A new San Bernardino County Fire all-risk hand crew has completed their hiring and critical training and is ready to respond. The new hand crew, dubbed “Crew 7” is based out of our Glen Helen Fire Camp. Crew 7 will join Crew 6 as an additional paid, professional hand-crew. Professional Hand Crew members go through training that includes wildland fire behavior, advanced wildland firefighting tactics, saw and hand tool techniques, helicopter operations, confined space awareness, structure protection techniques, and Haz-Mat responder functions. All members are emergency medical technicians (EMT) or first-responder trained.
The new Fire Suppression Aide’s have completed their 80-hour critical training, culminating with a dynamic field day in Lake Arrowhead. Prior to going into service, a thorough inspection of training records, qualifications, vehicles and personal protection equipment was completed by SBC Fire Chief Officers. “The addition of Crew 7 gives us another card in the deck of firefighting options” says San Bernardino County Fire Battalion Chief Mike Wakoski.
Hand Crews commonly respond as part of our initial attack dispatch and are positioned at Glen Helen Fire Camp. Our hand crews are vital in assisting with perimeter control. Line construction and structure defense. Hand crew teams can serve multiple roles in fire suppression as they can create firelines, defensible space, and conduct mop-up operations, improving efficiency and relieving firefighters and medic engines to return back to service.
SBCoFD hand crews are also involved in various community projects that provide hazard fuel mitigation in fire prone areas such as our mountain communities (Forest Falls, Angelus Oaks, Lytle Creek). Hand crews are just one of many ways that SBCoFD serves with Duty, Honor, and Community.
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