Last week, a wildfire near Carlsbad, CA led to evacuations in the area and a declaration of a state of emergency by Governor Jerry Brown. According to Time Magazine, “At least 15,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes in Carlsbad, California, among the towns hardest hit by the wildfires.”
These evacuations included area Assisted Living communities, which are required by state law to have disaster preparedness plans in place for just such an emergency. CALA-member ActivCare at Bressi Ranch was one community required to evacuate. According to the community’s Facebook page, “In times of emergency, the support and assistance of family, friends and the community are crucial. At ActivCare we are grateful to all of the heroes who aided us during the recent firestorms in North San Diego County.” The statement continues:
On May 14, ActivCare at Bressi Ranch was ordered to evacuate because of the wildfire in Carlsbad. With the safety of our residents being our top concern, we were thankful for the generous assistance and use of shuttles from our community partners at Aegis, Belmont Village, Elmcroft and Balboa Ambulance to help transport residents quickly and without incident to a safe haven at a neighboring community in Lake San Marcos. We appreciate the gracious hospitality that our residents received at the Meridian during the evacuation period. Residents were made to feel welcomed, secure and comforted by the ActivCare staff as well as visiting caregivers during the temporary evacuation.
All residents were able to return safely to ActivCare at Bressi Ranch later that evening.
We want to thank the family members who assisted us during the evacuation and those that entrusted us with the care of their loved ones.
We are also grateful to the firefighters, police and emergency personnel for their heroic efforts in tackling the unprecedented firestorm in the area.
Elva Ledesma, executive director at ActivCare at Bressi Ranch, and her amazing team are to be commended for their excellent preparation, planning and execution of their disaster preparedness plan. The selfless staff performed with care and professionalism, staying well beyond their scheduled shifts to ensure the safety of residents.
The executive director of the community where ActivCare residents were welcomed left this message on CALA’s Facebook page:
My community, the Meridian at Lake San Marcos, was in danger of evacuation yesterday but thankfully we were not required to go. That enabled us to take in another evacuated community and it was remarkable to see our fellow communities pitching in to provide transport, offering staffing, and then following up today with more offers of help for one another. It was a great display of solidarity in a really scary and uncertain situation. It made me proud to work in an industry with such caring professionals.
According to the Carlsbad Fire Information website, the wildfire is now 100 percent contained. CALA applauds everyone who helped to protect and care for residents during the evacuations. Working together, you have shown that the Assisted Living community extends beyond a building’s walls to care for California’s seniors in any situation.