Category Archives: San Marcos Fire Department

San Marcos Fire Department selected to participate in National Fire Protection Association’s Community Risk Reduction Pilot Program

The San Marcos Fire Department has been chosen by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to participate in the second phase of a pilot program to build a digital community risk assessment (CRA) tool. Aligned to NFPA 1300, Standard on Community Risk Assessment and Community Risk Reduction Plan Development, the tool, or “dashboard,” enables community leaders to gain valuable insights and make data-informed decisions surrounding fire prevention and other risk-reduction activities in their communities. 

According to NFPA, the concept of community risk reduction (CRR) – a process that identifies and prioritizes risks and ensures impactful mitigation initiatives – has been gaining traction across North America for more than 20 years. Innovative technology, access to data, and a shifting focus on prevention have resulted in new energy around this process. Reflecting that momentum, NFPA’s CRA tool works to help fire departments aggregate and disseminate data that pinpoint where risks exist within a given community.

“Access to accurate data will allow CRR leaders to use insights and make informed decisions about where to focus efforts and resources,” said Karen Berard-Reed, community risk reduction strategist at NFPA. “While many fire departments have struggled to work with data sets, NFPA’s CRA tool will do the complex work behind the scenes to compile relevant data allowing stakeholders to create effective community risk reduction plans that incorporate five priorities: Education, engineering, enforcement, economic incentives, and emergency response – in the most impactful ways possible.”

The first phase of the pilot project, which included participation from 50 fire departments across the country, helped identify features of the digital dashboard that will work effectively and those that need fine-tuning. During the second phase of the program, which involves participation from 250 departments nationwide, the San Marcos Fire Department will provide insights around the use of the dashboard through June of 2021 to help continue refining and enhancing its effectiveness.

“Participation in this project allows each fire department to provide important feedback that will be used to improve future versions of the dashboard, positions the community among CRR leaders in the United States, and signals an interest in leveraging technology to drive high-quality community safety initiatives,” said Berard-Reed.

As a participant in the pilot program, the San Marcos Fire Department will have free access to the dashboard, which includes customized visualizations (maps, charts, graphs) that illustrate each community’s risks and hazards across a variety of categories such as demographics, geography, building stock, economics, infrastructure, and event loss history. The dashboard also provides a snapshot of local capacity for risk reduction activities with information about public safety response agencies and community service organizations. In addition to dashboard access, participants will be provided rich networking and professional development opportunities with other communities engaged in CRR.

“We are thrilled to be participating in this important project,” said Dan Barron, Fire Chief of the San Marcos Fire Department. “Access to the tool will not only give us invaluable information about our community’s needs, but it’s rewarding to know that using the tool will increase its effectiveness and help other fire departments in the long run.” Follow NFPA’s CRR efforts on social media using #itstartswithinsights, or for more information online, visit www.nfpa.org/crr.

Fire Burns Near School in San Elijo Hills – NBC 7 San Diego

A small fire in San Marcos burned over an acre of brush near an elementary school, prompting a response from firefighters Tuesday evening.The fire started sometime before 4:30 p.m. near Attebury Drive and San Elijo Road and burned with a moderate rate of spread, according to Cal Fire San Diego, which was assisting San Marcos Fire Department with their firefighting efforts.The fire charred about one to two acres of vegetation behind Double Peak K-8 school before its spread was stopped shortly before 5 p.m., officials said.

Source: Fire Burns Near School in San Elijo Hills – NBC 7 San Diego

San Marcos Fire Department Achieves Class 1 Public Protection Classification Rating

The distinction places SMFD among the top fire departments in the nation.

The City of San Marcos Fire Department (SMFD) has achieved a Class 1 Public Protection Classification rating, the highest level of recognition available from the Insurance Service Organization (ISO). The top rating places SMFD among the ranks of only 37 fire departments in California and 348 nationwide that have earned the distinction.

The ISO ratings are designed to evaluate a fire department’s ability to protect local communities. Cities use the data to help measure the effectiveness of their fire-protection services, and insurance companies use it when establishing premiums for fire insurance. A Class 1 rating generally represents superior property fire protection and can lower the price of insurance within a community.

The Class 1 ranking reflects the City’s commitment to public safety, along with the shared effort and responsibility among the fire department, local leaders, business owners and residents.

“This achievement represents years of ingrained systems and processes, along with the accountability of programs and personnel,” said San Marcos Fire Chief Daniel Barron. “It also reflects SMFD’s steadfast adherence to the City’s core values and our commitment to protecting life and property and serving the community.”

How Fire Departments Are Evaluated

A Fire Department’s capabilities are evaluated using nationally accepted standards developed by organizations including as the National Fire Protection Association, the American Water Works Association and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International.

