San Manuel Band of Mission Indians announced that its fire department has been selected by the California State Fire Training Office and Office of Emergency Services to instruct Confined Space Rescue Training (CSRT) courses and offer professional certification.
San Manuel joins 50 departments statewide that offers the facilities and expertise necessary to train fire fighters in CSRT, San Manuel Fire Department instructors will teach techniques employed during urban search and rescue situations such as structural collapse resulting from earthquake.
"Our responsibility is first and foremost to protect the health and safety of the people who live, work and visit our reservation," said Chairman James Ramos. "However, we are painfully aware that fire and natural disasters know no borders; therefore, it is of the greatest mutual interest that we make this training available to fire departments in other jurisdictions."
Certification classes begin in January of this year at the San Manuel Fire Station with simulations taking place onsite in a specially constructed confined space training facility at the station.
The designation of the department as an approved CSRT site comes after several years of San Manuel Fire building successful automatic aid relationships with other fire departments and is the product of its focus on training and outgrowth of the staff's active participation in a number of state and local fire associations.
"Making sure that fire fighters are well trained and equipped is a priority that San Manuel shares with all of California's cities and counties," said San Manuel Fire Chief Michael Smith. "We are proud to train our fellow firefighters in best practices that will result in more rescues and safeguard the lives of first responders."
San Manuel Fire Station 241 was established on the San Manuel Indian Reservation near the city of San Bernardino Calif. in 2003. Through an automatic aid agreement with the city of San Bernardino and Highland and the U.S. Forest Service it serves local communities and has responded statewide during major wildfires.
The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians is a federally recognized American Indian tribe located near the city of Highland, Calif. The Serrano Indians are the indigenous people of the San Bernardino highlands, passes, valleys and mountains who share a common language and culture. The San Manuel reservation was established in 1891 and recognized as sovereign nation with the right of self-government. Despite challenges and hardships, the San Manuel tribal community has continued to progressively maintain and enhance its unique form of governance - focusing all efforts on providing a better quality of life for its citizens. Through economic diversification, both on and off the reservation, the tribe has been forward thinking in its efforts to build infrastructure, maintain civil services and promote social, economic, educational and cultural development. Today, the San Manuel tribal government has created essential governmental units including the departments of fire, public safety, education and environment and continues to pursue opportunities for future generations.