Help San Diego Firefighters this Fire Season By Staying Out of the Way

Help San Diego Firefighters this Fire Season By Staying Out of the Way

Created: 09 September, 2020
Last update: 14 August, 2022

This is an independent opinion. Have one of your own? Write it! Email it to hoa@ivn.us.

I remember Rob's, my husband, first fire. We were married four years at the time and his first fire, the Poinsettia Fire, turned out to be a learning experience for both of us.

Before his first year of working as a firefighter and medic, he volunteered at various fire departments. He was well-trained and had a great extent of knowledge in all things fire. Firefighters are required to go through six months of Fire Academy, 12 months of paramedic training and hours of specialty training programs before they are sent out to the front-lines. Among various subjects, firefighters are also educated on fuel weather topography, giving them the knowledge they need to predict how a fire grows and where it burns.

Although Rob was well-equipped with the tools he needed to fight a fire, I felt like I was sitting in the front row of a rollercoaster when he actually went out for his first battle. I was proud of him. I was thrilled he had the opportunity to use the tools he had obtained. I was nervous for the safety of the public, and nervous for the men and women risking their lives to keep the rest of us safe.

"The brave men and women, who do this dangerous job, risk their lives everyday so you don’t have to."

Almost immediately after my husband's crew was sent off, I saw several posts on varying social media sites with people stating their hesitation to comply with the advice to evacuate. Some of those people were applauded by their friends for their “bravery to stay behind.”

Please allow me to share with you my experience when this happens: The brave men and women, who do this dangerous job, risk their lives everyday so you don’t have to. More than most people, they’ve studied the character of fire and know how to combat it to keep you and your loved ones safe. When attempts are made to ignore or neglect their advice in the midst of evacuations or people stop to take selfies on the fire line — the risk of the firefighter doubles.

If this happens, firefighters now have to be mindful to evacuate those who didn’t want to vacate the first time, which further puts the individual at risk. When we comply with instructions to evacuate or steer clear of high-risk areas, you assist them in their attempts to keep people, communities, and structures safe.

During my husband's first battle with a wildfire, I did not see him for four days. Four days isn't much compared to other firefighters who spend weeks out on the line to protect us. If we're lucky, the firefighters come home safely.

The lives of our firefighters are worth complying with orders to evacuate or stay clear of dangerous areas. You help keep them safe when you abide by their orders that keep you safe.

join the petition banner

About the Author

Ashley Hollander

Ashley Hollander is a San Diego musician and the wife of a local firefighter.