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Bell Canyon volunteer fire crew

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Status: Ongoing Project



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Here's a sample project to help inspire new projects!

Type: emergency_responseType: preparedness_and_mitigationBell Canyon, California, US

Example of a community that formed their own fire department Sample Project

By Thrivespring

This is a sample project based on an article in the Guardian about the residents of a community that got together and created a volunteer fire department. Bell Canyon is a small community in California with a heightened wildfire risk. A wildfire that swept through the region in 2018 was the impetus for the formation of the volunteer fire crew. 

"Residents say the threat of another disaster lingers in their thoughts every time dry winds gust through the canyons. That’s why Bell Canyon has taken matters into its own hands. In 2020, they created their own fire department crewed by community members. What started out as a group of renegade residents has since grown into a highly organized and trained team.

Some were emboldened after staying behind to fight the flames with garden hoses when Woolsey rained down on the community. Others were intrigued by the opportunities to learn emergency response skills. Most are in their mid-50s and many had no prior firefighting experience. But all of them – whether lawyers, creatives, or engineers by day – are now prepared to show up when it matters most."

Garrett Clancy, the chief of the Bell Canyon fire crew, acknowledges that "their role is secondary to that of county emergency crews. But as fires continue to grow in intensity, severity and frequency, firefighters are becoming strained. Now, more individuals and communities are taking protection and prevention into their own hands."

To learn more, read the full article here: