Richmond-El Cerrito fire and police ask for support helping needy families



Contact: Michelle Milam  (510) 837-9257

Richmond-El Cerrito Fire/Police Toy Program Needs Santa’s Helpers

Description: Richmond-El Cerrito Fire/Police Toy Program seeks help for needy families 

Richmond, CA —  December 4, 2013 –  First responders from Richmond and El Cerrito are asking the public for help to provide Food and Toy baskets to over 1700 families this coming holiday season.  The Richmond-El Cerrito Toy program is seeking to help needy families who have a hard time making ends meet.  Each year the program gets applications from the two cities from needy families hoping to receive a food basket and toys for their children under 12. This year 1700 families signed up for the program. Others were turned away because of the great need.

 “I think even the most jaded person will believe in miracles when they see these kids faces,” said Richmond firefighter Rod Woods, the brainchild of the 20 year old program, “We believe there are still good people in this world who will help us make this miracle happen.”  “This is not an easy season for many families, which is why we should all help one another when we can,” said Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus, “There are people who gave to this program in the past who will be in line this year due to a job lay off or illness. You always hope help will be there for you if you need it. Sometimes kids give to the program, which is really heartwarming. What better way for parents to show their kids the spirit of the season than to give as a family.”

The public can help donate to the program by visitingwww.toyprogram.org. The public can also help by getting their school, place of employment, or religious organization to make a donation. Sharing the information with friends online via social media also helps. This year every dollar donated up to $10,000 will be matched by Chevron Corporation, so the money goes even further.

The toy program was started 20 years ago when Richmond Firefighter Rod Woods parked his vehicle in a low income neighborhood and distributed toys to the local children during the holidays. A police officer saw that he needed help and assisted him in the distribution. Since then it has grown to serve thousands of needy people each year.

Contact Information: 
Richmond-El Cerrito Food and Toy Program 
Contact: Michelle Milam  (510) 837-9257 


Who: Richmond, El Cerrito Firefighters and Police

What: Toy and Food Program

When: Need online donations



The Richmond/El Cerrito Fire & Police Holiday Toy Program exists to collect and distribute new, unwrapped toys to economically disadvantaged children in the western Contra Costa County area during the holiday season.

As professional firefighters, we see the ravages brought on by the loss of both homes and property. Our non-profit organization strives to brighten the lives of needy children in Richmond, San Pablo and the surrounding communities, particularly during the holidays. Both monetary donations and donations of new, unwrapped toys are accepted throughout the calendar year. With generous donations from both local corporations and individuals, the Richmond/El Cerrito Fire & Police Holiday Toy Program distributes toys to children ages 12 and under residing in western Contra Costa County. Also, in conjunction with staff from the Richmond Police Department, the Richmond/El Cerrito Fire & Police Holiday Toy Program distributes food baskets so that families can enjoy a holiday dinner.

The primary objective of the Richmond/El Cerrito Fire & Police Holiday Toy Program is to assist underprivileged children and their families in western Contra Costa County during the holidays.


Ranks of Chevron suits swells

Spoke with Mr. Schulz, 66, of Richmond today, a Vietnam veteran.

He was diagnosed with emphysema days after the Chevron fire on Aug. 6, 2012.

“I smelled something burning while I was laying in bed,” on day of fire he said.

“My breathing went downhill in a hurry.”

Schulz said he is joining John L. Burris’ mass tort suit against Chevron, which already has more than 10,000 clients.

Half block west of San Pablo Ave., near southern border of the city.

“I felt as though the smoke was traveling directly overhead.”

“I’m really short-winded these days.”



Richmond meeting Wednesday re: Chevron Fire

Press release:



New Labor and Community Collaborative hosts first public meeting in the wake of the August 6, 2012 Toxic Chevron Richmond Refinery Fire.


August 6, toxic fire nearly killed 20 workers and sent 15,000 to local hospitals.


“What Happened at Chevron on August 6, 2012


Wednesday, February 27, meeting in the Richmond Community to take place in the Richmond community at St. Mark’s Catholic Church Gym 159 Harbour Way, Richmond, California, at 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


The Collaborative is made up of United Steel Workers Local 5, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Blue Green Alliance, Communities for a Better Environment, Labor Occupational Health Program UC Berkeley and the Natural Resources Defense Council.


The meeting will be a community dialogue to discuss the findings of the Cal-OSHA Safety Violations and the US Chemical Safety Board Metallurgical Report. The following items will be discussed.


  • Emergency Response: Conditions to avoid disaster and unnecessary risks, right of workers to shut down unsafe operations.
  • Preventive Maintenance: Investing in refinery safety.
  • Incident Response: air monitoring, warning, and health care systems inadequacies.
  • Inherently Safer Technology: avoiding unnecessary hazards by design
  • Public Refinery Safety Audits: Because what we don’t know can hurt us.


There will be a Call to Action for attendees to participate in several upcoming actions.


This meeting will include simultaneous translation in Spanish, Lao, Khmu, and Mien.


For more information please contact: Andres Soto 510.2825363 or Andres@cbecal.org


Chevron meeting for public set for Dec. 19

From City of Richmond:

The City of Richmond has the responsibility for issuing construction permits for the repair of the Chevron Refinery crude unit in accordance with applicable building and fire codes.  As you may know, during the plan check process for the issuance of such construction permits, staff concluded, after extensive consultation with technical experts, that there needed to be a more detailed risk analysis before a definitive conclusion could be reached regarding the choice of pipe material in applying these codes.  There are several options in the code for pipe material that must be evaluated by permitting officials.

At its meeting of December 4th, the City Council stressed the importance of transparency in the permitting process, and directed staff to conduct a public meeting to provide information on the factors leading to a decision concerning pipe material before permits were granted for damaged process piping.  This meeting has now been scheduled as follows:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Richmond City Council Chambers
440 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, California 94804

To move the permit process forward, but with the primary interest of public safety, staff initiated the following process:


  • As part of their permit application, Chevron was asked to prepare a detailed, risk analysis regarding the selection of pipe material for the repair.  This analysis was provided to the City on Wednesday, December 12th and is attached to this e-mail.  (Material Selection for Repair of Damaged Process Piping in High-Temperature Sulfidation Service in the No. 4 Crude Unit).  Since Thursday, December 13th, the report has also been available at www.ci.richmond.ca.us/chevronrefineryfire2012.  
  • The Chevron analysis has been submitted to the City’s metallurgical consultant, Mr. Jim McLaughlin, for evaluation.  Mr. McLaughlin expects to provide a written summary of his evaluation by the end of the day on Monday, December 17th.  We will advise you as soon as possible after we receive this evaluation.
  • All agencies that have been working on the investigation of the August 6th refinery fire are being specifically contacted to ask for their review of the pipe material selection.  These agencies include Contra Costa County, the Chemical Safety Board, Cal-OSHA, Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • The City has also retained Mr. David Hendrix, a metallurgical engineering consultant, to provide a peer review of the analyses. 

Until all this work is completed, City staff has determined not to issue building permits for portions of the repair for damaged process piping in high-temperature sulfidation service in the No. 4 Crude Unit.

The City of Richmond will continue to provide material as it becomes available. Please also check the City’s website at www.ci.richmond.ca.us/chevronrefineryfire2012.