San Diego Fire-Rescue Department ups staffing levels as strong storm approaches

Posted at 8:48 AM, Feb 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-17 11:49:54-05

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department ramped up staffing of first-responders Friday in anticipation of the strong Pacific storm forecast to hit the region.

Additional firefighters, lifeguards and equipment will be on duty, and staffing allocations will be made based on the hour-to-hour weather reports.

Fire officials said they will closely monitor areas of the city that are historically prone to flooding.

"Our firefighters and lifeguards will be ready to provide emergency services to all communities in our city," Chief Brian Fennessy said. "Swift water rescue teams will also be outfitted with chainsaws because the storm may bring high winds which could cause trees to fall."

The SDFRD will have resources available as needed, including:

-- Nine lifeguard and one fire fighter swift water rescue teams
-- Two urban search and rescue apparatus staffed with four firefighters
-- Two Fire-Rescue helicopters and one type-1 swift water rescue team with state response capability
-- Activation of the San Diego Urban Area All-Hazards Incident Management Team and Department Operations Center as needed

Fire officials recommend that the public avoid flood-prone areas. San Diego residents and visitors were encouraged to take steps necessary to protect themselves from injury and their property from storm damage including:

-- Obey all warning signs and barricades
-- Do not walk through flowing water. It takes just a small amount of water to knock you off your feet
-- Never drive through flooded areas where you cannot see the pavement
-- If you become stranded in your car by moving water, stay with your vehicle and move to the hood or roof if water continues to rise
-- Listen to weather reports to get updates on conditions in your area or direction of travel