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
“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
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.