Local Firefighters Come Together for Wildland Firefighter Training Drills

Local Firefighters Come Together for Wildland Firefighter Training Drills title=
Local Firefighters Come Together for Wildland Firefighter Training Drills
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Source: Montecito Fire Department

Firefighters representing seven departments from across Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties came together Tuesday, May 10 to prepare for high fire season by participating in an annual Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) drill. The 2022 WUI drill took place at Las Flores Ranch in the Santa Maria Valley.

Firefighters moved through five stations at the ranch, including practicing progressive hose lays, structure protection, mobile attack, mapping and night helicopter operations. Understanding and training on each of these skills is critical to our success during a real incident.

Additionally, training with our local partner agencies gives firefighters the opportunity to get to know one another and build invaluable trust among all the involved departments. More than 50 local fire personnel participated in this year’s drill. The drill was organized by Santa Maria City Fire and Santa Barbara County Fire Departments.

Participating agencies:

  • Santa Maria City Fire Department

  • Santa Barbara County Fire Department, including helicopter

  • Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District

  • Montecito Fire Department

  • Five Cities Fire Authority

  • CalFire SLO

  • Los Padres National Forest

New this year, firefighters discussed the importance of “Wildland Mayday,” a recently developed protocol for firefighters to communicate their location and need for help during critical situations such as burn overs and entrapments. This protocol was developed by FIRESCOPE in response to the rising number of firefighter fatalities during wildfires. Damian Guilliani of Encinitas Fire Department traveled to the Central Coast to teach the firefighters about the Wildland Mayday protocol during the WUI drill.

As firefighters prepare for a busy and challenging fire season, we ask all community members to join us in preparing for wildfire by reviewing your evacuation plan and building an emergency supply kit. For information on how to be ready for wildfire, visit readyforwildfire.org

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