Withdrawing our offer to the City of Calistoga was a very difficult decision to make. We love Calistoga for many reasons, including the fact that some of our people are current or former residents and have personally experienced wildfire events.
Our intent has always been, and will continue to be, to offer communities like Calistoga the best possible early wildfire detection and notification system in order to prevent loss of life and property, at no cost to cities or taxpayers. Our proposal for Calistoga was a unique end-to-end solution providing 24/7 state-of-the-art early wildfire detection and monitoring as well as siren alert system.
• IQ FireWatch in particular would have offered a level of early detection unmatched in the industry. No other technology can compete with its ability to detect and pinpoint a potential wildfire hazard. Other systems are great for monitoring but after the fact.
• Our 5-siren alert system would have provided wider coverage for Calistoga and surrounding areas, reaching Franz Valley School Road, Mountain Home Ranch and Petrified Forest Road. Anything less than the five locations specified could place some people at risk, with the city’s original options (two, three or four sirens) leaving areas outside of city limits vulnerable.
• Improved wireless communications would have been crucial in maintaining communications during a wildfire event, a significant problem during the Tubbs Fire. This added benefit is not a nice-to-have but a must-have.
The key here is that this is not a siren-only system. It operates as a whole and cannot provide the same level of protection if separated or broken up into pieces.
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We listened extensively to community input and appreciate the support of many Calistogans, also addressing concerns by adjusting siren design and locations while keeping the city fully informed. We were prepared to present our total program to the city back in August but requested a later date to accommodate additional public input. It was tentatively scheduled for the city council meeting agenda on Sept. 17.
Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a position where the interest, desire and understanding of what we offer are not substantial enough to support the project here for timely deployment. Therefore, we are reallocating our resources to other cities.
Calistoga can and should pursue installation of a siren system, but we maintain that the other critical elements are also necessary. We remain available should the city and its residents choose to implement a complete wildfire detection and notification solution with the best possible technologies.
Project Manager, Illumination Technologies California LLC