Community Involvement

High Desert State Prison pitches in for fire relief

A truck sits beside a stack of donations for firefighters and evacuees.
High Desert State Prison employees and their families helped gather supplies and collect monetary donations for evacuees and firefighters.

By Dianne Morrison

This year has certainly been one of many lows felt by all, but it is a nice change of pace when, in times like these, communities still come together to help and show appreciation when and where it is needed most. The Susanville community showed their support on Aug. 22, delivering supplies and monetary donations.

A lightning fire was threatening the town in a residential wooded area. At the start of the fire, there were few resources available, as many were on bigger fires elsewhere in the state. Most of the area’s fire departments are small and run by volunteers, including the Susan River Fire Department. Responsible for the fire area, the firefighters worked tirelessly to keep the area’s homes safe.

On Aug. 21, employees of High Desert State Prison (HDSP) decided they needed to do something to help the firefighters, police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and the many volunteers who were assisting with the fire. With the help of the Community Resources Manager staff, they put together a “Donations Show Appreciation” Drive to collect water, Gatorade, pre-packaged snacks and money to deliver to the firefighters and volunteers that was to be held the next day.

On Aug. 22, HDSP employees and their families and friends showed up to the parking lot of a local grocery store with pick-up trucks, a van, and two firefighter’s boots to collect donations. HDSP Employees and their families volunteered their time to take donations in front of the store for three hours.

The group collected eight truckloads of water, energy drinks, trail mix, granola bars, gum, and other snacks delivered directly to the firefighters at the staging area, the Susanville Police Department, Lassen County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol Office along with two loads of water, snacks, sheets and pillows delivered to the evacuation center.

HDSP Employees and their families and friends were also honored to deliver a monetary donation of $10,925 to the Susan River Fire Department. In addition, the inmates of HDSP’s Facilities A and E raised and donated another $3,620 to the Susanville Fire Volunteers.