ISO Mitigation rates San Manuel Fire Department as Class 1 in Fire Protection services | smbmi

ISO Mitigation rates San Manuel Fire Department as Class 1 in Fire Protection services

ISO Mitigation rates San Manuel Fire Department as Class 1 in Fire Protection services, a first for a California Tribal Fire Department

November 30, 2022 • 4 min read
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San Manuel Indian Reservation (Near Highland, Calif.), June 9, 2020 – ISO Community Hazzard Mitigation recently conducted a risk and capabilities assessment on the San Manuel Fire Department (SMFD) and on June 9, San Manuel received notice of a Class 1 rating placing the department in the highest tier for training, equipment, fire prevention activities, and overall deployment and staffing capabilities for emergency communications and responses.

The SMFD is now the first California Tribal Fire Department to be recognized with this classification. This distinction also places SMFD in the top one percent class across the nation.

The risk assessment rates the public fire protection efforts including the preventative work of the fire marshal, overall fire response capabilities, hazard mitigation, safety training, staffing & the water supply system in the jurisdiction.

“Ensuring the safety of our tribal citizens and property on the San Manuel Indian Reservation as well as the greater community is part of a public safety culture within the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Since its establishment in 2003, San Manuel Fire Department has strived to provide the best fire services in and around our ancestral territory of southern California, protecting communities that are often under threat by wildfire. Thank you to our fire department for safeguarding our community,” said San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairman Ken Ramirez. “Congratulations to Chief Smith and SMFD for earning the Class 1 Rating from ISO Community Hazzard Mitigation.”

To date, only 37 Fire Departments in the State of California have achieved an ISO Mitigation Class 1 rating.

“Being rated as a Class 1 Fire Department from the ISO is a testament to the commitment that the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has made in providing excellent emergency services to our employees, guests, neighbors, and tribal Citizens. I am proud of the fact that this rating also recognizes the hard work of the men and women of the SMFD to meet the highest professional standards for fire service professionals. Since 2003, SMFD has responded to well over 25,000 calls, the majority of which are off the Reservation. Together, we are committed to ensuring fire safety on the reservation and to protect the lives of those within the community,” said SMFD Fire Chief Michael J. Smith.

ISO Mitigation’s Public Protection Classification (PPC) provides beneficial data and analysis for the greater community and property owners to assess and mitigate risks from fire. Some of those benefits include assisting communities in preparation to fight fires effectively and establish a basis for securing fair premiums for fire insurance by offering data and analysis a community’s capacity to provide fire prevention and protection.

Currently, one of those measures includes the department utilizing two herds of goats, one herd located on the Reservation and the other at tribally owned Arrowhead Springs Resort property, totaling 350 goats, who are controlling brush and grass in the area to proactively protect the Tribal and surrounding communities within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).

The goat herds will work for the next several months in both locations to help mitigate more than 1,000 acres of light (grasses) and medium (brush) fuels to reduce risks to life and property by lessening the potential impact of wildfires within the WUI.


About the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is a federally-recognized Indian tribe located on the San Manuel Indian Reservation near Highland, California. San Manuel exercises its inherent sovereign right of self-governance and provides essential services for its citizens by building infrastructure, maintaining civil services, and promoting social, economic and cultural development. As descendants of the indigenous people of the San Bernardino highlands, passes, valleys, mountains and high deserts, the Serrano people of San Manuel have called this area home since time immemorial and are committed to remaining a productive partner in the San Bernardino region.

About ISO Mitigation

ISO Community Hazard Mitigation actively works with fire departments, building departments, water suppliers, and municipalities with our Public Protection Classification (PPC®), Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS®), water outreach, and emergency communication center review programs.

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Robin Alcantara

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