency—it’s a community effort.”

Check out the video below to get a behind the scenes look at how our heroes on the front lines work together to prepare for an emergency before one happens:

Whether they were working in neighborhoods to inspect homes for defensible space, trekking through canyons to prepare for brushfires, or engaging in “sand table” exercises that model wildfire behavior on a miniature scale, the annual exercise gave first responders tools to make the San Diego community safer and better prepared for our next critical event.