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North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

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Visit Oceanside Adds Firefighter Team Building to Popular Hero Program


Oceanside CA— Oceanside, San Diego’s North Shore, continues to be a “hotspot” for team building with a new program that allows groups, from corporate executives to athletic teams, to experience what it’s like to be a firefighter for a day. The firefighter experience is the most recent addition to Visit Oceanside’s popular “Hero for a Day” team building program that also includes a Navy Seal-type bootcamp and Marine-inspired activities on Camp Pendleton.
“All of our Hero offerings are designed to foster team building by focusing on the qualities that are critical to our military and first responder heroes- effective communication, quick thinking, perseverance, teamwork and overcoming obstacles,” says Leslee Gaul, CEO of Visit Oceanside. “The firefighter program is the perfect compliment to our existing offerings and continues to allow us to showcase Oceanside’s unique facilities and rugged coastal environment.”
Groups participating in the “Firefighter for a Day” program meet at Oceanside’s Command Training Center, an advanced fire training facility that is one of only a few in the nation with high-tech video simulator capabilities. The day’s rigorous program includes a simulated fire emergency and hands-on activities such as operating a fire hose, dressing in turnouts and rescuing a victim from a burning building.
Groups start their day in the computer simulator room, where they work together to fight a fire during video simulation. A team of firefighters coaches the attendees and offers advice on how to manage and approach the incident.
“The simulator experience focuses on leadership, trust and accountability,” says Oceanside Fire Chief Darryl Hebert. “To resolve the incident successfully, participants must use a variety of tactics including listening, communicating clearly, problem-solving and managing effectively.”
Following the simulator experience, teams test their mental and physical strength as they suit up in fire gear and then ride on a fire engine to a burning building. Together they enter a pitch-black building filled with candy smoke and must rely on their senses and accurate directions from teammates to rescue a victim. The day’s physical rigors conclude with the excitement of operating, and maintaining control of, a fire hose.
“It’s an intense experience that is life changing for many participants,” says Chief Hebert. “With each activity team members must focus on performing as a unit, which often means overcoming individual fears and insecurities.”
At the end of the day, groups dine on Firehouse Subs and participate in a debriefing that allows them to reflect on how they can apply the team building concepts to their own workplace or organization. The experience concludes with an official “swearing in” ceremony for the group.
For more information, visit or contact the Visit Oceanside group sales department at or 760-231-5720.
In addition to the Firefighter program, groups can currently choose from two other Hero For A Day offerings including Navy SEAL Bootcamp at the Beach and Camp Pendleton Experience.

Navy SEAL Bootcamp at the Beach

Staged at North Harbor Beach in Oceanside, active and retired Navy SEALS’s create a custom designed environment where teamwork, accomplishment, persistence and new bonds of respect are the natural outcomes. Instructors guide participants through a course of rigorous challenges that can include team runs along the shore, races over cargo nets, commando crawling under camouflage, log push-ups, wheel barrel races and a series of military-style exercises aimed at pushing physical and mental limitations. Instructors put an emphasis on no team member ever being left behind.
This program isn’t just for the ultra-fit. All programs and levels of physical challenge are customized and moderated for each group. Program organizers take into account the group’s demographic, the company mission and desired program outcome.

Camp Pendleton Experience

The Camp Pendleton Experience emphasizes honor, code and commitment to excellence and gives participants a glimpse into where U.S. military heroes live, train and exercise on Camp Pendleton. Several activities on base welcome groups including The Paintball Park, Recreational Shooting, Marine Memorial Golf Course and the recently renovated and completely modern bowling facility Leatherneck Lanes. Customized group itineraries can also include tours at the historic Ranch House Complex and the Marine Corps Mechanized Museum.
The “Hero” programs range from three to four hours and are available to groups with a minimum of 10 participants. For more information or to book a “Hero For A Day” program, visit or contact Visit Oceanside group sales at or 760-231-5720.

Staying in Oceanside

Groups can complement their team building activities with an overnight stay in Oceanside. The city offers a wide variety of accommodation options from luxury 10-bedroom homes on the beach to comfortable hotel rooms with kitchens. Many properties offer business travelers convenient amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi, continental breakfast and conference and banquet facilities. Popular accommodations for business travelers include SpringHill Suites Marriott Oceanside, Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort, Holiday Inn Oceanside Marina, Residence Inn by Marriott Oceanside, Courtyard by Marriott Oceanside and Best Western Oceanside Palms. For more information on where to stay, visit

About Oceanside

Oceanside, San Diego’s North Shore, is located along the beautiful Southern California coastline and considered the gateway city between metropolitan San Diego and Los Angeles. A classic Southern California beach town, Oceanside enjoys a rich history as an ideal place to stay and experience California’s casual spirit. The city boasts a number of important historical and cultural attractions such as Mission San Luis Rey (The King of Missions), California’s longest wooden pier, vintage 101 Café, 1920’s era Robert’s Cottages, Top Gun House, California Surf Museum and the Oceanside Museum of Art. The city has served as a film location for dozens of Hollywood productions and was once the preferred getaway of many of Hollywood’s elite. Bordering Camp Pendleton, Oceanside has long enjoyed a strong relationship with the U.S. military and a deep commitment to the men and women serving the nation. Today, with 3.5 miles of sandy beach, a quaint New England-style harbor and a stellar year-round climate, Oceanside is a highly sought after location for enjoying active pursuits including surfing, stand up paddling, kayaking, boating, fishing, bike-riding, skydiving and more.

About Visit Oceanside

Visit Oceanside Conference and Visitors Bureau is the official tourism marketing organization in Oceanside, Calif; promoting travel to the city for both leisure and group visitors. The organization influences more than $60 million in visitor spending in Oceanside each year, which supports nearly 700 tourism-related jobs. Visit Oceanside also operates one of the state’s official California Welcome Centers. With just one stop, visitors can find local, regional and state maps, purchase discount tickets to major Southern California attractions, make hotel reservations or shop for the perfect California keepsake. The Visit Oceanside CVB and California Welcome Center- Oceanside are conveniently located just off Interstate 5 at 928 North Coast Highway. For more information, please call (800)350-7873 or visit

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Visit Oceanside Adds Firefighter Team Building to Popular Hero Program