September 2013 - Vol.06, No.09 
In This Issue
September Is National Preparedness Month
DPS Responds to the "Rim Fire"
August 2013 Fire Tower
Jill's Ride for Hope 2013
Landing into Imagination at Gateway Neighborhood Center
Pancake Breakfast With Sunnyvale Firefighters

Events Calendar


September 18        

Mercury Thermometer Exchange and MedDrop @ Sunnyvale Senior Center  

11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.


Sept 25                  

Challenge Team Meets 

7:00 - 8:00 a.m.


Sept. 27                                 

Gateway Dodgeball Challenge - Dodge for a Cause


October 3                              

Firefighters Peninsula Burn Relay      

8:00 a.m. 

Olive Ave. between Mathilda Ave. and Pastoria Ave.


October 3                              

Knock Out Litter in Sunnyvale - Gateway Neighborhood Center 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. 


October 12                            

Firefighters Pancake Breakfast at Station 2 Wolfe Rd/Arques Ave.

8:00 - 11:00 a.m.


October 30                            

Sunnyvale Challenge Team Meets


October 26                            

Howl'oween Pet Parade  


Message from the Chief 

September is National Preparedness Month. The purpose is to place focus on emergency preparedness for individuals, families, schools, businesses and communities. While most would agree this is a worthy endeavor, very few people actually take proactive, tangible steps to prepare themselves. This is certainly understandable considering the pace of today's society and the limited amount of discretionary time. Compounding the resistance to prepare is the mindset, "I know emergencies can happen, but nothing has happened to me." The idea behind this month is to remind people to think ahead of an emergency. Nobody starts the day assuming something bad is going to happen, but being prepared before an emergency happens will go a long way toward positive outcomes. I am positive that anyone who has been involved in recent emergencies would, in retrospect, support the notion of proactively preparing.


There have been a number of emergencies within our own community over the last year which has pointed out the need for preparedness. Residential and commercial fires, school security lock downs, flooding, utility outages and at-risk missing adults and children are all incidents which occurred in the City of Sunnyvale. Planning for these types of events and the aftermath will increase your ability to survive and recover from an emergency. The positive domino effect will be your ability to help others by eliminating the need to be helped. There are many information sources and no one right way to prepare, so find what works for your situation and take action. If you are unsure about how or where to start, I recommend the FEMA Website at


As a reminder, the City of Sunnyvale also provides a significant amount of information regarding preparedness, including the ability for all of our residents to participate in specialized preparedness training program (Sunnyvale Neighborhoods Actively Prepare - SNAP). Information regarding the SNAP Program and emergency preparedness can be found at


Wishing you a safe and prepared month of September!



Chief Grgurina         

TEL (408) 730-7140
TDD (408) 730-7501            

or email to: [email protected]    

September Is National Preparedness Month 


You can receive important lifesaving alerts no matter where you are - at home, at school, or at work.

Public safety officials use reliable systems to alert you and your family in the event of natural or man-made disasters. Many communities also offer emergency alert notifications through their own systems. Check with the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System Authorities website to learn what is available in your area.


Wireless Emergency Alerts


Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) send free informational text messages to WEA-enabled cell phones within range of an imminent and dangerous local situation, severe weather event, or AMBER emergency.

  • The WEA notification is designed to get your attention and notify you with a unique sound and vibration. When you receive an alert, take action and check local broadcasts for more information.
  • Public safety officials use WEA to send you essential information whenever you are near the location of a life-threatening event.
  • You do not need to register to receive WEA notifications. You will automatically receive alerts if you have WEA-capable phone and your wireless carrier participates in the program.
  • To find out if your mobile device is capable of receiving WEA alerts, contact your mobile device carrier or visit CTIA The Wireless Association.
  • If you choose not to receive WEA messages, you can adjust the alert settings on your mobile device. You can opt-out of receiving imminent hazard and AMBER alerts, but you cannot opt-out of Presidential alerts.
Emergency Alert System
  • The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), is a modernization and integration of the nation's existing and future alert and warning systems, technologies, and infrastructure.
  • IPAWS' EAS is the message dissemination pathway that sends warnings via broadcast, cable, satellite, and wireline services. EAS may be used by state and local authorities, in cooperation with the broadcast community, to deliver important emergency information, such as weather information, AMBER alerts, and local incident information targeted to specific areas.
  • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, satellite digital audio service and direct broadcast satellite providers, cable television systems, and wireless cable systems to provide the President with a communications capability to address the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency.
  • The President has sole responsibility for determining when the national-level EAS will be activated. FEMA is responsible for national-level EAS tests and exercises.
  • EAS is also used when all other means of alerting the public are unavailable, providing an added layer of resiliency to the suite of available emergency communication tools.
For more information, please visit

Sunnyvale Office of Emergency Services


DPS Responds to the "Rim Fire"

nullFor  nearly a month, a forest fire has been burning in the area of Hwy 120, in and around Yosemite National Park.  The "Rim Fire" is burning in difficult terrain, has displayed extreme fire behaviors and is continuing to threaten whole communities.  Fire resources from around the western United States have been called to help in the fight to control this massive blaze that has now consumed more than 250,000 acres.


