#LoveWins Preparedness Tips for Pride

Originally posted on SF72:

By: Daniella Cohen

San Francisco is buzzing this morning as we gear up for a historic Pride weekend on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. What a day and weekend indeed to be in this great city!

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This year for the 45th Anniversary of San Francisco Pride the Warrior’s President and COO Rick Welts has been chosen to raise the flag as the Celebrity Grand Marshal. Rick Welts is most recently known for leading the Golden State Warriors to a historic landslide victory in the NBA Finals (their first title since 1975!), but he is also known for being America’s first prominent, openly-gay sports executive. Historic celebrations abound this weekend as San Francisco braces for a gathering of up to half a million people this Sunday for the annual Pride Parade.

1972_poster_asof2009.03.23_234w The first official Pride Parade  poster!

Pride brings many things to mind:…

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DEM’s Spring Round-up

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As we approach summer in San Francisco (pull out winter jackets!), spring was quite a season for DEM. Check our seasonal recap and have a great summer!

April is traditionally a very busy month for DEM as it marks two particularly significant events: the yearly National Public Safety Dispatchers Week and the anniversary of the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire.  The following recaps the activities of one of DEM’s most energetic months.

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Dispatcher of the Month (April):

San Francisco Department of Emergency Management’s 9-1-1 Dispatchers manage more than 1.2 million emergency and non-emergency calls annually and are often the “first” first–responders whom San Franciscans reach when facing an emergency or are in crisis.

Every month a DEM Public Safety Dispatcher is recognized for outstanding service while assisting those in crisis. This month DEM Public Safety Dispatcher Shannon Bond is being recognized for the protection he provided to Fire and Medical Personnel during an attack from a patient.

The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management has selected Public Safety Dispatcher Shannon Bond as Communications Dispatcher of the Month for April 2015 for his swift thinking and astute sense of awareness while working and surveilling the Fire Channel.

Earlier this month while Shannon was manning the Fire Channel F1, dispatch received a call regarding a seizing patient. Units had been dispatched and although they had reached the scene Shannon heard a commotion over the air waves. He followed-up by immediately calling for a status check from the dispatched units. After no response, Shannon grew increasingly concerned and quickly requested a priority request for the Police to check the well-being of the Fire and Medical Personnel that had been dispatched. When Police arrived at the scene they saw a combative patient armed with a knife attacking the Fire and Medical Personnel. Without Shannon’s ability to rapidly respond and request additional support on the ground, a volatile situation could have become a very dangerous one. We thank Shannon for his diligent work and fast response.

Dispatcher Week:

Have you ever wondered who is on the other end of the line when you call 9-1-1? In the advent of an emergency you call 9-1-1 hoping to ultimately reach fire fighters or police officers, but who coordinates with those entities? Who guides them? Who advises them on the situation, and who helps to keep our officers and fire fighters safe in potentially chaotic instances? Dispatchers are the unsung heroes of our emergency response infrastructure. April 12th-18th was National Public Safety Dispatcher Week and the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management celebrated all of our fantastic and talented team of dispatchers.

We celebrated our dispatchers all week long with a special event each day. Some of the highlights included: the Dispatcher of the Year Board of Supervisor’s Proclamation at City Hall, the presentation of the Toni Hardley Award, and our Open House/Dispatcher Alumni Day.

Dispatcher of the Year 2015:

April 13th, 2015 the San Francisco Board of Supervisors honored 9-1-1 dispatcher Kayleigh Hillcoat with the Dispatcher of the Year award for her professionalism and precision in directing three high-stress and complex incidents. As the dispatcher on the Control/Command radio channel, Kayleigh assisted the San Francisco Police Department during an incident that involved a potential officer down, throughout spontaneous celebrations the evening that the San Francisco Giant’s won the World Series, and during public demonstrations in Union Square related to the Ferguson, Missouri protests.

“Kayleigh is being recognized for not only one coordinated response to an emergency, but three. She has exhibited strength, grace, and compassion during incredibly complex incidents,” said Anne Kronenberg, Executive Director, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management.

