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December 8, 2019
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City of RP

Director of Public Safety Tim Mattos
How do you define a hero?
October 4, 2019

Since 1922, the National Fire Prevention Association has sponsored Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to decrease casualties caused by fires.

Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9 in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on Oct.8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres of land. Ironically, Oct. 8 was also the first night of the Sonoma County firestorms two years ago. 

Oct. 6-12 is Fire Prevention Week (FPW) in 2019. This year’s campaign is “Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practice your escape!” The campaign works to educate everyone about the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

How do you define a hero? Is it…a person who is courageous and performs good deeds? Someone who comes to the aid of others, even at personal risk?

A hero can be all of those things. A hero can also be…someone who takes small, but important actions to keep themselves and those around them safe from fire. When it comes to fire safety, maybe you’re already a hero in your household or community. If not, maybe you’re feeling inspired to become one. It’s easy to take that first step - make your home escape plan.

As we learned two years ago, wildfires can erupt with little warning and travel quickly. We were fortunate, as we had good defensible space to protect the city. Again this season, we have cut weeds in in undeveloped properties near our neighborhoods to continue this program.

As a result of the wildfires two years ago, Rohnert Park has developed a disaster preparedness program referred to as “Rohnert Park Ready and Resilient.” It’s a simple two hour presentation provided by the Public Safety Department. It comes with a reference manual and-best of all, it’s free. Contact the City’s Fire Prevention Division at 584-2641 for details.

Being prepared means staying informed. The city’s website includes a checklist called “know your alerts.” Visit rpcity.org/emergency to view or download the checklist. In an effort to reduce the risks of wildfires, PG&E will be shutting off power when they expect high winds on hot days. These Public Safety Power Shut-offs (PSPS) could leave you without power for several days. In the event of a shut-off, PG&E plans to provide advance notice if they have your contact information. Signing up for Nixle is one way to ensure that you will be informed. You can sign up for these alerts on your cellphone by texting your zip code to 888-777 or visit nixle.com on the web. We also encourage you to update your contact information with PG&E and sign up to receive alerts at www.prepareforpowerdown.com.

The City of Rohnert Park hopes you and your family stay safe.