PLEASANTON, Calif. - Roughly two dozen community members gathered Saturday to provide a much need morale boost to firefighters on the frontlines of the SCU Lightning Complex Fire.
Community members from Danville and Diablo cheered and held signs in a show of support for crews during their 8:00 a.m. shift change.
The event was organized by Alyssa and Shawn Phillips of Diablo. The couple said they wanted to donate supplies to firefighters, but when they reached out to their local fire agency, Battalion Chief Dan McNamara with the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District said a boost of morale was all that was needed.
The group gathered at the intersection of Valley & Bernal Avenues in Pleasanton next to the Alameda County Fairgrounds. The site is home to the fire command post with multiple agencies working the fire.
In addition to the curbside encouragement, the Phillips family has collected dozens of letters written by children in Danville and Diablo. Drop boxes for letters are stationed at St. Isadore School, Diablo Learning Library, and Monte Vista High School.
Lila McCloskey, 9, and Sabrina Phillips, 10, were among the dozens of children who have put their gratitude on paper.
“I wanted to come out today and thank the firefighters because they keep risking their lives every day, to save us from all the horrible fires,” McCloskey said.
The notes will go to crews who have been working 24 hour shifts for the past two weeks. Firefighters are given little rest on a fire that has about 1,900 firefighters, but needs 5,000. As of Saturday, the SCU fire has burned has grown to more than 374,000 acres and containment is at 40%.
“Some of our firefighters have seen some pretty significant destruction and to see the community come out to support every single firefighter is overwhelming,” McNamara said.
He said a simple thank you goes a long way.
“That’s just a huge boost for morale as we’re headed in and out of the camp,” McNamara added.
Anyone interested in showing their support for firefighters can meet at the intersection of Valley Avenue and Bernal Avenue in Pleasanton at 8:00 a.m. to cheer on crews during their shift change.