Volunteers In Prevention

The Volunteers in Prevention (VIP) program is an integral part of CAL FIRE’s fire prevention and public education program. Volunteer activities complement the information and education.

CAL FIRE initiated the VIP program on July 1, 1980. The program was authorized by the California State Government Volunteers’ Act enacted by SB 1950. The program was established to bolster dwindling fire prevention staffs. The VIP program utilizes citizen volunteers in a variety of prevention activities such as child safety education programs, fairs, parades, and public information. Because of the success in reducing fires, the VIP Program has grown to 2500 volunteers strong (statewide). It is a partnership of people in the community and CAL FIRE working together to reduce fires and educate the public in fire prevention and safety measures.

CAL FIRE involves and utilizes citizens and public service groups to promote public safety education. VIP’s assist CAL FIRE in the prevention of the ignition and initial spread of unwanted human-caused fires, with the emphasis upon the prevention of large, damaging fires.

On their own initiative, VIPs provide goods or services without any financial gain. Volunteers do not replace paid employees; instead, their efforts supplement and extend the services of CAL FIRE.

Who Can Be a Volunteer-in-Prevention?

Because of the flexible nature and variety of functions the program provides, virtually anyone can become a VIP. The program currently has men and women participants ranging in experience from professionals to students, and boy scouts to retirees. 

VIP Activities

As a VIP, there are numerous activities in which to participate. Listed below is a sample of yearly activities:

  • Fair exhibits and displays            
  • Staff booths and provide fire prevention information
  • Interact with the public while wearing the Captain Cal or Smokey Bear costume
  • Assist CAL FIRE Information Officers during large fires
  • Staff call center: During large, damaging fires there is high demand by the public and the media for information. After being properly trained, VIPs may be called upon to staff information centers to meet this demand.
  • Office Support for VIP and Fire Prevention programs
  • Assist staff in preparing program-required materials or other related activities
  • Fire Prevention education programs
  • Visit schools and other community organizations to present the Fire Prevention story and answer questions about CAL FIRE.

We hope this information helps you understand the VIP Program and its importance. Should you have any questions regarding the program, please feel free to contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at 530-538-7888.