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Toni Hardley Award Presentation:

Every year we present the Toni Hardley Award for Excellence in Supervision. Toni Hardley was a beloved supervisor of the Department of Emergency Management who is remembered for her calm, cool, and collected nature. As one supervisor remembers her “She was the supervisor everyone aspired to be.” We remember her by the presentation of this award. This year Teodros Deressegne was awarded for his upstanding contributions to his team both as a dispatcher and a supervisor. Teodros Deressegne was particularly recognized for the time he spent talking a young boy out of his home during the Mission St. fire this year. The boy was the last person still left in the building and Teodros helped him to find his way out of the fire.

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Open House/Dispatcher Alumni Day:

On Friday April 17th, the Department of Emergency Management opened our doors for an open house and dispatcher alumni day. We were greeted by some familiar faces as friends new and old arrived to greet our staff.

Even Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White was able to drop by to give our well-deserved dispatchers some recognition!

1906 Commemoration Celebrations:

This year was the 109th commemoration of the San Francisco Great 1906 Earthquake and Fire. Every year citizens, public servants, and elected officials gather to remember the disaster that brought down a large part of our beautiful city. Many dress in period costumes and are ready to continue a long tradition of remembrance and story-telling shared to honor the victims and the survivors of the great quake and fire. This disaster is commemorated with laughs, smiles, and good old fashioned San Francisco pride as we not only remember the devastation but the remarkable recovery of our city and our citizens.

The Department of Emergency Management began celebrations at the Silver Twin Fire Hydrants, located at Hayes and Buchanan, and Ellis and Van Ness. It is now known that these fire hydrants were equal to the actions of the Gold Hydrant located in the Mission. These two hydrants are traditionally painted silver in long overdue ceremonies to honor the contributions of the “Silver Twins” in stopping the now famous “Ham & Egg” fire in the Western Addition.

Silver Twins (4)

Silver Twins (3)

Following the re-painting of the Silver Twins the crow roared towards John’s Grill who has been serving up the “Big One” Luncheon for 15 years. Some of those who gathered at John’s Grill have been attending this celebration for as long as the Grill has been serving for this event. Period attire, firefighting garb, and vehicles from the era lined the street. We were also serenaded by the thumping and boisterous sounds of Archbishop Riordan’s High School marching band.

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The main event took place on April 18th at Lotta’s Fountain. The crowd gathered at 5:12 a.m. to once again remember and honor those who fought the fires, those we loved and lost, as well as those remarkable souls that rebuilt San Francisco. After the original alarm bell was sound, the crowd followed with a moment of silence and in chorus sung “San Francisco.”z_pH_b14os-MVza_atX_0e3GDSsnrQDMXwJcOFE2Pbo,goTc79IFRYK0514B-ncMkO4kSnzDPqKeIdJrNHlNFB8

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Tradition was everywhere as period roadsters rumbled towards the Mission to re-paint the forever famous Golden Fire Hydrant which is known for bringing down the flames in the Mission District. Fire Chief Hayes-White kicked off the ceremony, survivor’s family members followed suit by sharing who they were there to honor that day followed by splashing some shiny new gold paint on that indispensable “Little Giant.”

Golden Hydrant  Golden Hydrant Cars

Last but not least, the commemorations were wrapped up at the annual Lefty O’Doul’s Bloody Mary Survivor Breakfast. Although we must never forget the devastation we faced, we must always remember how we came together as a community. Commemorating the Great 1906 Earthquake and Fire is just as much about remembrance and honor, as it is about reminding ourselves of the strong community we always have to fall back on, and this year we did just that!

San Andreas Movie Premier:

On Friday May 29th, the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management and the San Francisco Film Commission joined forces to host a special viewing of San Andreas at the Presidio Theater. San Francisco digitally crumbled underneath a 9.6 magnitude earthquake and an impressively large tsunami proceeded to take down the Golden Gate Bridge! Dwanye Johnson delivered his action movie flare and although parts of the film were tense, we managed to share many laughs (and few “yahoos” during scenes with drop, cover, and hold on). After the film, we held a panel with emergency and earthquake science professionals who helped us to debunk earthquake and tsunami myths.

