San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon and Deputy
Fire Chief Jim Johnstone announced the graduation of the first San Bernardino County
Fire Female Inmate Hand Crew, also known as Glen Helen Crew 15-9.
In May of 2013, the first
male hand crew began their training at the San Bernardino County Fire Academy with
15 members ready to respond in July of 2013. Since that time, the male
inmates total has grown to 34 and, with the addition of 13 females graduating Monday
November 23rd. The inmate
hand crews available to serve the citizens of the County of San Bernardino
totals 47 graduates.
member female inmate hand crew began their training in July 2015, with a
curriculum consisting of 8 weeks of initial training in wildland fire
suppression techniques, along with the basic Incident Command System,
first-aid, CPR, confined space awareness, chainsaw operations, and small engine
and facility repair.
“I am very proud of the accomplishments made
by each and every one of the women sitting before you this afternoon,” stated San
Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon. “Our goal is to assist them in turning
their lives around and send them back into mainstream society rehabilitated,
educated and ready for employment.”
hand crew’s main objective is to assist with local fuels reduction programs and
chipping operations; assisting other county departments in meeting their
mission in a cost effective manner, saving the county an estimated one-million
dollars per year. The
crew also responds to fire suppression incidents, as well as other types of
emergency operations such as sandbagging,” stated
Deputy Fire Chief Jim Johnstone.
completing the academy training, the female inmate hand crew has been deployed
to assist in a vegetation fire in Victorville, with several upcoming
assignments to include preparation for El Nino. Fire Crews have proven to be an
invaluable resource in more ways than one.
the implementation of AB109 (inmate realignment), many inmates are receiving
longer sentences and are good candidates for this program. This program
teaches the crew member skills that they can use to gain future employment.
“To be considered for the crew, the inmate must be a
low-level offender (no criminal history of violence, sexual or serious
violations); must have 15-18 months sentence left to serve; no documented gang
affiliation; no prior discipline; and must not be a flight risk,” stated San
Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon.
Bernardino County Fire and San Bernardino County Sheriff are committed to
protecting the communities we serve with safety first. Residents are
encouraged to be prepared for any natural disaster, whether it is a wildland fire
or flooding, and know what to do when asked to evacuate.
The READY! SET!
GO! Program provides important preparation information. To
learn more, visit www.sbcfire.org.