When fire season slows and the winter rains roll in, the Ben Lomond Fire (BLFD) remains the go-to department for emergencies in the community and throughout Santa Cruz County.
The San Lorenzo River and the multiple creeks in the area can become dangerous during heavy rains, and that’s where the swift water rescue team members from our BLFD – the only department in San Lorenzo Valley with certified swift water technicians – jump into action.
The team – consisting of volunteer firefighters Matt Boynton, Matt Sanders, Hunter Anderson, Scott Bingham, Mark Brown, and Chief Stacie Brownlee – responds to water rescues from the mouth of the San Lorenzo River up to Boulder Creek, as well as to other creek emergencies around the county.
Brown said that through the years, they’ve responded to a variety of water incidents, including kayaks stuck in the river, vehicle accidents, flooding, and recovering the bodies of people who’ve drowned. Chief Brownlee added that most water emergencies are preventable.