Equipment rental centers supported firefighting and community relief efforts in the San Diego region, Ted Donnelly, general manager of El Camino Rentals told RER.
“Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were more donation-giving days than revenue generators for us,” Donnelly said. “We offered water trucks, generators, skip loaders and whatever we could but government agencies wouldn’t touch it because of liability issues. But we helped churches with skip loaders, we donated light towers to evacuation centers and other pieces of equipment wherever we could. We were just trying to help our communities, and help make evacuees comfortable.”
Donnelly said El Camino, like many other rental centers in the area, were only open half days at some branches. None of the El Camino branches were damaged, and neither Donnelly nor California Rental Association executive director Dale Blackwell knew of rental facilities that were damaged by the widespread flames. Donnelly said at least half a dozen El Camino personnel had to evacuate homes and some were unable to make it to work because of highway closures, but he didn’t know of any rental people who actually lost their homes to the fires.
“One of our competitors, Fallbrook Equipment, was unable to make any equipment deliveries for a few days because of highway closures in its area, so we made a few deliveries for them,” Donnelly said. “Independents in the area try to help each other out as much as we can.”