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Police thank Volunteers for earthquake help

by FullertonPoliceNews

Once the earth stopped shaking, members of the police department's Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol stepped into action, working throughout the night to help maintain order following a magnitude 5.1 quake.

RSVPs stood watch from 11 p.m.-7 a.m. on March 28 at an intersection where a water main had burst.

"They provided around the clock traffic control at the intersection of Rosecrans and Gilbert, protecting motorists from harm and freeing up officers to handle other calls for service," said Sgt. Jeff Stuart.

On Wednesday, Police Chief Dan Hughes presented the volunteers with plaques and thanked them for their service.

"This is really the essence of volunteerism right here," Hughes said. “We are so grateful for what you guys do. For you to leave your homes and come help our residents and community… I just want to say thank you so very much.”

The quake caused $2.6 million in damages in Fullerton, Brea and La Habra, where it was centered.

The volunteers who were honored: Frank Loiacano, Gary Poggensee, Dave Everitt, Faye Phillips, Evelyn Rybicki, Bob Bernstein, Robert Kanter, John Kunselman, Mary Beyer, Betty Ziegler and Akira Tanaka.

Lt. Andrew Goodrich, who was the watch commander that night, said dispatchers received 300 calls in the three hours after the quake; twice what would typically be received in a 24-hour period.

“Every line was constantly ringing,” he said. “I was thinking, 'I need to get our RSVPs.' Before I could even call, Kunselman called me and said, 'Do you need us?’”

“They put their own lives on hold to help the community,” Goodrich said. “Dispatchers, RSVPs, everybody did a great job that night.”

Added Stuart, who supervises the program: “The Fullerton Police Department relies heavily on the services provided by our RSVPs who work throughout the Department. We are always looking for active seniors who would like to join the ranks of the RSVP program”.

If you think you might be interested in learning more, please call (714) 738-6836.