CAL FIRE VIPs More Than 25 Years of Experience

On July 1, 1980, CAL FIRE formally implemented, and supported with redirected funds, an innovative and creative fire prevention program called the Volunteers in Prevention (VIP) Program. A Budget Change Proposal (BCP) redirected nine fire captain specialists and 110.4 fire prevention assistant person-months, restored by Senate Bill 201, to the CAL FIRE budget for the permanent initiation of this ground-breaking fire prevention program. Some $270,000 was budgeted to support the program annually. 

The objectives of the VIP Program were to involve and utilize citizens and public service groups in non-salaried positions to reduce man-caused fires by 10 percent per 100,000 population within seven targeted areas: Lake-Napa, Shasta, Nevada,-Yuba-Placer, Amador-El Dorado, Santa Clara, Riverside and San Diego. 

Today, there are approximately a more than a thousand VIP's statewide, in all 21 of CAL FIRE's Operational Units, averaging over 50,000 hours of volunteer service to CAL FIRE. In exchange CAL FIRE pays meals and mileage for their expenses. 

History has shown that when VIP teams provide fire prevention teaching in grades K-3rd, child-related fires in those areas have dropped by 50 percent. In addition, VIPs educate thousands of children and their parents about fire prevention by participating in fairs, displays, and parades each year. Volunteers are trained to make preliminary wildland homeowner property inspections for fire safety as required by Public Resources Code 4291, and to discuss with homeowners ways to make their homes fire safe. These one-on-one contacts are an increasingly important education tool as the population in California's wildlands continues to grow. 

VIPs are trained to assist CAL FIRE's efforts during wildland fires, earthquakes, floods and other emergencies by providing information to the media and public.  

To find out more about becoming a VIP, contact your nearest CAL FIRE unit.

Unit VIP Contacts

Unit
Number
Amador-El Dorado Unit (also serving Alpine and Sacramento)
(530) 644-2345
San Bernardino Unit (also serving Inyo and Mono)
(909) 881-6900
San Benito-Monterey Unit
(831) 333-2600
Butte Unit
(530) 538-7888
San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit
(831) 335-6740
Fresno-Kings Unit
(559) 493-4343
Humboldt-Del Norte Unit
(707) 726-1220
Lassen-Modoc Unit (also serving Plumas)
(530) 294-5289
Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit
(707) 576-2342
Mendocino Unit
(707) 459-7414
Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit
(209) 966-3622
San Diego Unit
(951) 940-6900
Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit
(530) 889-0111
Riverside Unit
(951) 940-6779
Santa Clara Unit
(408) 778-8623
Shasta-Trinity Unit
(530) 225-2420
Siskiyou Unit
(530) 842-3518
San Luis Obispo Unit
(805) 543-4244
Tuolumne-Calavares Unit
(209) 754-2744
Tehama-Glenn Unit
(530) 528-5124
Tulare Unit
(559) 732-5954