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Check-out our previous blog on the event!

EMS Awards:

May 17th-May 23rd was National Emergency Medical Services Week. San Francisco’s emergency medical service (EMS) professionals rush every day to the scenes of emergencies to assist in what might be someone’s darkest hour.  On Wednesday May 20 we honored their achievements by hosting an Open House and Awards ceremony at San Francisco City College.

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Our City’s EMS honorees represent paramedics, emergency medical technicians, dispatchers, educators, and emergency room providers.  Collectively they are shining examples of San Francisco’s emergency medical services community.

For further information on the awardees, please visit “The Awards Go To…”

San Andreas Recap-What a Night at the Movies!

Written by SFDEM Intern, Daniella Cohen

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Last Friday May 29th, the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management and the San Francisco Film Commission joined forces to host a special viewing of San Andreas at the Presidio Theater. San Francisco digitally crumbled underneath a 9.6 magnitude earthquake and an impressively large tsunami proceeded to take down the Golden Gate Bridge! Dwanye Johnson delivered his action movie flare and although parts of the film were tense, we managed to share many laughs (and few “yahoos” during scenes with drop, cover, and hold on).

The Earthquake Country Alliance agreed on some things the film did a great job of portraying:

~ The importance of the “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” message for self-protection.

~The need for a backup and family reunification plan, always have a contact outside of the area all family members can report to!

~The movie demonstrates how critical previous training in first aid can be when trying to help others around you, as well as checking for injuries in times of distress.

~ Knowing that a physical sign of an impending tsunami can be seen in water that is receding.

~Cell phones are shown to not work after the earthquake in the film, with non-powered landlines remaining operational (however this may not last long either). Texting may work even better, and takes less bandwidth on networks, so Text First, Talk Second!

~The depiction of official Tsunami warning radio broadcasts and the use of sirens in San Francisco demonstrates how scientific information (delivered at the right time and in the right way) can save lives.

 

 

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Community members, emergency management professionals and earthquake scientists gathered for a fun film and were able to share some lessons about preparedness along the way!

 

San Francisco Fire Department reps and DEM's Kristin Hogan with our special guest!

San Francisco Fire Department reps and DEM’s Kristin Hogan with our special guest!

 

Guests with

Lee Housekeeper, Fire Chief Hayes-White, Dave Ebarle, and SFFD Firefighter hanging with the man of the hour!

Lauren Machado and Susannah Robbins of FilmSF

Panelists Lauren Machado and Susannah Robbins of FilmSF

 


Fellow N.E.R.T. members enjoying the scene!

Fellow N.E.R.T. members enjoying the scene!

With that said you can rest assured that there are many organizations, agencies, and individuals that are working around the clock to prepare you for a natural disaster and to assist in responding and recovering.

Kate Long of CalOES and Ross Stein of USGS

Panelists Kate Long of CalOES and Ross Stein of USGS

We will never see the Golden Gate Bridge get crushed by a tsunami or the damage from a subduction zone earthquake, nonetheless we should brush off our emergency preparedness kits and talk shop with our families about a plan.

Panelist Amy Sinclair of the SFPUC discussing the importance of having stored water for emergencies.

Panelist Amy Sinclair of the SFPUC discussing the importance of having stored water for emergencies.

 Visit SF72.org for preparedness and emergency kit tips! Over and out from the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management-back to work on keeping our communities safe!

Dwanye “The Rock” Johnson takes on San Francisco!

Earthquakes, tsunamis, and aftershocks oh my! The “Big One” finally befalls San Francisco in Dwanye “The Rock” Johnson’s new movie, San Andreas. Without giving away any spoilers, the trailer makes certain to convey the mayhem and destruction following the 9.6 magnitude earthquake depicted in the film. San Francisco sure does get rocked! Seeing and hearing about this film led many who were witness to the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 shudder, after all, could we really be facing a 9.6 magnitude quake in the future? A tsunami that brings down the Golden Gate Bridge? (FYI, The San Andreas fault is not long and deep enough to have a magnitude 9 or larger earthquake and cannot cannot create a big tsunami as depicted in the movie.)

