Carmel Valley’s Kilroy Realty donates $10,000 to San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation

By Karen Billing

Carmel Valley’s Kilroy Realty made a $10,000 donation to the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation during the May wildfires. As the largest suburban commercial real estate owner in the county, Kilroy wanted to show its commitment to keeping the neighborhoods safe by helping firefighters do their job, according to Brian Brady, Kilroy development manager and member of the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board.

Brady was credited as being instrumental in the decision to make the donation to the firefighters. Brady and other Kilroy staff members were invited for a tour of Station 24 on Del Mar Heights Road to get a peek at where their money will be put into work.

The firefighters on duty were not able to visit for long — they almost instantly had to respond to an accident call.

Wendy Robinson, executive director of the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation, said the mission of the foundation is to provide funding for enhanced equipment, training and technology that would not otherwise be met through the city’s budget.

It is still being determined what items from the fire department’s unmet needs list will be purchased with funds received during the wildfires, but some items on the list include pediatric rescue carriers; iPad tablets for battalion chiefs; portable breathing air carts for HAZMAT units; helicopter rescue equipment; and rescue safety equipment.

The carriers are especially needed for incidents such as fires, cliff rescues and other accidents to safely carry infants away from harm.

The need for iPad tablets was a direct result of after-action reviews from the May wildfires, according to San Diego Fire Rescue Department Assistant Fire Chief Brian Fennessy.

Chiefs can carry iPads programmed with mapping technology as a good way to identify land ownership and protection areas, as well as serve as an ordering point for dispatch centers.

“The foundation allows us to go out and fill that technology gap,” Battalion Chief David Gerboth said.

Fennessy said that since the fires they have been focusing on making any possible related improvements before the Santa Ana winds return — they typically blow in the fall and May’s winds were unusual.

“I’ve never seen it this dry, ever,” said Fennessy, noting that it might be a tough fire season ahead with dry winds paired with the lack of moisture in the fuel load.

Fennessy and Gerboth thanked Kilroy for its donation and led the group on a tour of the station. Robinson said that Kilroy’s contribution was one of the larger donations they received during the fires.

“The crews are really excited when they see the support from the community,” Robinson said. “ They don’t expect it obviously, but I think it really means a lot to them.”