The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation has pledged matching funds up to $55,000 in support of the Lompoc firefighters and their quest to purchase a state-of-the-art fire safety and emergency preparedness training trailer for the Lompoc Fire Department’s community outreach program.

The Lompoc Firefighters Foundation has been raising funds for the last year, and per foundation president Ralph Harman, the generosity of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and its commitment to the safety of our community will put the foundation very close to the funding goal of $110,000.

The trailer will be used to deliver interactive training to children and adults covering topics such as: in-home fire extinguishment methods, electrical safety, accessing the 9-1-1 system, severe weather awareness, wildland urban interface fire prevention and preparedness, and the importance of and how to plan for exit drills. The trailer is fully ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, allowing wheelchair access for training, which will allow the opportunity to develop focused programs for high-risk groups, such as our elderly population.

The trailer will provide firefighters with the ability to deliver hands-on, community-focused safety training at special events, community meetings, neighborhood gatherings, schools, businesses and anywhere the trailer can be set up.

“Knowing how to react when a fire occurs or how to prepare for an evacuation is crucial for the members of our community, especially considering the dry conditions that we have in this region,” said Vincent Armenta, tribal chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. “We are proud to partner with the Lompoc Firefighters Foundation and the Lompoc Fire Department in their efforts to inform more children and adults about fire safety with the help of a new mobile training unit.”

In addition to the pledge from the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation, the Rotary Club of Lompoc has pledged $20,000 from its annual Wine Tasting and Auction to be held Feb. 23. The final fundraiser that Harman projects will help achieve the funding goal is the foundation’s annual Fire and Ice Ball, which will be held March 1.

Please support the foundation and help us reach the goal of funding the fire safety and emergency preparedness training trailer by attending these two events. Donations to the trailer fund can be made by visiting the foundation’s website by clicking here.

Tickets to the Rotary Wine Tasting and Auction as well as the Fire and Ice Ball can be purchased at Fire Station One and businesses throughout the city. For additional information, contact Harman at 805.736.1901 or Fire Chief Kurt Latipow at 805.875.8054.

— Kurt Latipow is chief of the Lompoc Fire Department.