This Friday, May 29th 2015 at 6:10 p.m. the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management in partnership with Film SF will be hosting a special screening of San Andreas at the Presidio Theater. We invite the general public to come and watch with us alongside earthquake science and emergency management professionals who post-film will host a Q & A which will help separate fact from fiction.

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On Tuesday evening after seeing the film, Dr. Lucy Jones, a Seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey expressed, “Documentaries educate while movies entertain.” San Andreas will be no exception! This will be a fun and lighthearted event which will bring in community members, specialists, and elected officials to watch our beloved City featured in a major motion film, in addition to highlighting emergency management and disaster relief work.

Our hope is to dispel some of the more frightening aspects of the film from concerned San Franciscans, as well as to take this opportunity to focus on preparedness and community connection. Because disasters look more like cities coming together than falling apart, in times of distress and disaster it will be essential to lean on and help those around you.

So, please join us this Friday for a fun-filled movie going experience (who doesn’t love a good disaster flick, right?!) and enjoy a setting that combines entertainment and reality to educate us about the earth science of our fault lines; and empower us to know what to before, during, and after an emergency.

P.S. We will also have a special guest in attendance ready to sweep you off your feet!

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The Awards Go To…

DEM EMS Strong Logo 3 Inches

San Francisco’s emergency medical service (EMS) professionals rush every day to the scenes of emergencies to assist in what might be someone’s darkest hour.  Wednesday May 20 is our opportunity to honor their achievements, which often go unnoticed.

Our City’s EMS honorees represent paramedics, emergency medical technicians, dispatchers, educators, and emergency room providers.  Collectively they are shining examples of San Francisco’s emergency medical services community.

EMS Community Service Award
University San Francisco Emergency Medical Response Service

The EMS Community Service Award is presented to community members not employed by EMS system providers who have demonstrated leadership, compassion, and proficiency in providing emergency care for patients.  The University of San Francisco’s Emergency Medical Response Service is this year’s honoree.  USF developed their first on-campus EMS response service run by students and developed a community outreach plan to provide CPR, first aid, and disaster response training.

EMS Hospital Provider Award
UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Operation Move Team

The EMS Hospital Provider Award is presented to hospital-based providers for their exemplary care of EMS patients and their efforts on behalf of EMS field providers in building the teamwork that patients need to recover from their crises.  The UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Operations Move Team planned and executed a safe move for more than 130 patients from UCSF’s Parnassus and Mount Zion campuses to the new Benioff Children’s Hospital campus with minimal impact on EMS services.  As result of their advanced planning, disaster preparedness was enhanced at all sites.

EMS Dispatcher Award
Chancellor Mateo, EMD

The EMS Dispatcher Award is presented for service to patients calling in time of need for medical emergencies above and beyond the normal duties of EMS dispatch.  Chancellor Mateo was selected by his peers for 12 years of outstanding performance as a dispatcher and dispatch trainer.

EMS Field Provider Award
Anthony Dumont, EMT-P

The EMS Field Provider Award is presented to an active Emergency Medical Technician or Paramedic who provides excellent care to patients in need in a compassionate, professional and exemplary manner.  Anthony Dumont, EMT-P receives this honor for outstanding performance as a public safety provider in law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical care.  Anthony is a leader in the development of medical support to tactical situations.

Raymond Lim Excellence to EMS Award
Megan Corry, San Francisco City College

Raymond Lim Excellence in EMS is presented to an individual to honor a career spent in caring for EMS patients in an exemplary and extraordinary way.  True to the spirit of Raymond Lim, a pioneer in establishing quality care in California EMS, Megan Corry has dedicated her 20-year career to emergency medical services in the field and in the classroom.  Megan trains future EMS professional as the Program Director of City College of San Francisco’s nationally accredited paramedic training program.

Congratulations to all of our honorees!  Thank you for your service to San Francisco.

