The first San Bernardino County Fire Department professional hand crew was created in July 2012 and consisted of 18 rigorously trained members known as Crew 40.
Today, San Bernardino County is proud to have Old Cajon Crew 6-1, a professional hand crew that is available to respond to emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition to their year-round availability, Old Cajon Crew 6-1 is augmented by seasonal hand crew members six months out of the year for a total of 30 members.
SBCoFD hand crews have become increasingly deployed to various incidents in recent years and serve multiple benefits to the county. In addition to their work in wildland areas, hand crews are assigned to conduct mop-up operations after fires are put out, ensuring that hotspots don’t flare up and the fire is fully extinguished. The hand crew program has also secured numerous contracts with San Bernardino County Land Use Services Department for fuel modification projects.
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.