Final Government Works StampFor the second year in a row, the San Bernardino County Fire, Office of Emergency Services (County Fire OES) was awarded the Gold Award by the California Emergency Services Association (CESA) at the association’s annual conference in Indian Wells.  On September 10, the Office of Emergency Services received the association’s highest honor for its creation of the “ROPE FOG” (Responders Organized for Pass Emergencies – Field Operations Guide).  Last year’s award was received for the development of the innovative Shelter Operations Compound, or SHOC, plan.

Recognizing the nationwide significance of the Cajon Pass/I-15 corridor, lessons learned from the 1996 train derailment that caused a 59 hour I-15 full freeway closure; and taking into account the possibility of a 7.8 catastrophic earthquake, County Fire OES took the lead in assembling critical stakeholders to address vulnerabilities and challenges faced in a catastrophic incident affecting the Cajon Pass. Stabilizing and restoring critical utilities is of the utmost importance to sustaining life, restoring the economy, and overall recovery.

OES steered the two-year planning effort and established a planning team, comprised of all the Cajon Pass stakeholders, to help create the ROPE FOG. Evaluating the progress of the FOG development involved a combination of training events, exercises, and real-world experience to determine whether the needs of the end user were addressed by the FOG.

The end result was the creation of a user-friendly hands-on tool that provides critical incident communications planning guidance, locates possible sites for essential operational locations and pinpoints critical infrastructure.

Receipt of the CESA Gold Award by County OES demonstrates the commitment of the County to be prepared for all hazards and serves as a reminder to all residents to take steps to be prepared themselves. Visit: to download your own copy of “Your Family Disaster Plan” and learn how you can take steps now to become better prepared for San Bernardino County’s next disaster.

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