Volunteers play an important role in promoting fire safety in the San Bernardino-San Jacinto Mountain areas. Listed below are opportunities to participate in fire prevention programs and help prevent catastrophic wildfires.
Fire Safe Council Volunteer Programs
The Fire Safe Council formed in 1993 to educate and encourage Californians to prepare for wildfires before they happen to reduce the risk to their communities, their homes and property. With the combination of expertise, resources and distribution channels of its members, the Fire Safe Council fulfills its mission to preserve California’s natural and manmade resources by mobilizing all Californians to make their homes, communities and neighborhoods fire safe. Since their formation in 1993, the Council has become unified to speak with one voice about fire safety. The Council has distributed numerous fire education prevention materials to industry leaders and their constituents, evaluated legislation pertaining to fire safety and empowered grassroots organizations to spearhead a host of fire safety programs. To date, the Council has been involved in dozens of town hall and community meetings, participated in hands-on exercise with other fire agency officials, applied for and received grant funds for fire safety programs in California and have been recognized nationwide. To find out what your local Fire Council is doing or to get involved locally, go to www.fireinformation.com or call (866) 923-FIRE (3473).
San Bernardino County Sheriff Department
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has a citizen volunteer program with over 800 people involved in the program. The program - Citizen on Patrol (COP) perform a variety of duties to include business and residential security checks, welfare checks, transportation services, provide for traffic control at accident scenes and a number of other duties that permit deputies to concentrate on other law enforcement assignments. Under no circumstances do the volunteers become involved with confrontations with criminal suspects. The volunteers have donated over 200,000 hours of service per year to their communities. To qualify, a person must be at least 18 years of age, must be a U.S. Citizen, must be a high school graduate or possess a G.E.D., must have a valid driver’s license, pass an oral interview, pass a background investigation, and attend the Citizen Volunteer training course. Training and attendance requirements include attending monthly business meetings, attend a minimum one monthly training session, and donate at least eight hours a month. Maintain current First Aid and CPR certification, and conduct public presentations. For more information on the COP program, call 909-387-0611. or go to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department website at www.sbcounty.gov/sheriff.
Volunteers in Prevention Program
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
The Volunteers in Prevention Program for the California Department of Forestry provides administrative, logistical and additional communication support as directed by the California Department of Forestry VI and other government agencies during emergencies or as requested within the County of San Bernardino, California.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection recognizes public education as a major contributor to their mission toward fire safety and prevention. The "Volunteers In Prevention" program, developed by CDF, has proven to be an effective tool in meeting this goal.
Members of the VIP Program donate their time and resources to assist the San Bernardino Unit in attending community events, distributing fire prevention materials, conducting "Red Flag Patrols" and supporting emergency fire information and communications operations.
Members also created and maintain this web site on behalf of the CDF San Bernardino staff, as well as an Intranet (internal) web site at the CDF Headquarter facilities on Sierra Way in San Bernardino. Additionally, they maintain a publication library of handouts and information designed to promote fire and life safety and other CDF San Bernardino educational initiatives. For additional information on our San Bernardino VIP Program, contact CDF Spokesman Bill Peters at 881-6923.
San Bernardino National Forest Association
The San Bernardino National Forest Association is a nonprofit, 501 (c) 3 organization. SBNFA partners with the San Bernardino National Forest to provide public information and opportunities for private citizens to participate in land management activities, public information, environmental education and forest projects and programs that support the Forest Service. SBNFA has 5 volunteer programs.
The Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Volunteer Program manages volunteer patrols, public information and projects related to off highway vehicle use. An elite group of OHV Program volunteers are also trained in Critical Forest Protection (CFP), a program that assists with the San Bernardino National Forest fire prevention efforts.
The Children’s Forest Association operates the National Children’s Forest, 3,400 acres of land in Running Springs, on the Mountaintop District of the San Bernardino National Forest. Children’s Forest operates the only visitor center in the nation staffed by youth naturalists, provides guided hikes and interpretive programs, and runs a formal environmental education program in partnership with many school districts. Youth ages 12 to 17 participate as volunteers in various Children’s Forest Youth Leadership opportunities. And adults volunteer for administrative help, event management and mentoring youth in their volunteer activities.
The Big Bear Discovery Center, located in Fawnskin, on the Mountaintop District of the San Bernardino National Forest, is the largest visitor center in the forest and hosts nearly 70,000 forest visitors each year. Volunteers staff the front information desk, the naturalist table and the Adventure Outpost, a unique, novelty nature store.
To volunteer for a SBNFA Program, please contact the following coordinators for more information:
OHV Volunteers/CFP Volunteers
The American National Red Cross
Over 175,000 American Red Cross volunteers work to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters. Volunteers responded to nearly 64,000 disaster incidents in 2002. The American Red Cross organization is relied upon by over 15 million Americans to lean first aid, CPR, swimming, and other health and safety skills. Last year, more than 230,000 people volunteered to teach those courses. More than 190,000 Red Cross volunteers annually – collect half the nation’s blood supply – six million pints. Among the emergency services for the men and women of the armed forces is the delivery of urgent family messages every 22 seconds. Over 24,000 volunteers serve as chairs, members of boards of directors, or on advisory boards for local Red Cross units – chapters, Blood Services regions, and military stations. As part of the International Red Cross movement, volunteers work to ease human suffering on a global scale. To become involved locally as a volunteer call 909-881-1671 or go to the Red Cross website at: www.redcross.org.
Working together, we can help prevent catastrophic wildfires.