On a blustery, rainy night, we were fortunate to be honoring the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Dept. and to have it's Chief Todd Harms to talk (virtually) to us about the challenging year of 2020. This event is in keeping with Rotary's Vocational Month of January and our desire to thank and honor those 1st responders who keep us safe and healthy.  Todd said that 2020 is the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Sacramento Metro Fire District. The District has 41 fire stations, encompasses a large area, 350 square miles, and are divided into 3 Battalions. Mike Lozano, Assistant Chief is shift commander and has 760 people under his command, 400 paramedics, and the daily average of people at work is 189. Every company has a paramedics unit. Fire Engines usually respond to emergencies because they have the ability to get to the emergency quickly - ambulances take a little more time. Fire Engine personnel have a paramedic on board and enough people to take on arduous situations. In the District, there are 2 helicopters which can put water on fires, 2 rescue boats and 2 bulldozers. 
Captain Chris Vestal , Public Information Officer , took over and said that this last year with COVID-19 has made the fireperson's job very difficult. In early February, they had their 1st case and special protective equipment had to be acquired and protocols changed. Members had to be tested over 1000 times - 100+ tested positive and all the people around him/her had to be tested and some quarantined. This last year, due to electrical storms, the biggest fire year on record occurred. The District helped the State and Nation during the crisis - some members went to Oregon and Hawaii and 177 responded out to the fires. It was nice for our personnel to help out the State. We have a lot of experienced people.
The Grant line fire was the largest fire since 2008, it gave our people experience to be better prepared for future fires. 2020 was most challenging, but with the support of people in the District, incredible work was accomplished. Now Chris showed us a very nice video and after that, President David could hardly wait to tell Todd and Chris that a book, in honor of their presentation would be donated to the Carmichael Library (subsidiary of the Sacramento Public Library).