San Manuel Donation of $1.75M Helps Highland Fire Department Protect the Community
Tribe’s $1.175 million donation improves safety of community and fire fighters
Highland, Calif. – Leadership from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Highland Fire / CAL FIRE, and City of Highland along with students from the Public Safety Academy of San Bernardino kept a long-time firefighter tradition alive by pushing in the City’s newest fire engine.
More than two dozen people participated in pushing the new fire engine into Highland Fire Station #2, preserving a tradition that dates back to when fire equipment was drawn by horses. The new engine was made possible with a 2017 grant from the Tribe that also included self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA’s), new EKG heart defibrillators and other rescue equipment.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to once again work on a government-to-government basis with the City of Highland and CalFire to provide this beautiful new fire engine and equipment that will not only save lives in our communities but also protect the safety of our fire-fighters.,” said Lynn Valbuena, chairwoman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
As part of the inaugural ceremony, 19 students from the Public Safety Academy were given a private tour of the firehouse and joined CAL FIRE / Highland firefighters for a ride along on the new engine. The academy is a charter school at the San Bernardino International Airport that provides hands-on training to prepare students for careers in public safety.
“Highland Fire Department is very excited and thankful to have received this grant from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians along with our cooperative relationship. These vital pieces of equipment will further enhance our Fire and Paramedic services within the City of Highland, and to the San Manuel Casino and Reservation,” said Chief John Toon, CAL FIRE Battalion Chief for Highland City and East Valley.
About The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians is a federally recognized American Indian tribe located near the city of Highland, Calif. The Serrano Indians are the indigenous people of the San Bernardino highlands, passes, valleys and mountains who share a common language and culture. The San Manuel reservation was established in 1891 and recognized as a sovereign nation with the right of self-government. As an indigenous community the origins and history of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians stem from our relationship with the land and to all who share it. Since ancient times we have expressed ourselves through a culture of giving. Today, San Manuel is able to answer the call of Yawa’ (Serrano word meaning “to act on one’s beliefs”) through partnerships with charitable organizations. We have drawn upon our history, knowledge, expertise and cultural values to direct our philanthropic giving in our local region, as well as to Native American causes nationwide. For more information, visit http://www.sanmanuel-nsn.gov.