The Maltese Cross is a centuries-old badge of honor worn by firefighters who risk their lives to protect others. It’s also the name of an annual award bestowed by the San Diego County Fire Chiefs’ Association to an individual or organization for dedication to and support of the fire service.
This year, the association awarded the Maltese Cross to Randy Lyle, fire science and coordination program manager at SDG&E. Lyle joined our company in 2007 initially as a contract administrator, after a 32-year career with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE).
At SDG&E, he has played a critical role in strengthening our communication, coordination, and training partnerships with fire agencies countywide. He serves on the Sunrise Powerlink Fire Mitigation Group (SPFMG), which provides fire mitigation grants to homeowners who live near the transmission line. The grants help them pay for brush clearance to create defensible space around their home or make structural improvements to minimize fire risk.
“His contributions to the work of the SPFMG have been instrumental in improving the fire safety of thousands of parcels located along the Sunrise Powerlink,” wrote Gregory Schreiner, fire Marshal and fire services coordinator for the San Diego County Fire Authority, who nominated Lyle for the Maltese.
30 Plus Years of Contributions to Fire Safety
When Lyle joined SDG&E in 2007, he brought with him 32 years of experience in all aspects of wildland fire control, including engine, hand crew and aerial firefighting, along with expertise in applying fire hazard data and tools to better understand fire risk and fire behavior. As a member of CAL FIRE, Lyle served as the unified incident commander for the Cedar Fire in 2003.
“Through Randy’s efforts and with support from many of his SDG&E colleagues, Randy applied his fire service experience and training to help transform SDG&E’s approach to wildfire situations, better use of weather tools, CAL FIRE forest assessment data, and open communications across communities,” Schreiner added.
Lyle is known as a consummate collaborator, communicator and mentor, who is always willing and eager to share his fire control expertise.
Today, he oversees a team of four fire coordinators, all of whom are veteran firefighters like him, who work full time to mitigate the year-round risk that wildfires pose to our community and electrical infrastructure.
To learn more about SDG&E’s wildfire safety programs and efforts, visit the SDG&E NewsCenter.