Help residents of the Kern River Valley and fellow SEIU members who have been on the front lines as their own homes were threatened or destroyed. (All donations are tax-deductible.)
United Way of Kern – www.uwkern.org
Click donate, then use the pull-down for “Specific Campaign” and select “Erskine Fire.” In the “Extra Info” box, type “Kern County Employees.”
Rotary Club of Kern River Valley – Online Donations: bit.ly/28UtYBb
Or, mail checks to KRVR Erskine Fire Fund, P.O. Box 2884, Lake Isabella, CA 93240-2884
The Erskine Fire has consumed over 45,000 acres in Kern County and displaced hundreds of residents. As fire fighters continue to battle the fire, SEIU public service workers are on the front lines making sure residents have what they need. Nurses from the Public Health Department are working in the Kern River Valley to care for residents and disaster workers. People requiring more attention have been taken to Kern Medical, Kern County’s public hospital and only Level 2 trauma center. “We’re all pulling together for this community. Recovery is going to take a long time and county workers will be here every step of the way,” said Suzanne McWhorter, Public Health Nurse II.
Public service workers have also been in the area to help feed and take care of pets since the fire began. Locating, accessing and caring for animals in an emergency requires complex logistics, coordination of access rights with property owners and other emergency departments, and the ability to calmly work with frightened and injured animals who can attack in an instant. In the first five days, over a dozen Animal Services workers rescued animals that had escaped and fed and watered animals that were left inside homes. Animal Services also set up temporary shelters in the mountain communities to house stray and rescued animals.
“We have a great crew who has been putting this community first since day one,” said Daniel Burgess, one of the Animal Services Officers who responded to the fire. “They continue to push through with the same vigor no matter how long they’re needed.”
Dogs and cats were later brought to the Kern County Animal Shelter until they could be reunited with their owners. The Kern County Animal Shelter is continuing to do outreach including posting photos of rescued animals on social media.