Countywide Vision
Services A-Z
Email Subscriptions
Envelope GovDelivery NoticesGet e-mail updates when this information changes.

Monthly Archives: November 2014

Tips for a safe Thanksgiving meal

Thanksgiving FeastThanksgiving is just around the corner to kick start the holiday season. It is the time of the year when all our friends and family are together to give thanks for our good fortunes and to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving meal! Whether you are preparing the feast yourself or helping out in the kitchen, be sure to follow these helpful tips to prepare a safe Thanksgiving dinner for your loved ones—they’ll be thankful they did not get a foodborne illness!

Handling and Thawing—Always wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 15 seconds before and after handling the turkey. Fresh turkeys need no thawing and are ready to cook. Frozen turkeys can be purchased weeks in advance, but can require several days to thaw before cooking. If you are planning on purchasing a frozen turkey, first make sure there is sufficient space in your freezer for storage.

Never defrost the turkey on the counter! The safest way to thaw a turkey is in the refrigerator. When you are ready to thaw the turkey, make enough room for it in your refrigerator. Leave the turkey in the original packaging and place in a shallow pan and allow refrigerator thawing time at a rate of 4 to 5 pounds per 24 hours.

Time to Cook—Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Do not refreeze. If you purchase a fresh turkey, cook it within a day or two of purchase. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching any bone, and cook to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing, and the thickest part of the breast as well. Cook stuffing separately in a casserole pan to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F or higher. If you cook stuffing in the turkey, ensure the turkey and stuffing both reach 165°F or higher.

Storing Leftovers Safely—Within two hours of taking the turkey out of the oven, store leftover turkey in shallow containers and put them in the refrigerator or freezer. Use cooked leftover turkey, stuffing and gravy within 3 to 4 days. When using leftovers, reheat the foods thoroughly to 165°F and bring gravy to a boil before serving.

For more information, contact San Bernardino County Department of Public Health Division of Environmental Health Services at (800) 442-2283 or visit our website at

ARMC receiving Quality Leader Award

ARMC JPG logoArrowhead Regional Medical Center  will be recognized with a 2014 Quality Leader Award from the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH) on Dec. 4, at the association’s annual conference in San Diego. The CAPH Quality Leaders Awards recognize and showcase system improvements achieved by California’s public health care systems. ARMC earned an award for its entry, “Hospital Acquired Pressure Ulcer (HAPU) – Adventures in Prevention.”

“It is an honor to receive this award,” said ARMC Chief Nursing Officer, Michelle Sayre. “Our HAPU prevention program has helped us reduce our HAPU rate from 5.2 percent in 2011 to 1.6 percent in 2014.”

Without aggressive prevention, HAPU, more commonly known as bedsores, can occur easily in a hospital environment and lead to suffering, infection, and a host of other problems.

ARMC’s HAPU prevention program draws experts from multiple disciplines including nursing, medical staff, physical therapy, nutrition services, respiratory therapy and education. The “HAPU – Adventures in Prevention” project included the development of an educational video to help train staff and to demonstrate best practices. The video uses a game scenario showing HAPU prevention protocols as a patient is taken through the system. To view the video go to:

For more than 20 years, the CAPH Quality Leaders Awards program has acknowledged hundreds of quality improvements among its members. The goals of the program are to encourage the sharing of effective strategies and best practices that address pressing clinical and operational issues and advance community health; recognize dedicated and talented professionals in public health care systems; and showcase the unique and creative approaches that California’s public health care systems have taken to carry out their missions and address the health care needs of the communities they serve.

CAPH represents 21 public health care systems and academic medical centers. CAPH members comprise the core group of health care providers that make up the state’s medical safety net, and provide essential community services such as emergency, trauma and burn care. For more information about CAPH go to:

ARMC, a university affiliated teaching hospital, is a state-of-the-art acute care facility with a full range of inpatient and outpatient services including a Level II trauma center, mobile medical clinic, primary stroke center, and a regional burn center. For more information about ARMC, go to:


District Attorney named statewide CNOA Prosecutor of the Year

ramosawardDistrict Attorney Mike Ramos has been named statewide “Prosecutor of the Year” by the California Narcotics Officers’ Association (CNOA).

Ramos was honored Saturday afternoon at the Anaheim Hilton at the Opening Session of the CNOA 50th Annual Training Institute.

According to CNOA, the award was established to identify, recognize, and honor prosecutors throughout California who are committed to the strong enforcement of narcotic laws. This person should be selected on basis of a long-standing record of contributions, or for his or her extraordinary efforts as a prosecutor.

The award was presented by Executive Director Joe Stewart who alluded to the fact that during the early ’90s, San Bernardino County was acknowledged as the “meth lab capitol” of California, and Mr. Ramos spent many of his formative years as a prosecutor learning how to try and convict narcotics traffickers and methamphetamine manufacturers.

“These experiences stuck with him during his three terms as the elected District Attorney and have influenced his current efforts to support narcotics investigators and do his part to help fight the war on drugs in San Bernardino County,” Stewart said.

Stewart also acknowledged Ramos’ efforts to combat local and transnational criminal street gangs involved in the illegal drug trade, his ongoing commitment to prevention and intervention programs and his recently-formed Crimes Against Peace Officers Prosecution Unit.

For Ramos, it was an honor to receive CNOA’s Prosecutor of the Year Award during the 50th Anniversary conference

“Everything we do in and out of the courtroom is based on teamwork and a shared vision of seeking justice on behalf of victims and making sure our communities our safe,” Ramos said. “This award is not only a testament to the hard work of my staff, but a reflection of the very investigations that make a successful prosecution possible in the first place. Thank you to CNOA and its members for this distinguished honor and for the work that they do fighting drug use and enforcing narcotic laws.”