Inspired?  Attend San Francisco’s Emergency Medical Services Open House at City College of San Francisco on May 20, from noon to 4:00 p.m.   San Francisco’s EMS providers and professionals will be on hand to answer your questions.  For more information about the San Francisco Emergency Medical Services Open House, Job Fair, andAwards visit: http://www.sfdem.org/emsawards

One Day in San Francisco: On Call with the City’s EMS Professionals

Intro by Daniella Cohen

The San Francisco Emergency Medical Services Awards is sure to be one of the highlights of EMS Open House on Wednesday May 20th.  The awards honor the exceptional work of San Francisco’s emergency medical services community.  In future posts, we’ll highlight the work of each our awardees.

Speaking on shining light on some of our EMS All Stars…please meet Kaitlin Parks. Kaitlin is a recent alumni of San Francisco’s EMS community. By night Kaitlin was an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with the San Francisco Fire Department, and by day she was a professional dancer. In a video that was produced in partnership with One Day in San Francisco and One Day Earth we follow Kaitlin and her colleagues through the night as they pull back the curtain on what it means to be an emergency medical professional in the City. We glean a greater understanding of the sacrifice and commitment they make to protect others and the discipline they exhibit in responding professionally and quickly to help people in their darkest hours.

Kaitlin’s experience as an EMT in San Francisco inspired her to pursue a career in medicine.  Immediately following the EMS Awards Ceremony, Kaitlin will make the cross country drive to begin her studies at Oklahoma State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. According to U.S. News & World Report, the college is among the best medical osteopathic schools in the country.  Osteopathic medicine emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention.

Check out her short film “On Call With SFFD Paramedics.” You never know, this might be you one day!

On Call with SFFD Paramedics from Rebekah Fergusson on Vimeo.

Inspired?  Attend San Francisco’s Emergency Medical Services Open House at City College of San Francisco on May 20th, from 12pm-4pm.  San Francisco’s EMS providers and professionals will be on hand to answer your questions.

For more information about the San Francisco Emergency Medical Services Open House, Job Fair, & Awards visit: http://www.sfdem.org/emsawards

This short film was produced in partnership with One Day in SF and One Day on Earth. All footage was shot in the wee hours of Saturday, April 26, 2014. Directed/Shot/Edited by Rebekah Fergusson. Music by William Ryan Fritch. Special thanks to Kaitlin Parks, Matt Bean, and the SFFD for allowing a filmmaker into their world for the night.

DEM Honors San Francisco’s Dispatcher of the Year: Kayleigh Hillcoat

Have you ever wondered who is on the other end of the line when you call 9-1-1? In the advent of an emergency you call 9-1-1 hoping to ultimately reach fire fighters or police officers, but who coordinates with those entities? Who guides them? Who advises them on the situation, and who helps to keep our officers and fire fighters safe in potentially chaotic instances? Dispatchers are the unsung heroes of our emergency response infrastructure. Last week was National Public Safety Dispatcher Week and the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management celebrated all of our fantastic and talented team of dispatchers. DEM also recognized San Francisco Dispatcher of the Year, Kayleigh Hillcoat.

As a resident of the Richmond, Kayleigh was formally recognized by her Supervisor, Eric Mar, during the Board of Supervisor's Recognition of Commendation.

As a resident of the Richmond, Kayleigh was formally recognized by her Supervisor, Eric Mar, during the Board of Supervisor’s Recognition of Commendation.

“Teamwork is vital and I’m proud to work with a team of skilled and compassionate individuals who strive to do their best for our public safety partners and the citizens we serve every day. We put our personal emotions aside and pull through intense, difficult situations together.

The incidents mentioned by Supervisor Mar are no different.  I may have been a voice in the chaos, but I was backed by my co-workers helping to log and forward critical information, make calls, notify our allied agencies of crucial updates and dispatching fire and medical response along the way.” Kayleigh remarked during her Recognition of Commendation.

