Photo of the Week: Calif. wildland hand crew ready for fire season

Dubbed "Crew 7," San Bernardino County Fire's new all-risk hand crew has completed their hiring and critical training and is ready to respond


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A new San Bernardino County (Calif.) 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 the 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 hazmat responder functions. All members are EMTs or first-responder trained.

Photo/San Bernardino County FD

The new Fire Suppression Aides 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 PPE was completed by 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 initial attack dispatch and are positioned at Glen Helen Fire Camp. The 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. 

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