March 31, 2020 (San Diego) – It’s important to remember this years brush fire season will be a very active one with so much rain over the winter months. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 virus is putting many at risk as it’s hampering mitigation efforts with local fire agencies.
From brush mitigation management, prescribed burns, to multi-agency training for firefighters, local, state and federal fire agencies are trying to adhere to the country’s new social distancing guidelines to slow the spread.
The U.S. Forest Service, announced last week that it was suspending prescribed burns. This is an effective way to reduce hazardous vegetation from hillsides.
Fire Chiefs’ concern now is that we’re going to be more reactive to fire than proactive. We need the publics help more than ever. We’ll do our part, but the public has to do their part!
Make No “If’s ands or Butts” About It – Get Checked!
March 18, 2020 (San Diego) -- I always liked to say I was Andy's training captain, because as young boys we would set fires in my parents' backyard and play "firefighter." Andy was the smart one. I provided the training center (my parents' backyard), which meant I was stuck with the evidence while Andy rode his bike home, another successful "training" session complete.
Though my dad wasn’t in the fire service, I swear he was a fire investigator in a past life. Andy and I always took pains to cover our tracks from the fires we set, but my dad managed to find the burn patterns, the point of origin and the Ohio blue tips used for ignition along with burned wood, debris and weeds.
March 15, 2020 (San Diego)--You probably don’t remember me, but I remember you. At the bank, the gym, in the grocery store, the receptionist. You were the one disgustingly sneezing, coughing and hacking without covering your mouth. Like a driver texting, you’re placing everyone else at risk. Is it just ignorance or arrogance?
I am shocked as I observe the inconsideration some are demonstrating during this time. Please be mindful!
Flu activity peaks between December and March resulting in more than 200,000 hospitalizations and thousands of deaths each year. Now with the Corona virus we have an even greater risk of being exposed to an additional dangerous and deadly virus.
What you could have done once symptoms came on is:
March 6, 2020 (San Diego) -- We’ve had the driest January and February for quite some time. Usually its our wettest months of the year. We’ve had some rain, but not much. We did experience more than normal wind events and more are expected through this week with warm temperatures promoting fuel growth and drying out vegetation faster than normal!
The National Interagency Fire Center Issued this alert for Southern California: Significant large fire potential is expected across the region during the outlook into late March, April and May.
January 29, 2020 (San Diego)--As you prepare for Super bowl festivities make sure to be a good sport and keep your ‘Safety’ front and center at all times.
Why? “Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest one-day sporting event in the United States and unfortunately one of the most dangerous days on roads and highways. Its estimated that 325 million gallons of beer are consumed by Americans on Super Bowl Sunday. That's roughly one gallon for every man, woman, and child in the country.” Aggressive behavior increase and there are more opportunities for food poisoning than any other day.
So, are you hosting the game in your Home Field? Be a good Quarterback and avoid a false start with unhealthy foods. Keep the ‘tight end’ looking just that ‘tight’ by adding healthy snacks to your menu instead of high fat foods, or go for that super bowl trophy by serving all healthy snacks. Let’s avoid that ‘Wide Receiver’ if possible.
January 20, 2020 (San Diego) -- It’s been pretty chilly lately and nothing beats a nice fire in the fireplace during winter months. Though fires may keep us warm, there are hazards that need to be addressed.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) encourages you to practice the following fire safety steps to keep those home fires safely burning says DiGiovanna. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility as fire prevention starts with you!
Here are some fireplace safety tips to help keep you safe:
January 5, 2020 (San Diego) -- Got Gas? As temperatures cool down, home heating use goes up. Additionally firefighters respond to more reports of gas inside a structure call. It’s important for homeowners and renters to inspect their home-heating appliances and perform any maintenance necessary to avoid any health or safety hazards.
If you smell gas in your home or your carbon monoxide detector goes off, immediately evacuate the house and call 911.
November 25, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- People camped out in line for hours, anticipating the release of the latest gaming system. Shoppers storming store doors as they open, trampling over others in their excitement. Punches thrown over the last $300 flat screen TV. That's right, folks. This Friday is Black Friday. And it can get nasty.
November 18, 2019 (San Diego) -- Thanksgiving signifies the beginning of the holiday season and many of us will be spending more time in the kitchen preparing for the holidays. Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year.