Usually Dispatcher of the Year is recognized for one incident however, Kayleigh is being awarded for commanding three high profile incidents this year. Kayleigh assisted the San Francisco Police Department during an incident that involved a potential officer down, throughout spontaneous celebrations the evening that the San Francisco Giant’s won the World Series, and during public demonstrations in Union Square related to the Ferguson, Missouri protests.

When asked what her favorite part of her job was, Kayleigh responded “[It’s] challenging, there is something different every day, I appreciate being able to directly make a difference in someone’s day or life depending on what the call is about.” She also enjoys the fact that she provides a service to the public, in addition to assisting our fire fighters and police officers.

Kayleigh Group Shot

What most people are not immediately aware of are the difficult parts of the job. Kayleigh shared, “the lack of closure after the call ends can be hard. There isn’t a lot of follow-up on how the emergency was handled or what happened to the caller.” Sometimes dispatchers interact with callers facing grave circumstances; this is a burden all dispatchers carry.

However, Kayleigh has found a wonderful way to deal with some of the more difficult parts of her job by volunteering her time at San Francisco’s Animal Care and Control (AC&C) where she volunteers with the Fetch Program. The Fetch Program is dedicated to dogs brought into the custody of AC&C due to the fact that the owner may be in the hospital, jailed, or evicted. These dogs are often emotionally stressed after being separated from their owners and the comfort of their homes, that’s where Kayleigh steps in. Kayleigh finds solace that she can help in some way post-call by being on the receiving end of displaced animals due to emergencies.

Kayleigh

This September Kayleigh will mark her 10th year as a DEM Dispatcher. Congratulations Kayleigh for a job consistently well done and DEM is proud to honor you for your vital contributions to public safety.

109 Years Ago…

Tomorrow at 5:12 a.m. will mark the 109th anniversary of the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire. This disaster took the lives of an estimated 3,000 people and left the City in ashes as much of the destruction was caused by fires and nearly 300,000 people were left homeless.

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Since the 1920’s, residents have gathered at Lotta’s Fountain to reflect on the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire, and as DEM has done year after year, we will join our fellow San Franciscan’s at this very early hour to commemorate what remains one of the worst tragedies in California history.

But tomorrow isn’t a convening to remember destruction; it’s a convening to remember connection. Because emergencies look more like cities coming together than falling apart, which is what happened here in San Francisco 109 years ago. It’s also a time to honor all those who came before us by preparing for any emergency. Visit SF72.org learn how.

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So, if you are a very early riser, please join the commemoration around 5:00 a.m. at Lotta’s Fountain. Look for people dressed 1906 period attire and practice your singing voice as we follow the moment of silence at 5:12 a.m. with “San Francisco” (scroll below for lyrics). If you can’t make it Lotta’s Fountain, you can meet us at the Golden Hydrant (Church and 18th Streets) closer to 6:00 a.m., which gets a fresh coat of gold paint every April 18th to commemorate the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.  For exact locations, check out the SF27 In an Emergency map, which has Lotta’s Fountain and the Golden Hydrant marked.

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San Francisco 

It only takes a tiny corner of

This great big world to make a place you love

My home upon the hill

I find I love you still

I’ve been away but now I’m back to tell you

 

San Francisco

Open your Golden Gate

You let no stranger wait outside your door

San Francisco

Here is your wandering one

Saying I’ll wander no more

 

Other places only make me love you best

Tell me your heart of all the golden west

 

San Francisco

Welcome me home again

I’m coming home

To go roaming no more

DEM Monthly Digest: March 2015

Dispatcher of the Month 

San Francisco Department of Emergency Management’s 9-1-1 Dispatchers manage more than 1.2 million emergency and non-emergency calls annually and are often the “first” first–responders whom San Franciscans reach when facing an emergency or are in crisis.

Every month a DEM Public Safety Dispatcher is recognized for outstanding service while assisting those in crisis. This month DEM Public Safety Dispatcher Daneshia Adamson is being recognized for the care she provided to an elderly woman in distress.

