Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire
Since the Cedar Fire of 2003, one of the biggest fires in California history, San Diego has looked at fire safety in a whole new light. Most people in San Diego and at Senomyx were affected by, or know someone who was affected by, these devastating fires. The Cedar Fire burned through 280,278 acres, 2,820 buildings (including 2,232 homes), killed 15 people and was declared a state of emergency by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, before being contained.
As we approach the 10-year anniversary of the Cedar Fire, Senomyx has gotten involved with the San Diego Regional Fire Foundation (SDRFF) to help raise awareness and funds to prevent tragedies caused by wild fires like these. On a day-to-day basis there is a need to better equip and train our volunteer fire departments, which protect 60% of San Diego County, so they can provide the same level of medical and fire service found in our urbanized areas. There are two challenges in addressing this issue:
- Funding is a major issue, with very little property tax basis and only $30,000 per year provided by the County.
- Maintaining a cadre of trained and experienced volunteer firefighters is critical, as most volunteer firefighters leave within two years to become career firefighters at a paid fire department.
The SDRFF hopes to equip each engine with a GPS-type system that will enable the closest responders to be called to the scene of an emergency. Providing systems like these could prevent small brush fires from turning into disasters. If you would like to donate or find out how to help, please visit the SDRFF website.
As part of our fire awareness activities, Senomyx hosted our annual fire safety training onsite in order to train employees how to put out small house or office fires. To see how else Senomyx supports educational activities for adults and children, please visit the education portion of our blog.