Town Hall Meetings

Report on the
Emergency Preparedness Town Hall Meeting

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The real stars of the meeting – our Forestville Fire Department.

L-R: Engineer Eric Gromala, Engineer Chuck Franceschi, Captain Michael Franceschi, Chief Dave Franceschi (Front), Firefighter Wiley Valley, Engineer Spencer Hansen, Captain Matt Eggleston

(Scroll down the page to see important resources.)

President of the FPA Michael Cuoio welcomed the 195 people who showed up to hear 5th District Supervisor Lynda Hopkins give an update on County business and to remind Forestville that money will be reallocated from funds paid by our local quarries into a transportation project that will no longer go forward. Meetings will be held with key stakeholders to provide input on best use of those funds.

FPA President Michael Cuoio addressing the crowd.

5th District Supervisor Lynda Hopkins giving updates on County business and how they affect Forestville.

Chief Dave Franchesci addressed the crowd, introduced his firefighters, went over basic emergency information and fielded numerous questions. He let the audience know that his team could not be everywhere at once. During an emergency such as a firestorm, those who fare the best are those who have worked together on a neighborhood plan, and that his firefighters could meet with neighbors to help them formulate that plan.

Lois Lebovich from the Guernewood Park neighborhood spoke on how she as an individual created their outreach plan and talked of its success.

The group was then instructed to find their own neighborhood map out of 7 placed around the room. At each map was a sign-up sheet with name, phone and email address. The Fire Department took the sign-up sheets to contact people and see who wanted to begin the process of forming their own Emergency Preparedness group.

Tabling at the event was a team from California Hope, who provides support to those who have been impacted by disaster, the Halter Project who has developed strategic plans for pet owners in particular on rescuing their animals during a fire, a representative from the Sonoma County Auxiliary Communications Service (HAM radio) and a large table with information on how to prepare an Emergency “Go Bag.”

The California Hope Project prepared stacks of Emergency Information such as how to sign up for Nixle, how to sign up for SoCo Alert system, how to use your phone in a disaster, where to buy a ready made “Go Bag,” lists to create a disaster supplies kit and a map of active earthquake fault lines. Lists of emergency numbers and Sheriff numbers were there as well. Most everything was taken.

Emergency Resources:
Nixle keeps you up-to-date with relevant information from your local public safety departments & schools.

SoCoAlert is a free emergency notification service that provides Sonoma County residents and businesses with effective, accessible, life-saving and time-sensitive emergency notifications by telephone, mobile phone, text message, email and social media.

Forestville Fire Protection District’s Facebook page. You may need to have a Facebook account to see this page.

Community Preparedness page on the Forestville Fire Protection District website:

Link: Preparing for Wildland Season: What Can You Do?
Forestville Fire Protection District’s emergency page on defensible space + flyer.

Link: Vegetation Management Ordinance
Chapter 13A – Abatement of Hazardous Vegetation and Combustible Material
The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the removal of hazardous vegetation and combustible material from around the exterior of improvements situated in the unincorporated areas of the county so as to reduce the potential for fire and to promote the public health, safety and welfare of the community.

Link:Defensible Space Flyer
Showing with graphics and measurements to help you stay in compliance year round.

YouTube Video:
From National Fire Protection Association
Dr. Jack Cohen, Fire Science Researcher with the USDA Forest Service, explains current research about how homes ignite during wildfires, and the actions that homeowners can take to help their home survive the impacts of flames and embers.

Link: Chipper Program
Permit Sonoma Fire Prevention Division is providing free chipper service to residents who are engaged in making their property more wildfire safe. The purpose of the program is to create defensible space, specifically around the home, structures and access routes to the structures, for properties located in the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County.

911 from a cell phone should be routed to the appropriate dispatch center based upon the location of the caller/phone. Occasionally, until technology becomes reliable, the call is routed to a non-local dispatch center such as CHP’s dispatch in Vallejo. The Sonoma County Sheriff and REDCOM (Fire/Ambulance dispatch) maintain the following numbers that are answered with the same urgency as 911:
Sheriff: (707) 565-2121
REDCOM: (707) 576-1371

Following the October 2017 wildfires, Sonoma County installed fire watch cameras throughout the County that are monitored to detect wildfires as soon as they start. Below is a link to the cameras, if you would like to take a look at them:

Be prepared to be evacuated from your residence in a moment’s notice by having a GoBag prepared.
Link: GoBag
The above link provides information for what you should have in your GoBag.

Board Meetings

• 1st Tuesday of mo.
• 5:30 – 7:30 PM
• In-Person at:
6550 Railroad Ave., Forestville
• Via Zoom: Get Link
• For more info, contact:
Board President,
Lucy Hardcastle
Everyone welcome.