Earlier this month Daneshia received a 9-1-1 call from an elderly woman who wanted to report her vehicle stolen. After checking the vehicle’s license plate and information, she discovered that the vehicle had been reported stolen in a previous report. Suspicious that the caller had no recollection of the previous report or phone call, Daneshia stayed on the phone with the elderly woman while simultaneously alerting an on-duty officer to perform a well-being check. Daneshia compassionately stayed on the phone with the caller until an officer arrived, who ultimately decided that a medical evaluation was needed. Thanks to our Public Safety Dispatcher’s keen instinct, the caller was attended to and escorted to a medical evaluation.

911 Dispatchers answering phones

Call 9-1-1 to receive help for emergencies, potential emergencies, or if you are not sure if it’s an emergency.

Disaster Feeding Tabletop Exercise 

Currently, community and faith-based organizations provide food daily for thousands of San Francisco residents. But what would happen if San Francisco were hit with a mega-storm?  Here at San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (and SF72) we often discuss how we would survive during a 72-hour emergency, but how would we as a city provide access to food and uphold our feeding network during a storm that lasted 20 days?

On March 12th, the Kelly Cullen Community Center housed over 50 non-profit, public, private, and NGO stakeholders who came together to participate in the 2015 San Francisco Disaster Feeding Tabletop Exercise (TTX). You may be wondering what a tabletop exercise is…essentially it is a discussion-based forum where participants are faced with different scenarios and have the opportunity to express concerns about the current plan-of-action. This particular exercise brought our group to a San Francisco gone dark, under a 72-hour power outage. In addition, we bunkered down as we faced a 20-day mega-storm, complete with flash-floods, massive and ongoing power failures, and winds of gale force. Our greatest concern during this exercise was how to reach affected populations that were food -scarce, or that had completely run out of food.

Throughout our discussions we considered how some of our most vulnerable citizens, such as the elderly, people with disabilities, and the homeless community would reach food sources. We realized that an ongoing loss of power could lead to isolation, and mobility problems. Seeking shelter also could be dangerous. In addition, how would we provide food for the rest of the city whose food supplies had simply run out or had gone bad? One of the more humbling realizations a few of our partners reached was the possibility that their feeding station, shelter, or business may become un-operational by day-20. However, by facing these hard hitting questions and working together, we found that our unique partnerships could sustain a storm of this magnitude. Where some partners would need support, others would be able to step in. When it came to protecting the city, the people, and the furry friends that we love, we became ever-more resourceful. We found that only through the communication, collaboration, and coordination of our efforts would we be able to reach and provide food for those in need.

Citizen Corps Meeting: Tap Your Knowledge

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (SFDEM) had a fun evening on March 26th to discuss the most important item in an emergency: Water! In celebration of NERT’s upcoming water education program, Citizen Corp learned how the SFPUC manages the water system, the history of Hetch Hetchy, and personally how we can be more prepared with items we have around the house. We saw how the SFPUC tested their plans in Treasure Island in 2012 by distributing water via manifolds, water trucks, and with the help of volunteers. The audience learned how the SFPUC uses manifolds to connect to and safely access water hydrants, as well as the dangers residents face in operating hydrants.

PUC CC pic

Home Fire Prevention Public Service Announcement 

Amid the recent San Francisco apartment fires that left many families having to find new housing, and the unseasonably warm weather and excessively dry conditions, early this week the City urged all San Franciscans to take measures to prevent residential fires.

On Monday, March 30th, City officials gathered at the San Francisco Fire Department Division of Training to learn about and deliver crucial fire safety and home fire prevention methodology. “Fires have potential to quickly become large-scale emergencies, as we experienced in the Mission and in other parts of the City last month” Said San Francisco Department of Emergency Management Executive Director, Anne Kronenberg.

The City engages in many fire prevention practices, including using landscaping goats to control overgrown brush in areas such as Glen Canyon, Corona Heights, and other steep slopes.  San Francisco Public Works also stands at the ready to remove debris or other possible fire hazards and encourages residents to call 3-1-1 to report cases of this nature.

