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Senior Volunteer Patrol honored for outstanding efforts during Rice Fire

Fallbrook’s Senior Volunteer Patrol was honored by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors with a September 23 presentation and proclamation.

A Sheriff’s Department bus took 23 members of the Senior Volunteer Patrol from Fallbrook to the County Administration Center for the proclamation, which was presented by Supervisor Bill Horn.

The proclamation honored National Preparedness Month but noted the work of the senior patrol volunteers.

“It is the goal of San Diego County to become the most prepared community in the nation,” Horn said. “The loss of life and property damage can be greatly reduced if appropriate emergency preparedness measures are taken.”

During last October’s fires the Senior Volunteer Patrol’s duties included assisting with evacuations, checking on homebound residents, escorting residents back to their homes to retrieve vital items, patrolling to prevent looting, checking for the spread of fires and providing necessities to the Local Assistance Center.

“It was very, very important that they be acknowledged for their efforts,” said Manny Ortega, the administrator for Fallbrook’s Senior Volunteer Patrol. “I think it was very good to get my people acknowledged for all their efforts.”

During the Rice Fire the Senior Volunteer Patrol worked 10 straight days.

The senior volunteers also helped with the February 2002 Gavilan Fire and the October 2003 Roblar Fire. “They’re always coming through,” Ortega said.

Fallbrook’s Senior Volunteer Patrol has 50 members, approximately 30 of which were involved with the Rice Fire.

“They put in a lot of hours day in and day out,” Ortega said. “They produce a heck of a lot on a daily basis. This one was an extraordinary effort. But they perform every day of the week.”

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