Four key areas of a community’s fire suppression capabilities are evaluated, including:

  • The fire department
  • Emergency communications (911 call center)
  • Water supply
  • Community risk reduction, including community efforts to reduce losses through fire

    prevention, public fire safety education and fire investigation Additional evaluation elements include:

  • Response capabilities (deployment analysis), which includes adequate staffing of fire service personnel on engine crews and ladder companies
  • Fire station distribution (location and coverage)
  • Appropriate apparatus and equipment
  • Training of all personnel
  • Water supply throughout the city
  • Organizational structure
  • Communications and call procedures
  • Building/Fire Prevention Codes and their enforcement

    About the San Marcos Fire Department

    The mission of the San Marcos Fire Department is to provide the highest level of customer service by protecting life, property and the environment, through the delivery of innovative, fiscally responsible and ethical emergency services in our community. For more information, visit www.san-marcos.net/smfd.

San Marcos City employees donate $1,970 in shoe store gift cards to local students

On Wednesday, Dec. 18, Santa Claus visited City Hall to deliver a total of $1,970 in shoe-store gift cards to 58 local elementary school students and homeless teens thanks to a partnership between City employees and the San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD).
City employees donated $1,680 toward the purchase of Famous Footwear gift cards, and an in-store promotion enabled staff to purchase an extra $290 in gift cards to spread holiday cheer to schoolchildren identified by SMUSD.
The children and their families attended a festive holiday reception at City Hall on Wednesday evening. “Jingle Bells” played as smiling kids danced, enjoyed cookies and posed for photos with Santa and City of San Marcos firefighters.
“We are proud of the steps that City staff took to help Santa make the holidays a little brighter for families in our community,” said City Manager Jack Griffin. “We appreciate the assistance of SMUSD to help us connect with deserving students and families.”

San Marcos, CA: California fires and red flag warnings remind us to be prepared

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for San Marcos and San Diego County through Wednesday, Nov. 14. Red flag warnings are designed to alert fire departments of the onset, or possible onset, of critical weather and dry conditions that could lead to rapid or dramatic increases in wildfire activity.

According to CALFIRE, the type of weather patterns forecasted for the area include low relative humidity, strong winds, dry fuels, the possibility of dry lightning strikes, or any combination of the above.

During heightened fire danger, CAL FIRE and San Marcos Fire Department will place additional firefighters on duty, staff more fire engines and keep more equipment on 24 hours a day to be able to respond to any new fires.

“Wildfires burning in Ventura, Los Angeles and Butte counties are a clear reminder that we are in a dangerous fire season, and that one could flare up any moment, especially with the forecasted Santa Ana winds heading to San Diego County,” said Fire Chief Brett VanWey.

To prepare, San Marcos Fire Department and the County of San Diego are recommending residents take a “Ready, Set, Go!” approach for peak fire season.

Homeowners are asked to get “ready” by creating or maintaining at least one hundred and fifty feet of defensible space – but to do so only early in the morning when the grasses are still dewy to prevent sparking a fire in the dry heat of the day.

Residents can also get “ready” by making an emergency plan, gathering emergency supplies and making sure smoke detectors are in working condition.

If a fire breaks out, San Marcos residents can get “set” to evacuate by staying updated on the latest local safety information by visiting the city’s website, following San Marcos @sanmarcoscity on FacebookTwitter and Instagram; registering for e-notifications; and turning radios to AM 1610.

Finally, if told to do so by a public safety official or you feel unsafe, be ready to “go” by taking the evacuation steps necessary to give your family and home the best chance of surviving a wildfire.

“San Marcos is no stranger to wildfire and it is up to all of us to help keep ourselves, our property and the community safe,” said Fire Chief Brett VanWey.

It is important that residents stay connected before, during and after emergencies.

In addition to city information channels, residents can register cell phones with San Diego County’s free AlertSanDiego notification system by visiting www.readysandiego.org to sign up. Once registered, residents will receive calls or texts with local emergency information.

For more information about how you can prepare for emergencies, visit www.san-marcos.net/beprepared or visit ReadySanDiego.org. For red flag warning updates or to learn how you can do your part to reduce wildfire risk, visit CALFIRE’s website.

San Marcos Fire Department responds to a small vegetation fire

San Marcos Fire Department responds to a small vegetation fire

At approximately 9 am on Friday, Aug. 17, the San Marcos Fire Department responded to a small vegetation near 2430 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road. Crews contained the blaze to a 50 by 50-foot area and extinguished the fire by approximately 10 am.

While brief evacuations were issued out of an abundance of caution, no injuries or significant damage has been reported. The fire’s cause is currently under investigation; there have been unconfirmed reports of a discarded cigarette thrown from a vehicle according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Eastbound S. Rancho Santa Fe Road at Las Flores Drive will be closed until noon so that the Fire Department can clear partially burned trees and mop up the area.

 

This fire serves as a critical reminder of the importance of wildfire preparedness. All homeowners must maintain 150 feet of defensible space and residents should have an emergency plan in place.

To learn more about emergency preparedness, visit www.san-marcos.net/beprepared. To learn more about preparing your home for wildfire, visit www.san-marcos.net/wildfiresafety.