From the talent stacked One805 Ash Bash fundraiser this year has come over a million dollars in donations for local first responders, mainly fire, police and sheriff departments. “It was an awesome gift,” said Santa Barbara Police Sergeant Eric Beecher. A $300,000 donation to the department will pay for a new mobile command center, to replace one that is old, worn out, and no longer in service. It’s 32- foot custom vehicle already being built specifically for this department by LDV Custom Specialty Vehicles, with a delivery date in the fall. “We were already looking at a vehicle and this opportunity came along. They were able to give us $300,000 dollars towards this vehicle so the timing and opportunity was perfect,” said Beecher. Santa Barbara has hundreds of large and small events each year. Some draw over 100,000 people including Old Spanish Days Fiesta, the 4th of July beach celebration and the Summer Solstice weekend. It’s where the command vehicle can be used effectively along with emergencies such as natural disasters, critical incidents, SWAT call outs, and mutual aid need.
“And then you have a central location where people can coordinate and if you don’t have that then things can become chaotic and unorganized,” said Beecher.
Not only will it help in areas with big crowds to organize teams of officers, but also if the public has a need such as a lost child or a health emergency. It will also work when other functions like power or phones go down. “The truck comes with a lot of new communication tools that we didn’t have before such as satellite communication, satellite phones and camera masts,” he said. In some instances the vehicle can be park near an event but not directly in it and still see the scene from overhead visual equipment. When there isn’t a festival or an emergency it can be a public resource vehicle. Beecher said, “This vehicle is going to be used as a community service tool for us to be out there and talk to the community and be an outreach.” In addition to the donation, the city is putting in about $61,000 for special additions required by the department along with painting and logos. It is expected to arrive by October. The city is currently looking for a special storage site for the command vehicle where it can be launched in an urgent notice.
The One805 Kick Ash Bash took place on Sunday, Feb. 25 at the Bella Vista Polo Club in Summerland. It honored first responders while raising funds for emergency equipment and relief efforts after the massive December Thomas Fire that killed two people and the shocking Jan. 9 Montecito debris flow that crushed hundreds of homes and took 23 lives.
Performers and presenters included Katie Perry, Dennis Miller, Ellen DeGeneres, Alan Parsons, Dishwalla, Glen Phillips, Kenny Loggins, and David Crosby.