FIRST RESPONDER EFFECTIVENESS STRATEGIC INITIATIVE
In March 2018, Foundation Board approved a $160,723 grant to the City of San Bruno to bolster the effectiveness of San Bruno's first responders, both in their daily interactions with the community and in the event of a serious disaster like the 2010 gas pipeline explosion that led to the Foundation's creation. The grant funded three community-oriented projects spearheaded by the San Bruno Police and Fire Departments that the City is unable to support through the General Fund:
Emergency Shelter Supplies: Grant funds were used to purchase necessary equipment and supplies that would enable the City to operate a standalone emergency shelter if the need arose. With these supplies, the City is no longer dependent on external entities such as the San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services or the American Red Cross, in the event of an emergency requiring shelter operations.
Critical Facilities Site Assessments, Incident Action Plans, and Joint Public Safety Training: This grant significantly enhances the preparedness of the San Bruno Police and Fire Departments in dealing with potential natural disasters and other incidents through advance planning and training. The grant enabled the City, with the assistance of experienced consultants, to conduct a thorough site assessment, produce detailed site maps, develop an incident action plan, and conduct site-specific training exercises for three critical facilities in San Bruno: Capuchino High School, Parkside Intermediate School, and San Bruno City Hall. View a video of the value of the incident training here. Police and fire personnel will use the procedure learned from these three facilities and duplicate the planning process for other critical facilities in San Bruno.
Police Officer Mindfulness, Compassion, and Resiliency Training: With the grant, the Police Department implemented a department-wide mindfulness and resiliency program, including a multi-day residential immersion course conducted by the Mindful Badge Initiative. This training is a preventative measure that equips police officers to perform through occupational trauma with greater capacity for awareness, cognitive performance, and humanity. This program enhances police officers' ability to respond to the needs of our diverse community and has positive and lasting benefits for police officers' mental and physical health in a stressful profession. View a video on the value of this training here.
Less than one month after the First Responder Initiative was launched, in response to the brave work of San Bruno’s first responders who supported YouTube during a violent incident at its San Bruno headquarters on April 3, 2018, Google.org and Google and YouTube employees donated more than $300,000 to the Foundation.
The Google and YouTube funds are supporting a fourth First Responder project: the construction and acquisition of a Mobile Command Vehicle for the City of San Bruno to provide a communications center for the San Bruno Police and Fire Departments at the scene of a critical incident, natural disaster, or large-scale event.
While the City has not yet had the need to deploy the vehicle at a real-life incident, since 2021, it has put the vehicle to good use to facilitate regular COVID-19 testing for City employees, to simulate critical incidents as part of the SBPD’s sergeant training and testing exercises, and to serve as the field command post for the joint Police/Fire Fourth of July Safety Operation.
The First Responder grants recognize the importance of first responders in the San Bruno community, particularly in light of recent events around the state and country, including fires, hurricanes, and school shootings. In light of the key role first responders played in the aftermath of the 2010 gas pipeline explosion, the grant also honors the Crestmoor neighborhood and the Foundation's origins.
Read coverage of the First Responder Effectiveness Strategic Initiative in the San Mateo Daily Journal.