San Diego Center

Corpsmembers from the San Diego Center are creating a fire line by removing dead wood and undergrowth. Defensible space is created to contain the fire and prevent it from further spreading.

The San Diego Center is nonresidential with 90 Corpsmembers who commute daily to the center.

All San Diego Corpsmembers receive training in basic fire camp support and flood fighting to assist throughout the state. Along with fires and floods, local crews have responded to earthquakes, oil spills, biological emergencies and more.

401 W. 35th St, Ste A,
National City, CA, 91950
619-409-4382

Life at the San Diego Center

San Diego Center Corpsmembers are volunteering to plant trees during a community event.

All of the Corpsmembers at the San Diego Center live locally and arrive at the center at 6:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday for physical training and to receive their work assignments. Crews then depart for the day’s projects throughout San Diego County. The crews return to the center at 4:30 p.m. for work dismissal. Many Corpsmembers will then attend classes for several hours, working toward their high school diploma. On weekends, Corpsmembers often volunteer with civic groups throughout the area. These groups include Habitat for Humanity, “I Love a Clean San Diego”, the San Diego River Park Foundation and Balboa Park’s annual Earth Day event.

Corpsmembers are challenged both mentally and physically from the work they do in the classroom, the work they do in the field, and by the monthly agility test, which is comprised of a two-mile run, and timed push-ups and sit-ups. The standards that must be met vary based on one’s age and gender.

Projects

Corpsmembers at the San Diego center are clearing rock and dirt to construct a trail, one of the many jobs that they are hired by sponsors to perform.

Working with project sponsors at all levels of government, the San Diego Center challenges its Corpsmembers with work that includes trail construction, fire hazard reduction, tree removal, and heavy equipment operation. Recently, Corpsmembers have been constructing trails in the Tijuana River Valley for the county of San Diego. For the city of San Diego, local CCC crews work in numerous canyons throughout the year to remove brush and reduce the fire danger. A partnership with Caltrans has led to internship programs where Corpsmembers can hone their skills in landscaping maintenance, power tool use, tree falling, and tree climbing. A number of Corpsmembers are hired by Caltrans annually for entry level jobs. All San Diego Corpsmembers receive training in basic fire camp support and flood fighting to assist with emergencies throughout the state. Along with fires and floods, local crews have responded to earthquakes, oil spills, biological emergencies, and more.

Education and Training

San Diego Center Corpsmembers are being trained on chainsaw safety.

All Corpsmembers at the San Diego Center are required to complete Corpsmember Orientation, Motivation, Education, and Training (COMET) and core training courses.

Specialized trainings and certifications available at the San Diego Center include:

 

  • USFS Type II Firefighter Training
  • Backcountry Trail Construction & Maintenance
  • Bobcat Equipment Safety & Operation
  • Caltrans’ Internship Program
  • Chain Saw Training
  • Chipper Safety & Training
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Course
  • First Aid & CPR
  • Flora and Fauna Identification
  • Forklift Safety and Operation Certification
  • Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) 40-Hour Training
  • Herbicide Application and Safety
  • Ladder Safety
  • Leave No Trace
  • Power Tools Safety and Operation
  • Safety Stand Down
  • ServSafe Food Handler Certification
  • Small Engine Repair
  • Trail Construction and Maintenance
  • Tree Climbing Safety

The San Diego Center has partnered with Cuyamaca College and a community-based organization called Y.E.S. San Diego to offer Corpsmembers a variety of continuing educational opportunities, including classes in solar installation, water conservation, landscape and water management, and more.

The center has military veteran crews that receive training in wildland firefighting, along with other emergency response related trainings. The crews are transported each day to the Cleveland National Forest or to specific projects on non-federal lands. The veteran Corpsmembers help with fuel reduction, forestry, forest thinning, and wildlife education projects, expanding skill sets and job knowledge to help make veteran Corpsmembers even more employable in today’s work place.