The Daily Republic reported on the Solano County Civil Grand Jury’s report investigating the wildfire risk to county residents, and the response by Cordelia Fire Protection Discounty Board of Supervisors.
Today a great crew worked hard to continue the Station 29 site cleanup (next to old Falls School site on Rockville) started last year. Trees were removed to increase the fire break around the station, shrubs were cut back and pruned to improve the appearance and reduce fuel near the station, and volunteers pressure washed the living quarters prior to prepare for painting in the near future.
The team worked from 6:30am to past noon despite the heat and smoke. Many are not aware of this, but we are staffing the station on most nights now, but usually after dinner at Station 31 in Cordelia. We have high hopes that the Station 29 site will be the location of improvements at some point.
Many thanks to Father John’s crew who did tree cutting and branch removal, Napa Recycling for their assistance with dumpsters and trucks, the resident fire fighters who pitched in with everything, CFPD Board members who took time from their weekends to help, Chief Carpenter to assisted despite his long week, neighbors like Tom Giugni who volunteered with the clean up, GVLA for lunch for the team, and most importantly to Tim Senior who organized this entire effort and worked tirelessly to secure the donations of time and resources.
We have more to do including additional tree removal, painting, etc., and will be back at it perhaps later this year.
Glen Langstaff, CFPD Board Member
Cordelia Fire Protection District (CFPD) welcomed eight new volunteer resident firefighter recruits last week. CFPD company officers began training the new volunteers last week, with continued intensive trainings scheduled June 19th and 20th at Rockville Road Station #29, and in Rockville Heights. Fire Chief David Carpenter says this is good news for the local residents and businesses who rely on the district and partnering agencies to protect lives and property.
The District has grown its ranks in recent years, bringing on graduates of local fire academies as well as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) who wish to also train as firefighters. Since the majority of CFPD’s calls are for medical aid and other public assistance, the EMT component is critical for today’s firefighters. Additionally, as we enter fire season with most of the fire incidents involving wildland, CFPD implemented a new program offering EMT’s hands-on wildland fire fighting training. This expands the trainees’ career options while expanding the agency’s staffing abilities.
“As an autonomous agency, CFPD operates on a limited budget, and thus relies heavily on volunteer resident firefighters to carry out critical fire prevention and suppression duties as well as to deliver medical aid to our constituents,” Chief Carpenter said. “We’re grateful to all our volunteers for their service.”
The district is currently staffed by three full-time company officers, volunteer fire chief, an assistant fire chief, and 23 resident firefighters, plus the eight new recruits. While the resident firefighters are classified as volunteers, they commit to at least one 24-hour shift each week, and thus receive invaluable on the job training and experience.
“Our resident firefighters have successfully completed a fire academy and are training for a career position in the fire service. Our EMT recruits will be trained specifically in wildfire suppression. We are always training, both in the classroom and in the field. Those who join CFPD after graduating from an academy benefit from hands-on, real-world experience.”
Recruitment and consistent training is key to expanding the ranks at CFPD and enabling regular staffing of Station #29 on Rockville Road. Currently, Station #31 on Cordelia Road is staffed with one crew 24/7, and Station #29 is only staffed during times of high fire danger in the area. CFPD’s goal is to maintain 24/7 staffing at both stations, and to add crews especially in times of high fire danger. Full-time staffing of Station #29 will greatly improve response times for incidents in upper Green Valley.
Established in 1918, the Cordelia Fire Protection District is an agency that provides Fire and EMS service to the communities of Green Valley, Rockville, Cordelia, and Lower Suisun Valley. It is an autonomous District, governed by a five-member elected Board of Directors. The district has two stations covering 56 square miles of southern Solano County in California and is an active participant in local mutual and automatic-aid agreements with other agencies.
Cordelia Fire District is participating in a prescribed training burn with the Vacaville Fire Department and other Bay Area and Solano County agencies. The prescribed burn training was scheduled for Wednesday, June 9, in the hills behind the California Medical Facility (CMF) and on Thursday, June 10, on Callen Hill between Callen Street and Allison Drive.
Some of our resident volunteer firefighters completed training on the methods of backfiring. Backfiring is a tactic where firefighters intentionally set a fire along a fireline’s inner edge, in order to consume fuel in the path of a wildfire or to change the direction it is traveling. Going forward this could be one of the most effective tools we have in fighting a fast-moving fire when resources are scarce. Because resources are scarce this year, this training is critical.
“The purpose for both days will be to educate Solano and Bay Area fire service professionals on firing operations in a controlled dynamic fire environment to satisfy the training requirements,” officials wrote in a news release. “The skills practiced during this training provides the attendees with real world experience in applying tools and techniques to successfully engage in firing operations during wildfire events.”
