Register for FEMA Disaster Assistance Boulder Creek Elementary School 400 W. Lomond St., Boulder Creek, CA Friday, September 11th and Saturday, September 12th
With the recent fire disaster we’ve had many community members reach out and offer services that might help in a future disaster. Go to the Volunteer Resource Registration page and fill out the form.
Dear Fire Safety Friends:
The Volunteer Fire Districts of the San Lorenzo Valley has initiated this year’s Fire Safety Education Program for children and families of our community, however, we need your help. This vital program will assist us in teaching children fire safety and burn prevention. We strongly believe that by making children and families aware of fire safety, we can prevent tragic fire losses and deaths.
The Ben Lomond Fire Department is made up of a variety of volunteers who live and work among you each and every day. Here’s a brief introduction to the group of people who make up your local fire department.
Rick Alves: Firefighter. I was born and raised in Ben Lomond and I am certified in swift water rescue.
Hunter Anderson: Grew up in Ben Lomond. Title: Engineer, EMT, swift water rescue technician, and boat operator.
Mike Crisler: Firefighter/Paramedic
Jess Carkner: Puyallup, Wa. is my hometown. I’m an EMT, Firefighter.
As we head into the holidays, we want to offer locals five quick safety tips to help prevent a home fire during what should be a festive time of the year.
1. Have Working Smoke Detectors
This may seem like a no-brainer, but some people forget to change batteries and regularly test the smoke detectors in their homes. Set a day every year – like January 1st – to install new batteries, or immediately when the alarm begins to chirp. Smoke alarms are designed to alert you before the battery dies, allowing you time to replace it. Smoke detectors should be placed on every level of your home, tested monthly, new batteries installed annually, and the units replaced after 10 years. Some alarms can also be Interconnected, so that when one goes off in one area of a house, they all sound.
2. Create an Escape Plan
Once you have working smoke alarms installed throughout your home, you should have a fire-exit plan that all family members are aware of with the quickest escape routes from every room in your home. Run through safety drills occasionally, so that everyone remains on the same page and the escape plan becomes second nature. Fires are scary and will likely bring chaos and panic, and a well-rehearsed family exit plan is beneficial for both adults and children. In addition, ensure children are aware of fire hazards and rules – for example, feeling a door for heat before opening it, and “stop, drop, and roll.” Once you’re out of the home, never go back inside.
The Ben Lomond Fire Department will soon have a fresh look, in the form of a beautiful new sign created by volunteer firefighters and local businesses.
It all started when Firefighter Matt Boynton and others were cleaning up the front lawn of the department. Pausing for a moment, Boynton leaned against the existing sign and “almost completely knocked it over.”
Just a few days before, Boynton had been milling lumber with a friend, and as he attempted to repair the falling sign, he had an idea.
Why not build a new sign for the station?
Next generations step up to the plate as BLFD’s volunteer firefighters
When you call 9-1-1 and the Ben Lomond Fire Department (BLFD) responds to the scene, chances are that you’re being assisted by members of the same family.
Since its beginnings more than a century ago, the Department has been staffed by volunteer firefighters who call Ben Lomond home. And many of those who serve today either volunteer alongside family members or are just the latest generation in a long line of BLFD firefighters and supporters.
Aside from current Fire Chief Stacie Brownlee – whose late father, Mike Smith, was chief in the 1970s and ’80s – there are a number of BLFD volunteers with family roots that run deep. From fathers and sons, to cousins, grandfathers, and in-laws, here’s a look at just a few of your local firefighters who are keeping it all in the family.
One of the most recent volunteers to join the department is Duquan Ruff, the 19-year-old son of BLFD Engineer Steve Ruff. The father and son pair is part of a firefighting family that’s served Ben Lomond for many years.
Steve and his wife Teresa (daughter of retired Battalion Chief Ed Butler) moved to Ben Lomond in 2003, when Duquan was about 3. Steve joined BLFD in 2004 after he finished serving in the U.S. Navy. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Steve said he was a little hesitant about living in such a small community.
One of the many things that makes Ben Lomond – and the entire San Lorenzo Valley – so incredible is its amazing location. Situated among majestic redwoods and mountainous slopes, our community is renowned for its natural beauty.
But dense forests and steep roads can be difficult to navigate when an emergency arises. That’s where Ben Lomond Fire Department’s Engine 2213 comes in.
The Engine – purchased in 2015 for about $612,000 and delivered in January 2016 – was custom-built to BLFD’s specifications to fit the unique needs of Ben Lomond and surrounding communities.
From The Ground Up
BLFD Fire Captain Matt Sanders was part of the committee tasked with hammering out equipment requirements and details of the new Engine design. The Engine’s body size and horsepower were two of the most important variables the committee initially determined.
“We needed to have the most powerful motor we could get and we needed the narrowest body build to go with that,” Sanders said. “San Lorenzo Valley has some very steep and narrow roads. For example, some parts of Alba Road are 19% grade, which is the second steepest grade in the state.”