It was the threat to communities that prompted the call for help from the fire commanders at the Rim Fire to Santa Clara County.  In accordance with established mutual aid policies, Santa Clara County fire agencies came together to form two strike teams to assist in the fire fight.  These two teams, each with five fire engines and a Strike Team Leader responded to the fire at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 23.  One of the engines on the Strike Team was from Sunnyvale's Fire Station 4 and the Strike Team Leader was Sunnyvale's Lt. AJ Berrien.  Station 4's Lt. Bianconi, PSOs Miller, Cortez and Aguirre spent the next eight days protecting homes that were threatened by the massive blaze.


null The team worked 24 hours at a time and then returned to a base camp to rest for 24 hours.  As the fire conditions began to improve, and containment around the fire increased, the crews from Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Milpitas, San Jose and Santa Clara County fire were released to return home.  The Sunnyvale crew arrived home late on August 31.  Although the work was difficult and the conditions were challenging, all made it home safely.


The "Rim Fire" continues to burn and there are still some homes that are threatened.  You can track the firefighting efforts by following this link:  

August 2013 Fire Tower - Fire Operations Focuses on Rope Rescue Systems 

null On August 14, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, DPS Fire Training conducted company level training at the Fire Station #2 Training Center and 750 Ajax Way. Fire Operations focused on practicing skills related to Rescue Systems. Rescue Systems is a broad category of specialized equipment including ropes, mechanical advantage systems (pulleys and braking devices), and packaging (litters and harnesses).  


During the training, crews were given review on specialized tactics and procedures to allow for the safe rescue of trapped victims. Crews were given scenarios to test their knowledge and performed simulated rescues using their safety equipment.  


Sunnyvale DPS responds to a wide range of hazards including industrial settings, water ways, and confined spaces, all which have potential to involve high and low angle rescue. This annual training brings companies together to practice these low-frequency high-risk procedures that involve specialized equipment and training.


Jill's Ride for Hope 2013

null Rob and Polly Naber lost their daughter, Jill, to suicide during her freshman year at Los Gatos High School (LGHS). Jill was a vibrant, talented young girl, just 15 years old. She was distraught when an embarrassing picture of herself was sent electronically and placed on an internet site. Cyber-bullying and other pressures intensified her feelings of despair and, on March 15, 2009, she took her own life.  


After Jill's death, a non-profit organization named CASSY, Counseling and Support Services for Youth, was embedded in LGHS. CASSY quickly became a heavily utilized resource at LGHS, helping students, faculty and families through pressures and difficulties, all free of charge. In 2012, community donations enabled CASSY to extend its mission by providing additional counseling services at more bay area schools.


Jill's Ride for Hope made a lot of that possible.  


Rob and Polly Naber have a personal connection with Sunnyvale DPS when they shared their story as a part of the Digital Safety Program. The Digital Safety Program trains officers from all over the state of California on how to respond to and handle technology-related offenses at schools. Lieutenant Tracy Hern, PSO Holly Lawrence, PSO Bradley Militano, PSO Todd Fekete and PSO Greg Othon supported the 2013 Jill's Ride for Hope on Saturday, August 24.


Landing into Imagination at Gateway Neighborhood Center


Second grader Karyne didn't know she would be leaving her mark literally on the walls of her new afterschool program when her mom signed her up. The 7-year-old Fairwood Elementary School student was part of a team of students in grades kindergarten through 12 who worked on a unique mural project at Gateway Neighborhood Center last month. The 8 by 12 foot mural is part of the center's Literacy Program called "Landing into Imagination - books!" The water-based painting depicts a girl parachuting down onto a land of books.


Local artist Carolina Moura led the students on the project. Moira said she had a vision of the painting a few weeks before she was asked to take on the project. She explained, "Without any question this drawing came to mind and I only understood the dimension of this artwork when it fulfilled its purpose at Gateway Neighborhood Center. On the day that I drew this image, I felt there was something good behind the work. I didn't know how it could be used until I visualized this image on a big wall."


The project challenged students to explore and develop their artistic abilities while strengthening their teamwork skills. The students come from diverse backgrounds including low income, at-risk community members. Karyne helped paint the girl and the lake. She said seeing the mural gives her a sense of accomplishment. "The best part is how it looks at finish. I like the big parachute. If I was her, I want to land in Mexico."


Elias Hernandez, a senior at Fremont High School, was a team leader on the project.   "I learned leadership and bonding with the kids. It also gave me the opportunity to have the kids under control and teach some techniques when they were having trouble."


The mural is currently on display at Gateway Neighborhood Center. The public is invited to visit the center and view the artwork.   Located at the Center is the Gateway Club offering youth (8th grade to High School) the tools necessary to excel in school through mentoring, homework support and leadership development. Parents are encouraged to register their children for the free afterschool programs.Gateway Neighborhood Center is located at 477 N. Mathilda Ave.


Carolina Moura is an art teacher with more than ten years experience in Brazil and the U.S. Her artistic background is in drawing, oil painting and mixed media. Her first exhibition in the U.S. is currently on display at Toyota of Palo Alto.


Pancake Breakfast With Sunnyvale Firefighters 


Follow us on Twitter
Sunnyvale City Logo ColorFor questions and comments about the Sunnyvale DPS newsletter Beyond the Badge, you can e-mail us at: [email protected] 
2010-2013 City of Sunnyvale, CA