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FDNY Sends 50 of New York's Bravest to Fight Dolan Fire in Central California

October 2, 2020

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that the FDNY Incident Management Team (IMT), comprised of 50 members of the FDNY, will deploy to Pacific Valley Station, California, to support the containment effort for the Dolan fire that is currently devastating the Central Coast region. This is the largest-ever single FDNY IMT deployment to a wildland fire. The IMT leaves today, Friday, October 2nd, for a two-week deployment.

“New Yorkers don’t turn away from a friend in need. Our City doesn’t, either,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Our hearts go out to all those affected by Dolan already, and I’m proud to work with the State of California to provide the support it needs to keep Americans safe. We look forward to welcoming New York’s Bravest back home soon after a job well done.”

The FDNY IMT will assist with managing the operations, planning, and logistics for the containment effort, which is extremely difficult because the Dolan Fire is up against steep terrain that is inaccessible to most fire suppression efforts. FDNY IMT will use drones to locate hotspots so helicopters can extinguish the fire, supervise the strengthening of existing fire lines, and monitor the potential spread of fire into additional areas.

The team will also be supervising fire units operating across large geographic areas of the forest; tracking all resources, including Firefighting personnel and apparatus; and tracking costs related to equipment, food, and supplies, as well as possible injuries to first responders operating in the fire line area.

“FDNY members will go to any lengths – and even well beyond the borders of our city – to help those in need of our assistance,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “When massive fires and natural disasters cause damage across the country, the men and women of our Department’s highly-trained Incident Management Team always answer the call for help. I know they will make an immediate impact in the extensive containment efforts already underway.”

A separate group of 15 members of the FDNY IMT returned home one week ago after a two-week deployment to Oregon to assist with containment and management of the Brattain Fire in the Fremont-Winema National Forest.

IMTs are federally trained teams of first responders responsible for overseeing large-scale long-duration incidents and emergencies, including forest fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Following September 11th, 2001, an IMT from the United States Forestry Service greatly assisted FDNY with the rescue and recovery effort at the World Trade Center site. From this experience, the FDNY IMT was created to manage incidents in New York City and across the country. The FDNY IMT has responded to multiple national emergencies, from forest fires; to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina; to Broome County, NY following Hurricane Irene; to here in New York City after Hurricane Sandy. The FDNY IMT consists of more than 300 FDNY members from all ranks in the Department with specialized training in incident command, rescue operations, logistics, and planning.

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