On May 30, 2024, the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County held its 17th Annual Volunteer Awards at the Ronald Reagan Community Center in El Cajon. This event honored the dedication and efforts of the many Fire Safe Councils (FSCs) and their volunteers committed to wildfire prevention and fire safety throughout the county.

San Diego County boasts 41 FSCs, each playing a crucial role in supporting county-wide goals for fire prevention and resilience through initiatives such as home hardening assistance, community chipping programs, and fire safety education. These efforts are critical in creating resilient neighborhoods prepared to face the annual threat of wildfires in our region.

To honor their hard work, we gathered local dignitaries, volunteers, and community members for a day of celebration and acknowledgement. The ceremony began with welcoming remarks and a presentation on wildfire resilience investments, followed by a panel discussion featuring key figures from various FSCs. Panelists discussed strategies for community engagement, wildfire resilience, and further collaboration between FSCs and fire agencies.

Five awards were then presented to volunteers and Fire Safe Councils for their phenomenal contributions this year which include the following:

  1. Outstanding Fire Safe Council – Awarded to Julian FSC
  2. Project of the Year – Awarded to Alvarado Heights FSC’s Home Hardening Project
  3. Volunteer of the Year – Awarded to Sarah Lifton of Olivenhain FSC
  4. Outstanding Educator – Awarded to Thomas Shoots of San Diego County Fire
  5. Innovation Award – Awarded to University City FSC

Following the awards ceremony, it was announced by the San Diego Regional Fire Foundation that $250,000 in grants would be awarded to 24 local FSCs. These grants aim to further bolster wildfire prevention and preparedness efforts across the county.

This year’s volunteer awards illustrated the invaluable role of FSCs in wildfire prevention and community safety for San Diego County. Our councils exemplify the power of volunteerism and community spirit, making San Diego County a safer place to live. The Fire Safe Council of San Diego County is proud to support and celebrate these efforts, fostering a network dedicated to meaningful change and wildfire resilience.