San Francisco

SF First Responders Gear Up for Busy Weekend

San Francisco's first responders will be on alert through this weekend and next, as the city gears up for the start of Fleet Week, kicking off on Sunday and lasting through next weekend.

During a news conference outside the city's Department of Emergency Management, department officials were joined by Police Chief William Scott, Sheriff Vicki Hennessy and Fire Chief Jeanine Nicholson.

With the start of Fleet Week happening this weekend, as well as other major events like the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, the Castro Street Fair, and a Golden State Warriors pre-season game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Chase Center, the city's emergency departments are expecting a busy two days.

They're also expecting the following weekend to be busy, when Fleet Week will culminate with air shows and the two-day Italian Heritage Parade will take place on Sunday.

"Fleet Week brings huge crowds to San Francisco," said SFDEM executive director Mary Ellen Carroll. "Our main goal is to make sure everyone has a safe time and that all of our residents and visitors enjoy the festivities in a safe manner."

The city's emergency management office is recommending that residents and visitors sign up for free emergency alert texts to learn about any emergency information.

To sign up for the alerts, text "FleetWeekSF" to 888777.

"I always find it so exciting to have Fleet Week in San Francisco," said Hennessy, whose uncle was a Blue Angel in the 1940s.

"So I want people to enjoy San Francisco Fleet Week and I want people to be safe," she said.

The sheriff's department will be working with San Francisco police to ensure a quick response in case of any emergency events.

"We want everybody to have a great time, but there are a few things that we can all do to help have a great time and stay safe," Scott said.

He's recommending that people visiting the city this week and next allow for extra travel time and, if driving, to make sure they don't leave valuables in their car that could potentially attract burglars.

Additionally, visitors are encouraged to take public transportation to the festivities and, if traveling with kids or elderly, groups should come up with a reunification plan just in case they get lost or separated.

Lastly he said, "If you see something, say something," reminding people to call 911 in emergency situations and 311 in non-emergency situations.

"We've been planning for this for months, along with our city and our federal partners. So we want everyone to have a great Fleet Week and be safe," Scott said.

In addition to police and sheriff's deputies, both firefighters and the U.S. Coast Guard will be ready to handle emergency situations both on land and on sea.

The two agencies said they'll be participating together in onboard ship training, along with the U.S. Navy, as well emergency situation training and K-9 training.

The Coast Guard will also be patrolling the Bay this week and next week, making sure that boaters stay safe.

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