The West Sacramento Fire Department serves as emergency management coordinator for the City of West Sacramento and is the lead agency that fulfills the city's requirements under the Emergency Services Act (Government Code Section 8550 et. seq.). This office works with all City departments and other partners having emergency management responsibilities including, the Yolo County Office of Emergency Services (OES) and surrounding jurisdictions.
Emergency Management activities are a team effort because disaster response requires coordination between many city departments, allied organizations and different levels of government. Furthermore, different types of emergencies require different kinds of expertise and response capabilities. The primary mission for the Emergency Management Office is to coordinate the city’s role in response to disasters and large-scale emergencies.
Preparedness: Training, drills and exercises, plan development, and other activities are part of the preparation before the disaster happens. OES works with other city staff, Yolo County OES, allied agencies, neighboring jurisdictions, and state agencies with a local role to ensure the necessary procedures and networks are in place.
Response: This is where “the rubber meets the road.” This office responds to disasters (or potential disasters) in the incorporated areas of West Sacramento. Personnel from the various City departments and allied agencies will respond to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), where the City’s effort is coordinated. The EOC does the following:
- Manages the City's overall response to natural, technological, and human-caused disasters.
- Tasks various City departments with emergency responsibilities.
- Coordinates the response and recovery efforts of governmental and allied non-governmental agencies.
Recovery: After the response and the threat has been removed, it is time to return to normalcy. This involves ensuring the functions of city government are back in place as quickly as possible. Emergency Management is unable to provide direct disaster assistance, including financial assistance; to the residents of West Sacramento however, this office is a primary conduit for information, including information about the agencies that can help directly.
Mitigation: What happened during the disaster and why did it happen? If steps can be taken to either reduce the likelihood of similar events, or reduce the amount of damage from a similar event, such steps are considered.
These aspects are not separate from one another and they continue to cycle without end. It is not uncommon to still be responding to an event, while at the same time, recovery is underway, and early mitigation steps are being implemented. Doing all of this takes more than just the few people assigned to the Fire Department. It takes involvement of personnel from many City departments and allied agencies. Their participation is vital and is greatly appreciated.