On the evening of Tuesday, May 4, Cordelia Fire Protection District crews responded to reports of a fire on westbound Hwy 80 East of American Canyon. The incident started at about 18:00 as a vehicle fire, but quickly ignited nearby dry grass, causing a vegetation fire. With the hot and windy conditions and the fire growing quickly, two alarms were initially called. The Cordelia Fire crew was first on the scene.
Cordelia Fire District Chief Dave Carpenter reported that their crew of four firefighters did an excellent job fighting the fire, which grew to over 3 acres within just five to ten minutes. The crew split up, putting half the firefighters on the vehicle fire and the others on the vegetation fire. Because multiple crews were able to respond quickly, the fire was contained to just 3.7 acres. Cal Fire, Fairfield Fire, Suisun Fire District, American Canyon, and Vallejo Fire also responded to the incident.
Fire crews say this incident is an example of how fires can quickly spread with the combined dangerous conditions of extremely dry land and hot, windy weather. This is another reminder that fire season is already upon us, and that we all need to be aware of the dangers, remain vigilant, and make fire safety a priority.
Red Flag Warning. Due to the Red Flag Warning in place into Tuesday, the
CFPD will be staffing both stations 29 and 31 tonight. We would like to
do this every night, but do not have the staffing and funding to do so.
We will work to staff whenever possible during these high fire warnings.
If you would like to see full time staffing at both stations all the
time, please reach out to the Solano County Supervisors and encourage
them to provide a regular, on-going funding source to support the
unincorporated districts year round for a higher level of service. The
CFPD is currently operating without a paid Chief and minimal paid staff
who support and train the resident volunteer fire fighters. More staff = more
volunteers in place = greater station support.
On Wildfire Community Preparedness Day (May 1) Cordelia Fire Protection District (CFPD) and Green Valley Fire Safe Council (GVFSC) gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the newly erected Fire Safety Bulletin Board on Rockville Road and Green Valley Road. The board will be used to post fire prevention and safety updates for Green Valley residents.
Officials from Cal Fire also were also on hand to discuss fire prevention strategies and distribute wildfire action plan information.
GVFSC president Rochelle Sherlock addressed the crowd and thanked the Council members, County officials, CFPD and other agencies involved in the collaborative effort.
The GVFSC also organized a Green Waste event where Green Valley and Rockville Road residents could drop off their green waste. The goal is to encourage residents to reduce wildfire risk and create defensible space around their homes by thinning dense vegetation and removing ladder fuels as well as dead and fallen trees. Creating defensible space gives fire fighters a better chance to protect property when threatened by wildfire.
Additional green waste drop off days are scheduled on May 24 and June 21. Advance registration is required. Learn more and register at gvfsc.org
CFPD Fire Chief Dave Carpenter praised the efforts of the GVFSC for spearheading these events, helping to educate the public about fire safety, and supporting the community with the critical tasks necessary to reduce wildfire risk.
The Green Valley Fire Safety Council (GVFSC) team recently completed the construction of their new bulletin board at the corner of Green Valley Rd and Rockville Rd. The first posting is the certificate that acknowledges GVFSC was established as a nationally recognized participating site in this program. Going forward there will be numerous postings to provide you information about home hardening, fire prevention, chipping programs, etc. This is not a general neighborhood bulletin board, but one dedicated to fire prevention and survival. It is meant to supplement their website, mailings and meetings to disseminate information to the Green Valley community. For more information, please visit their site at GVFSC.org.
The Cordelia Fire Protection District strongly supports and participates in their efforts to make Green Valley a safer place to live and enjoy.
This week crews of resident volunteer fire fighters were training in the Green Valley Highlands. They were learning how to correctly lay hose from the street to houses some distance from the street. Not all homes are situated on the street, and some houses have driveways that may not accommodate a fire engine. Some houses have a driveway designed to accommodate an engine, but are situated in an area that makes it difficult to reach with our equipment. This is why we must train our crews to be prepared to haul, connect, and use hoses on a structure fire some distance from the engine, especially on steep driveways. It’s an important skill to learn as many homes in the District are not easily accessible. Stopping a structure fire may be crucial to preventing a fire from spreading further.
Chief Carpenter and his skilled team are always working on training to further improve the skills of the volunteers who are here to serve and protect. They will be back in the field again in the future to continue the training.
We are grateful for the support from neighbors who have volunteered their homes for firefighter training. That is greatly appreciated. As we are continually training, we are always on the lookout for other training sites. If you own a home in the district that presents unique challenges and would welcome a crew to train on your property, please contact us at 864-0468 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.