Strike team on Tubbs fire

One of the strike teams working to contain the Tubbs Fire in Calistoga and Santa Rosa. These firefighters are from El Cerrito/Kensington, San Francisco, San Mateo, Pacifica and Santa Clara County. Not pictured are team members from Pacifica.

Submitted photo

We recently had two crews from El Cerrito/Kensington Fire Department swap out and return home from this past week’s fire fighting efforts. (While two new crews continue to assist in the mop-up phase)

I wanted to share and report back that I’ve never seen the crews talk so positively about how much appreciation and hospitality they have received while being deployed on these North Bay fires.

Many are 20-year veterans and have been on dozens deployments throughout the state of California. They have all said unequivocally, the support from the local communities this past week is some of the best they’ve ever encountered.

I can tell you firsthand there is lots of chatter amongst my fire family about planning to return to the Napa and Sonoma areas with their spouses and loved ones to spend time giving back through wine tasting excursions and dining outings.

The communities throughout the North Bay have gone over and above to make the firefighting efforts more comfortable. I’ve heard everything from offering to pay for meals, clothing, coffees and housing, to name a few. That’s not always the case.

On behalf of my coworkers and public safety bothers and sisters, thank you to all the local residents and businesses for making a bad situation better through your kindness and positive actions in the midst of very devastating circumstances.

May the healing and rebuilding process be swift and strong.

Capt. Joe Grupalo

El Cerrito/Kensington Fire Department