During the home fire prevention demonstration, the San Francisco Fire Department delivered the following fire prevention messages that apply now, during warm and dry weather, and at any point during the year:

While some fire prevention tips apply year-round:

  •  Never leave food on the stove or in the oven unattended
  • Never leave burning candles unattended
  • Keep combustible items away from heat sources
  • Properly dispose of smoking materials
  • Keep matches out of reach of children’s little hands
  • Do not overload electrical outlets

Other warm weather fire tips should be noted as well:

  • Check propane tank hoses & connections for leaks before lighting the grill
  • Douse hot coals or campfires with water before leaving the area
  • Dispose of barbeque coals in a non-combustible container such as a metal bucket
  • Keep a minimum clearance of 4 feet around the barbeque grill
  • Keep weeds and foliage trimmed and clear of fences, decks and homes

As we approach a dry spring and summer, best not wait to integrate these tips into your routine and make necessary adjustments to your apartment or home.

Residents Urged to Prevent Home Fires during Unseasonably Warm and Dry Conditions

Amid the recent San Francisco apartment fires that left many families having to find new housing, and the unseasonably warm weather and excessively dry conditions, the City urged all San Franciscans to take measures to prevent residential fires.

At the San Francisco Fire Department Division of Training, the San Francisco Fire Department, joined by the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection, the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, and San Francisco Public Works, City representatives delivered important fire safety and home fire prevention methodology.

Fire Prevention PSA 2

“The best way to manage fires is to prevent a fire from ever starting in the first place” says San Francisco Fire Chief Hayes-White.  “Knowing what has the potential to start a fire is the first step. From there, it’s a matter of being continuously mindful and observant to protect our homes and loved ones from fire.”

“Fires have potential to quickly become large-scale emergencies, as we experienced in the Mission and in other parts of the City last month” Said San Francisco Department of Emergency Management Executive Director, Anne Kronenberg. “The Department of Emergency Management’s role is to support all response agencies from the initial calls to 9-1-1 when we dispatch first responders to the scene of a fire, to the longer-term efforts associated with helping those impacted by fire to recover. But at the heart of the matter, knowing how to prevent fires is San Francisco’s collective responsibility.”

The City engages in many fire prevention practices, including using landscaping goats to control overgrown brush in areas such as Glen Canyon, Corona Heights, and other steep slopes.  San Francisco Public Works also stands at the ready to remove debris or other possible fire hazards and encourages residents to call 3-1-1 to report cases of this nature.  “We all need to work together to reduce the risk of fire,” said San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. “If you see an overgrown lot, contact 3-1-1 with the location and we will respond.”

The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection provides fire safety requirements to property owners, and strives to increase owner and tenant vigilance with regard to fire safety. “Following the recent spate of tragic fires in the Mission and Tenderloin neighborhoods,” said Tom Hui, S.E., C.B.O. and the City’s Building Official, “DBI inspectors are performing City-wide life-safety spot-checks, or routines, on older mixed-use apartment buildings and, where inspectors discover life-safety and fire-safety code violations, we are increasing our enforcement litigation referrals. We continue to urge residents to call 3-1-1 (or to call DBI directly: 415-558-6220) to report any suspected code violations— especially those related to life-safety systems within a residential building.”

During the home fire prevention demonstration, the San Francisco Fire Department delivered the following fire prevention messages that apply now, during warm and dry weather, and at any point during the year:

While some fire prevention tips apply year-round:

  • Never leave food on the stove or in the oven unattended
  • Never leave burning candles unattended
  • Keep combustible items away from heat sources
  • Properly dispose of smoking materials
  • Keep matches out of reach of children’s little hands
  • Do not overload electrical outlets

Other warm weather fire tips should be noted as well:

  • Check propane tank hoses & connections for leaks before lighting the grill
  • Douse hot coals or campfires with water before leaving the area
  • Dispose of barbeque coals in a non-combustible container such as a metal bucket
  • Keep a minimum clearance of 4 feet around the barbeque grill
  • Keep weeds and foliage trimmed and clear of fences, decks and homes
  • Fire Prevention PSA
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