San Bernardino County Adopts Vision4Safety; Official Kickoff on Aug. 7, National Night Out

By on August 4, 2018

The San Bernardino County’s (SBC) Board of Supervisor recently adopted a new campaign that aims to improve safety and emergency preparedness within the county. The program emphasizes connecting people to community policing, emergency response and disaster planning programs and encourages residents to follow professional tips to keep their families – and communities — safe.

The Vision4Safety campaign focuses on creating a safe, healthy and prosperous future for all who live, work, play and otherwise invest in SBC. Public safety has a direct and profound impact on communities, including jobs, the economy, education and wellness. The Vision4Safety campaign will officially roll out on National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 7 at various sites throughout the county.

“We know that safe communities attract investment and opportunity to San Bernardino County and that’s why we support Vision4Safety,” said Supervisor Robert Lovingood, chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “I encourage residents to get to know their neighbors and form watch groups – in person or online – (and/or) volunteer for community emergency response teams and make sure you and your family are prepared for disasters such as wildfires and earthquakes, which are all too common in San Bernardino County.”

Several studies have shown a correlation between a reduction in violent crimes and an increase in housing values. Additionally, studies also find that exposure to violence and crime at school, home or in neighborhoods can impact a child’s emotional and cognitive development and cause depression, violent behavior and poor performance in school.

SBC’s information on the Vision4Safety program also notes that crime is not the only factor impacting the safety of the county. Earthquakes, wildfires and floods also occur in the county with the potential to disrupt communities and cause damage and casualties. While the public safety agencies are responding to an emergency, citizens are expected to provide for their own needs for at least 72 hours following a catastrophic event.

It is important that every household and business have an emergency preparedness plan and supplies, and regularly practice the plan. A 2015 survey conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) found that only about 40 percent of American adults say they have developed an emergency preparedness plan for their home, discussed it with their household, or practiced a plan at home or work in the past year.

Safety preparedness is key to a safe community and one such opportunity is the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) program. Earlier this year, the Yucaipa High School Law and Public Safety Academy students paired with the city of Yucaipa and other SBC CERT teams in an Operational Area CERT exercise at Yucaipa High School. The purpose of CERT is to respond and assist people with medical needs, property damage, and save lives in the event of a major incident or disaster until emergency service personnel are able to assist.

The CERT program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains individuals in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Through CERT, the capabilities to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters is built and enhanced.

CERT training (approximately 20 hours with hands-on training and classroom instruction) and certification is offered in Yucaipa generally twice a year. For additional information contact Jennifer Shankland with the city of Yucaipa at: 909-797-2489, ext. 236 or at: jshankland@yucaipa.org.

The Vision4Safety website www.Vision4Safety.com will serve as a resource for campaign information and provide residents with information about connecting with all the law enforcement and fire agencies in San Bernardino County, how to get involved in neighborhood watch groups, volunteering for emergency response and disaster planning programs, and signing up for local after-school programs.