VISTA — Vista council members listened to a presentation Jan. 23 by SDG&E on how the utility company and the city partner together every day. Leading the discussion at the council meeting was Joe Gabaldon, regional public affairs manager for SDG&E.
“Our employees are not only our customers, but they’re your constituents as well,” Gabaldon said. “Our highly trained team of 4,000 employees includes 92 employees who live here in the city of Vista. We have a very important mission at SDG&E, which is to build the cleanest, safest and most reliable energy company in America. Our highly trained responsible team of employees are the reason why we’re able to deliver clean, safe and reliable energy to every home and business every day.”
During Gabaldon’s presentation, he mentioned how the Alert SDG&E cameras offer real-time video with other highly technical features. In collaboration with the University of California San Diego and the Seismology Lab at the University of Nevada, SDG&E launched 15 of these high definition interactive cameras in November 2017.
Gabaldon said the cameras are designed to improve fire and public safety by creating a live streaming view of San Diego’s most fire-prone communities.
“These cameras were put to use last month as our emergency response teams worked with Cal Fire and OES (Office of Emergency Services) to identify fires quickly using these cameras,” Gabaldon said. “I’m pleased to share with you an action that the board of supervisors took this morning where they allocated another $437,000 to buy five more cameras.”
According to Gabaldon, the cameras will be installed at new sites, and internet connections will be ramped up for this technology.
“I know that Kevin Ham (director of development for the city of Vista) is talking to you guys about internet and broadband speeds. So, we’re excited that it’s being used to not only provide these cameras but also as a wireless network to the regions of fire safety locations in the backcountry — very important.”
Alert SDG&E cameras are available for public viewing via the internet at http://www.alertwildfire.org/sdge/. Public safety officials have enhanced capabilities.
“Fire folks can actually control these (cameras) and move them around to triangulate and find fires,” he said. “And they really have instantaneous ideas about where they want to form a fire line.”
Gabaldon also wanted the council and residents to know that no other entity was doing what SDG&E is doing by way of fire and weather science. He went on to say that SDG&E crews replaced more than 13,000 wood poles to fire-resistant steel poles.
He also noted that SDG&E’s network has 170 weather stations in the region.
“This is the largest private network in the country which reports temperatures, wind speed and humidity, every 10 minutes,” he said.