East County News Service
October 1, 2017 (San Diego) -- San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) this week announced a $100,000 charitable grant to purchase essential equipment and medical apparatus for San Diego County Fire and rural fire agencies to better serve local communities and protect the region from future fires.
“We’re committed to protecting our communities from the greatest threat in our region - wildfires,” said Dave Geier, senior vice president of electric operations for SDG&E. “By collaborating with fire agencies to help provide critical equipment they need, and continuing to improve our electric system, we are making our region more prepared today than it was yesterday.”
Working with the San Diego Regional Fire Foundation, the $100,000 award is set to provide brand new, state-of-the-art equipment to San Diego County Fire, and the fire agencies in Alpine, Julian and Borrego Springs, including:
- $50,000 for upgraded radios, self-contained breathing apparatus and medical equipment;
- Nearly $37,000 will go to San Diego County Fire for new mobile computers on fire engines and upgraded maps; and
- $13,000 for additional education and outreach on defensible space and other vital fire protections.
To date, SDG&E has donated nearly $1,000,000 of shareholder dollars through its SAFE San Diego initiative--a program that provides funds to fire agencies, fire safe councils, Community Emergency Response Teams and other organizations that educates the public about fire prevention, encourages emergency preparedness, carries out response and recovery, and strives for resiliency in the face of disaster.
“In San Diego County, we live with the year-round threat of wildfires so these donations are instrumental to our brothers and sisters who respond to calls every day,” said Chief Tony Mecham, San Diego County Fire Chief. “We know that collaborations like this are truly making an impact when we can measurably reduce response times and fire damage to private properties.”
Since the 2007 firestorms, when some SDG&E power lines along with Cox Cable equipment were found by Cal Fire to have sparked fires during high winds, SDG&E has worked to improve wildfire safety and preparedness through substantial enhancements to the power system to ensure it can endure the most extreme conditions. Some of those improvements include:
- Bringing back the Aircrane for the 8th year providing vital aerial support in stopping fires before homes and businesses are damaged.
- Modernizing over 10,000 wooden power poles with fire-resistant steel ones in fire-prone areas so customers don’t lose power when they need it the most.
- Sharing data from the largest utility-owned weather network, complete with infrared cameras, so fire agencies can make informed staffing decisions on fire threat zones.
- Providing fire agencies with the daily ‘Fire Potential’ and Santa Ana Wildfire Threat ‘rating’ to ensure San Diegans are better protected in an emergency.
To learn more about SDG&E’s SAFE initiative, visit sdge.com/community.
SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.