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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 11:38 am | Fair 54º


Santa Barbara Fire Department Recognizes the Efforts of Its Volunteers

Fourth annual luncheon honors those who have served the department through its community outreach programs

The Santa Barbara City Fire Department held its fourth annual volunteer recognition luncheon Wednesday.

The volunteers who were present were active in much of the Fire Department’s outreach programming, including the Fire Safety House Program for third-graders in the Santa Barbara area, as well at the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program.

The Fire Safety House Program in particular has garnered much success, reaching 914 third-graders at 13 local schools.

Cathy Wright, the Fire Safety House coordinator, attributes the success to the development of a joint volunteer base between the Fire Department and the American Red Cross.

“It started out when the engine companies were so tightly bound to their stations,” Wright said about the previous shortage of people needed to run the FSH program. “It takes a little bit more effort and money to rearrange everyone and cover each station.”

The volunteers are trained to run the Fire Safety House independently, learning basic fire safety techniques to teach to the children, as well as learning a script to outfit a situation within the learning house. With volunteers present at the schools during a presentation, the crews can attend with the freedom to leave if they get an emergency call.

“It’s really a win-win thing,” Wright said.

Wednesday’s event included a pizza lunch, a slideshow of the Fire Safety House Program, and recognition of volunteers, all of whom have individually contributed more than 120 hours to the Fire Department.

When asked if these programs were possible without the volunteers, Wright said, “Not a chance.”

Noozhawk intern Frankie Victoria can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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