Great firefighting offered free of charge

Jackson Bell

Eight Burbank Fire Department volunteers awarded for their

outstanding disaster preparedness and services by a state

organization will be recognized by the City Council on Tuesday.


Last month, members of the Community Disaster Volunteers Steering

Committee received a Silver Award from the Southern California

Emergency Services Assn. for managing more than 300 local residents

involved in the emergency program.


Volunteer Christine Renna was also awarded for training local high

school students in disaster preparedness.

The program assists public safety personnel with disaster relief

during emergencies such as brush fires, earthquakes and train

derailments, said Rich Baenen, Burbank Fire Depart- ment’s disaster

preparedness coordinator.

“These people are obviously not doing it for the money because

they are not getting a dime,” Baenen said. “So it’s important for the


community to know that we’ve got folks dedicated to doing this kind

of thing.”

The steering committee is composed of seven volunteers who, under

the direction of the fire department’s Disaster Services Division,

oversee everything from Arson Watch to the Emergency Amateur Radio


“We have a high level of service in Burbank during normal times,

but we’re not able to deliver the same level at a disaster,” said


Baenen, who founded the program in 1989.

“With the volunteers, we have almost double the capacity of our


Renna received her award for training about 40 local high school

students on the Community Emergency Response Team program, a course

that teaches civilians how to respond to disasters.

Inspired by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Renna said she

joined the program because she wanted to help the city during a


Applications to become a volunteer can be obtained by calling the

Disaster Services Division at 238-3491.