“The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” —Major General James Jackson
September 19, 2019 (San Diego) -- It’s been 18 years since United Airlines flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11 were purposely flown by hijackers into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Shortly thereafter, the Pentagon was severely damaged by the impact of an additional airliner and resulting fire. Hijackers also crashed a fourth plane into a field near Shanksville, Pa., after the passengers and flight crew attempted to regain control of the aircraft.
August 26, 2019 (San Diego) - Make Labor Day Work For You – Safely!
On the first Monday of September, many workers take the day off and enjoy time relaxing with friends and family for Labor Day. Many Americans will turn the time off into an extended weekend by hosting barbecues, going on a mini vacation or spending time outdoors, reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
August 6, 2019 (San Diego) -- When I was younger, I hated all the back-to-school commercials. They were a dreaded reminder that summer was over and pretty soon, I'd be back inside a hot, stuffy classroom, mourning my lost freedom.
By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovannaBy Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
July 22, 2019 (San Diego) -- As firefighters we know the power of water. We have some of the best apparatus capable of pumping thousands of gallons of water per minute during fires. In this capacity, water saves lives and property—it is essential to protecting our communities.
June 19, 2019 (San Diego) -- There’s a beauty about getting older—you become more comfortable in your own skin. The need for approval diminishes, you’re more confident in life and you can speak your mind without the fear of rejection. But if you want to stay comfortable in your own skin as you age, you need to protecting it properly!
June 3, 2019 (San Diego) -- Do you know about the 100 deadliest days of summer? No, I’m not referring to the danger of heat exhaustion or increased gun violence during the summer months—although those are very real risks in many places.
The 100 deadliest days are the days between the end of May and the beginning of September—the days when our teenage children hit the streets with lots of time on their hands.
What makes it deadly? Driving. Per mile driven, drivers aged 16 to 19 years old are nearly three times more likely than drivers older than 20 to be in a fatal crash. During the summer months, teenage deaths in vehicle accidents increase by 26% compared with the other months of the year.
May 13, 2019 (San Diego) -- Prom and graduation season is here again – You want to make sure you graduate "with" your class!
Unfortunately, these happy occasions sometimes involve underage drinking which can result in tragedy reminds. It is therefore critical that parents keep the lines of communication open when it comes to talking to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking and drunk driving.
May 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- With the coming of spring and warmer weather conditions, snakes of many species are through hunkering down, making human encounters with these elusive creatures more likely. Although most native snakes are harmless, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recommends giving the venomous rattlesnake a wide berth – and knowing what to do in the event of a strike.
March 4, 2019 (San Diego) -- This Sunday, March 10, is Daylight Saving Time. Setting the clock forward means it’s time not to just check the clock, but for a spring clean safety check. As you make your “hot lap” around the home, setting clocks ahead, why not take a little extra time for a short safety checklist?
Help Spring your home into being safe and organized by following these steps:
February 12, 2019 (San Diego) -- Why is knowing Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) important? Well first, what would you do if a family member, friend or coworker went into Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)? Would you know what to do? SCA kills 1,000 people a day or one person every two minutes. It is estimated that 95 percent of victims of cardiac arrest die before they reach a hospital or other source of emergency help.
January 28, 2019 (San Diego) -- On Feb. 3, the Los Angeles Rams will face the New England Patriots in the 2019 Super Bowl LIII. Millions of Americans will get together to root against the Patriots — ahem, I mean, to watch the game!
December 18, 2018 (San Diego) -- Millions of people will be hitting the road the next couple of weeks for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. It’s important you are properly prepared to get to your destination safely reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
November 26, 2018 (San Diego) - The next best thing after Thanksgiving is the day after when we start preparing for Christmas. This week, we’ll start from the outside and work our way inside next week.
November 5, 2018 (San Diego) -- Though fire season is pretty much year round we can take preventive measures to prevent the start and spread of them. We educate and encourage those living in wildland fire-prone communities, to follow the “Ready, Set, Go” model to properly prepare for wildfires https://www.fire.lacounty.gov/rsg/
September 24, 2018 (San Diego) -- This is the first week of fall, and with it comes Santa Ana wind season. Though fire season is year round, fall typically brings triple-digit temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds bringing high fire danger and red flag warnings.
September 19, 2018 (San Diego) - September is National Wine Awareness Month and wine has become so vital to California that it deserves a whole month. “Last year we saw the devastation from wildfires in Sonoma and Napa and fires are still burning dangerously close in many areas throughout the state, reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. We are far from being out of the woods as we have yet to experience our Santa Ana’s, Sundowners and Diablo winds.”