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Jerry Budrick
05/30/2014 1:48 PM

By Jenny Gottstein

special to the ledger dispatch

Amador County’s first Wildfire Preparedness Game shared preparedness resources and built community resilience for more than 50 participants in Volcano on Sunday, May 25.

The players, ranging in age from 4 to 92 years old, assembled in Volcano Park where they were given a game sheet that sent them to five different activity stations located around the village.

According to the California Department of Water Resources, fire season this year is expected to be severe. The snowpack in the high Sierra is 40 percent of normal.

This was a very appropriate exercise for Volcano, surrounded as it is by thick forest and heavy wild grass that is rapidly turning brown. The Wildfire Preparedness Game was free and open to public. It presented critical ways to prepare for wildfire in a way that was engaging and fun for all ages.

“Probably the most important message our residents should take away,” said Amador Fire Safe Council Director Cathy Breazeal, “is that defensible space really can make a difference. Defensible space around one home can give that home a chance to survive. If a whole neighborhood does defensible space around each home, they now have a fuel break, giving everyone a chance to come back to their home and to a neighborhood.”

Once participants completed each activity, they got a stamp on their game sheet, and could choose a free item to put in their Emergency Go Bag (granola bars, first aid supplies, flashlights & batteries). If they visited all five stations, they were entered into the raffle.

The five stations were:

1. Map-Making - Players drew their evacuation routes on maps based on recommendations from the Amador Fire Safe Council. They also created a family communication plan with emergency contacts and a designated meeting place.

2. Fire Safety Quiz - Players had a chance to answer questions about fire safety in a game show format with buzzers and question boards. Questions included: “Name 5 foods you can put in your emergency kit” and “What are 3 stations you can tune into for emergency information”

3. Hands-only CPR - Red Cross hosted a hands-only CPR demonstration and training with mannequins

4. Defensible Homes Water Balloon Relay - Players were quizzed on preparing their home for wildfire season. For every correct answer, they got to toss a water balloon at one of the Go Game’s awesome volunteers.

5. Get-ready Video

Players were given props, costumes and a camera to film a 30-second video with tips and advice on fire safety for their family / friends/community.

Local fire departments and emergency agencies were available in town to answer questions and give out additional resources.

Agencies involved in the Wildfire Preparedness Game were: Amador County Sheriff’s Department, Sgt. Silva; Office of Emergency Services; Amador Fire Safe Council; CAL FIRE; Red Cross; Lockwood Fire Protection District; Sutter Creek Fire Protection District; and Sierra Baptist Church.

Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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