SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – While many people are grieving after the deadly Conception boat fire, local first responders continue to work long hours to investigate the cause and help families involved in the tragedy. One organization is looking to help those responders. One 805 helped raise money for first responders after the Thomas Fire and Montecito mudslide. It also put on last year’s Kick Ash Bash concert event, featuring pop superstar and Santa Barbara native Katy Perry.
“Our mission is to provide support to all first responders through the funding of equipment and services,” One 805 director of development Angela Binetti-Schmidt said Thursday. In the face of another tragedy for the Santa Barbara community, One805 is now asking for the community to help these responders however it can.
“Businesses are reaching out, people going up and simply saying thank you to first responders,” Binetti-Schmidt said. “Signs up saying ‘thank you first responders,’ really helps with the emotional side of things.”
But in situations like this boat fire, first responders’ needs go beyond the emotional. “Unfortunately with tragedies like this, we learn of more needs,” Binetti-Schmidt said. “More equipment. The state does not fund everything that we need.”
Meanwhile, dozens of people came to the growing memorial at the Santa Barbara Harbor.
Becky Truckenmiller has no direct connection to the Conception boat fire or its victims, but the emotion is still very real.
“I didn’t know them, but they were people,” she said. “I can’t imagine what families and friends are going through. I didn’t know it would affect me this way.” And Truckenmiller knows that Santa Barbara is a resilient community.
“The people come together with the floods and the fires,” she said. “And we go on. We’re strong. We love this place.”