News Item

A Snap Decision

Scott Fossum, Water Systems Operator, is a huge sports fanatic. Football is one of his favorite past times, and his favorite team is the Minnesota Vikings. Even Scott’s beginning with South Coast Water District can be traced back to watching and enjoying football. While attending a Minnesota Vikings fan club, he met Mark Cole, a former employee of 30 years who encouraged Scott to get involved with the District. Scott grew increasingly interested, found an opening in the area he longed to work in, and soon after began his career as a systems operator.

One thing Scott always loved about watching sports was the comradery that came with it: being able to passionately cheer, relate to, and enjoy an intense game with some good friends. Scott found that working with South Coast Water District provided him a similar experience. He smiled as he explained, “I enjoy the guys I work with and we are all pretty good friends, and I enjoy getting to know all of them.” He continued to highlight that he appreciates every one of his co-workers, including those who work in the office or out in the field.

Scott values the ability to develop a game plan with his team and accomplish a common goal. After coaching baseball for 16 years and football for six years, he has developed incredibly quick and practical problem-solving skills, which further contribute to his strength in formulating new strategies or plans of action as needed.

This adaptability came in handy one afternoon when Scott was performing his usual duty rounds and noticed a column of billowing black smoke erupting from a neighborhood on Isle Vista in Laguna Niguel. After tracking down the smoke, Scott discovered a house fire in a garage, quickly intensifying.

With flames beginning to engulf the home, Scott reacted quickly and jumped into immediate action. He promptly contacted emergency services and surveyed the house to check if there was anyone inside. He located a terrified woman and her pets. He calmly and swiftly guided her and one of her dogs out of the house. He then led the woman to a safe place.  And when the woman contemplated reentering the burning building for her other pet, Scott employed logical judgment convincing her that it would be unsafe to go back inside, while also reassuring her that the fire department would arrive soon and find her other pet.

The fire department promptly arrived at the scene, contained the fire, and rescued the remaining dog. Scott applied incredible problem-solving skills under an enormous amount of stress, going above and beyond, to help a neighbor.

Thank you, Scott, for your quick thinking and brave action! Go Vikings and Go SCWD!