Residents living in Inyo, Mono, and San Bernardino counties interested in a fire prevention program email

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ready for the real thing

The month of May has been one of training, training, and more training. The San Bernardino Unit's firefighters and fire crews have participated in several different training events that have ranged from training for unit personnel to regional cooperative training. The fire crews got things underway with the annual fire preparedness exercises. That was followed by the Tonner Canyon "SOLAR" exercises, estimated to be the largest regional cooperative fire training exercises in California.

The "SOLAR" exercises had an estimated 800 firefighters and fire crews members participate in the three days of exercises. Participants came from San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles and Riverside counties.

To end the May training, BDU fire engine crews ran through their annual preparedness exercises last week early in the morning before participating in the 26th annual San Bernardino County Fire Training Officers' Association's annual Interface Operations "Preparedness Exercise". The three days of exercises were held on the grounds of the Arrowhead Springs Resort, a great supporter of the fire service.

The exercises focused on interface fire operations and included structure protection, structure triage, hose lays, resource utilization, equipment deployment, aircraft utilization, safety, communications and tactical priorities. The engine crews were given a scenario of a vegetation fire approaching homes in the interface and were required to develop plans to defend the homes.
One of the different events in the exercise was the helicopter operations class. Not only did it include a class on helicopter operations and safety, it also included an actual exercise in which the firefighters were allowed to participate in hot loading the helicopter for water drops. Hot loading is when the helicopter sets down, keeps running and has the water tank reloaded from a nearby fire engine. This can be necessitated if there is no where for the helicopter to obtain water such as a body of water or a portable dipping pond.

San Bernardino Unit Chief Tim McClelland paid a visit to the exercises to see first hand who they were going and of course to spend some time with his firefighters. Seen here spending a few moments with an engine crew from Yucaipa.

The public is reminded that they need to be prepared just like the firefighters. Are you READY for an approaching wildfire? If you are ready, are you SET, have you hardened your home with the appropriate clearance and safety preparations? And as the fire is approaching you home, are you ready and set to GO? Being ready to evacuate is crucial to surviving a wildfire. Read more on READY, SET, GO,