As California continues to contend with the deadliest wildfires in the state’s history, Doug Taylor is rallying ASCE members to help.
Taylor, P.E., M.ASCE, the ASCE Region 9 disaster preparedness chair, has worked year-round to get more ASCE members in the state trained as Safety Assessment Evaluators.
“We’ve tried to get more and more people certified so they can respond when disasters like this happen,” Taylor said.
Taylor got the call from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Tuesday to assemble a team of 10 ASCE volunteers to do Safety Assessment Program field work in Northern California, where the Camp Fire is being blamed for more than 40 deaths and the destruction of more than 8,000 structures.
Taylor was able to quickly pull together a crew of ASCE members to respond.
“We’ll be going into areas in teams of two and three and tagging homes and businesses with a green tag, yellow tag, or red tag,” he said. “We determine whether they’re safe to occupy, whether they’re not adequate to occupy but maybe safe enough to go in and get possessions, or a red tag means you’re not allowed to occupy or go into this structure.”
It’s the work they’ve trained all year to be ready to perform.
Taylor recently retired from a career with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
What motivates him to keep doing this, even after retirement?
“Well, you have 8,800 people who just lost their homes,” Taylor said. “That’s enough.”