Thank You Abundantly,
San Diego Firefighters & Inmate Heroes

This is a difficult moment for me as I sit and sort out my thoughts contemplating what this article should contain following the San Diego County aftermath.

Californians had to endure 7 days of wildfires; a week long nightmare where fortunate people will consider this particular dry and windy Santa Ana week in October a bad dream, while others less fortunate, will live on with indescribable feelings of uncertainty, fear and distress having been uprooted from their homes, businesses and livelihood.


Thank You Abundantly, San Diego Firefighters and Inmates Heroes
Thank You Abundantly, San Diego Firefighters and Inmates Heroes

I do not want to write about the fires because we've had enough nor am I in the mood to write about real estate because many people have lost theirs, and I am not in the state of mind to write about feng shui because the elements of wood and fire do not inspire me at this moment.

I want to write about the two things we really have to hang on to no matter what comes our way: our faith and love; to persevere; to pull together hand in hand, and quickly work together to help one another in time of need. Faith and love is a power that connects people.

Life is full of pluses and minuses, never knowing what is going to happen, and we can experience a moment that can change our lives dramatically. We know the minuses so let's talk about the pluses.

Did you know, amongst the brave 14,000 fire-fighting heroes and heroines, about one quarter of the firefighters defending homes and businesses in southern California from wild fires were inmates?

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 3,091 inmates trained to battle fires in the state were on the front lines from Lake Arrowhead south to San Diego.

A program has been in existence since the 1940s that makes inmates available for fires and other natural disasters such as earthquakes and flooding. The program provides great benefits to the state saving state taxpayers an estimated $80 million per year, and the inmates not only get to be outside, but give back to the community, in some cases the same communities they may have victimized before.

Not every inmate qualifies to be a firefighter but once chosen, male or female, they undergo a four-week program that includes training in fire safety and suppression. They must be physically fit having no history of violent crime, and have four to 36 months remaining on their sentences.

They earn $1 an hour, and are often sent to cut fire breaks in locations that can't be reached by heavy machinery. They also help protect homes and businesses. In addition to the money and the chance to break the monotony of prison life, inmates earn two days of credit toward completing their sentences for every day they spend on fire lines.

Some firefighters have said without the help of inmates, the blazes may have caused more destruction without them as they are very effective, hardworking, well-trained and know what they are doing.

All firefighters, including the numerous volunteers that have stepped forward with inspiring initiative to help, and also the generous donors, deserve an abundance of appreciation, and the beauty of applause. Let's not forget the ones that will come after to cleanup the debris. Because of all your efforts, the world again can become beautiful and so many wonderful things will happen because of you. Now, in feng shui, it calls to activate mentor luck!

We thank you abundantly & Happy Thanksgiving!

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