Photo Courtesy: Santa Barbara County Fire

First Responders Save Stranded Woman During Water Rescue, Pre-Positioned Resource Assists

California’s much-needed rain made landfall this week drenching all ends of the state with inches of water. As with any major storm, dangerous conditions follow and this time was no different.

The stream of recent rainfall that soaked the ground caused some roadways in affected areas to flood. Flooding on any street or roadway can be extremely dangerous as water currents are more powerful than they appear.

Today, Santa Barbara County Fire Department resources including a pre-positioned mutual aid asset coordinated by Cal OES, along with California State Parks jumped into action to rescue an individual that was trapped between two creek crossings north of Santa Barbara. Thanks to the heroic efforts of all involved, the individual was safely rescued with no injuries.

Water Rescue First Responders at Flooded Roadway
Photo Courtesy: Santa Barbara Fire Department

In anticipation of the storm system and impacts, Cal OES coordinated with local public safety agencies to strategically pre-position specialized fire, rescue and public safety resources and personnel in 11 counties, including Santa Barbara.

This is part of an ongoing effort by California’s emergency management and public safety agencies to ensure that critical, life-saving resources are ready and immediately available for deployment in the event of a major mudslide, debris flow, flooding or other emergency caused by significant winter weather.

With rain and snow remaining in the forecast for parts of the state, the public is urged to remain aware of their surrounding conditions, to avoid outdoor activities that may be dangerous and not drive on flooded roadways – TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN. Also, remember to have an emergency plan in place, emergency preparedness kits at home and vehicles full of fuel, sign-up for emergency alerts, listen to authorities and warnings and be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

Watch video of the rescue from the Santa Barbara County Fire Twitter page here.


Monica Vargas

Monica is an Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). She has been involved in the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, Valley Fire, Butte Fire, historic drought, Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, 2017 winter storms, North Bay Fires, Camp Fire, Ridgecrest Earthquake, 2020 Puerto Rico earthquake EMAC PIO, 2020 fire siege and the COVID-19 pandemic. She previously served Cal OES as an analyst in the executive, international affairs and technology offices.

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