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San Francisco Fire Department
Volunteer Operations Review

Hundreds of citizen volunteers assisted the Fire Department at the Marina District fire and the collapse of a building at Sixth and Bluxome streets. Some, acting under the direction of Department members, were instrumental in rescue and fire suppression operations. Clearly, the organization and direction of volunteers must be addressed.

1. Some citizens, at their own initiative, assisted in search and rescue operations, fire suppression and traffic control. Many others stood by, ready to help, but were not used.

2. Fifteen of 40 members of the San Francisco Fire Reserves reported for duty at various disaster locations.

Volunteer Operations Recommendations

1. The San Francisco Fire Department Reserve should be expanded and its mission redirected away from purely suppression-oriented activities. The Charter authorizes the Fire Department 800 sworn Reserve positions.

2. The San Francisco Fire Reserve should become Emergency Response Teams and trained in emergency first-aid, light rescue, limited suppression activities and community organizing.

3. City employee disaster worker training should be reinstituted.

4. All firefighters should be trained in the direction and supervision of citizen volunteers during disasters.

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