The California Narcotic Officers’ Association is a non-profit, corporation dedicated to providing high quality training for law enforcement professionals. Since 1964, CNOA has grown to become the largest non-profit Training Association in California, with over 7,000 members.

County Fire: Be safe with fireplaces, heating devices

Rustic Living RoomFall weather sometimes brings the need for home heating, and a little extra help from a fireplace or a space heater. Unfortunately, accidents involving fireplaces and heating equipment are a major cause of preventable home fires. County Fire urges residents to keep safe while they keep warm.  Following are some cool weather safety tips to help you stay warm safely.

Fire Safety Tips for Fireplaces and Other Heating Devices

  • Before the cold weather arrives, change furnace filters to keep equipment running efficiently and safely.
  • Place all space heaters at least three feet away from furniture, walls, curtains, or anything that burns. Make sure to turn them off when you leave home or go to bed.  Contact the Gas Company or a heating contractor if you suspect that your heater is not functioning properly.
  • Check thermostats to make sure the furnace doesn’t turn itself on before you’re ready for it, and give yourself time to check furnace vents, especially floor vents, to make sure they’re not blocked.  Furniture and drapes placed over heating vents can sometimes catch fire.
  • Never install unvented gas heaters in bedrooms or bathrooms, where the small room size poses an added danger of rapid carbon monoxide build-up.
  • Have your chimneys inspected and cleaned by a professional before each heating season and have it cleaned regularly.
  • Be sure to have a proper spark arrester on all chimney tops to prevent burning embers from blowing out of the top of the chimney and starting a fire on your roof or a neighbor’s. Screens should have openings of no more than a half-inch—a quarter-inch if you live next to a wilderness area. If you have a manufactured fireplace, check with the manufacturer for installation requirements before placing anything on top of the fireplace.
  • Never use a fireplace during high winds, especially if you have a wood shake roof.
  • Make sure tree branches are cleared at least 10 feet from the chimney opening.
  • Store paper, kindling, and other flammable material at least three feet from the fireplace.
  • Store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container.  Cardboard boxes, paper bags, and plastic containers quickly catch fire.  Even apparently cool ashes may contain enough heat to ignite these containers.
  • Be sure that you have a fireplace screen large enough to block flying embers and rolling logs from escaping onto your floor.
  • Never burn trash, paper, or green wood in your fireplace.  These materials cause a combustible build-up on the lining of your fireplace that may eventually catch fire, possibly damaging the chimney and threatening your home.
  • Make sure that any fireplace fires are completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Remember, never use a charcoal-burning barbecue or heater indoors!  When burned indoors, charcoal produces deadly amounts of carbon monoxide gas that is odorless, tasteless, and invisible. Charcoal-burning devices are for outdoor use only!

Continue reading

Personal protective equipment training held for healthcare workers

Ebola trainingThe County of San Bernardino has taken steps to ensure it is prepared to respond to Ebola or other infectious diseases that may arise in the county. Several hospitals and healthcare facilities in the county participated in training today on how to put on and take off personal protective equipment. The County Department of Public Health and Inland Counties Emergency Medical Agency hosted the training which was opened to all healthcare workers.
The goal of the training is to provide healthcare workers an opportunity to practice steps to properly put on and take off required personal protective equipment. The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health has adopted the Cal/OSHA Aerosolized Transmissible Disease Standard, which is the highest standard currently available for healthcare workers to treat infectious patients.
“The health of our residents is always a priority and we strive to be prepared for every scenario. Bringing healthcare workers together for training is a key step in the County’s preparedness efforts”, said County Health Officer Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare.
Should the Ebola virus or any other infectious disease present itself in the County, medical and public health professionals are preparing to stop the spread of the virus by isolating ill patients, protecting healthcare providers, tracing all who may be exposed to ill patients, and further monitoring of contacts if they develop symptoms.

Muscoy explosion kills 1, injures 2

muscoyexplosionFirefighters responded to numerous reports of an ‘explosion in the area’ of Gray St. in Muscoy about 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Additional reports began filtering in that a house was damaged from an explosion and people were trapped.   Upon arrival, bystanders flagged firefighters down and pointed them toward a home that was partially destroyed by the blast.  The incident was upgraded and other resources were dispatched, including the department’s heavy rescue or USAR team.

On arrival the first due engine company from station 75 in Muscoy found a rear house with severe damage.   One adult male was outside and suffering from severe burn injuries, another adult female was still inside suffering from blunt force trauma and significant head injury.  She was partially covered by debris and was extricated by the rescue team.  Both were transported to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton with critical injuries. After further checking, another adult male was discovered and found to be deceased and trapped under several tons of debris.  Firefighters would work for the next several hours to remove the debris, consisting of reinforced concrete and other material, and remove the body.

The burn injuries were incurred from the flash fire caused by the explosion. There was no fire to the structure.  The blast was so significant that the freshly paved road in the front of the surrounding homes actually buckled in several places. The home was of poor construction and also had a small basement.  This basement is where most of the damage occurred with the house collapsing into the area.

County Fire Investigators and Sheriff Investigators determined that natural gas did not cause the explosion as originally thought.  It was later determined the explosion was from illegal drug activity.

No other homes had any damage and no evacuations were necessary as the surrounding area was deemed safe.  The county fire department was assisted by the San Bernardino City Fire Department, American Medical Response and the gas company.

County Fire reminds you to make sure your home is clearly marked with address numbers and visible from the street; assisting public safety in finding your location quickly during an emergency.

Holiday season closures at County museums

sbcmuseum entryThe San Bernardino County Museum will be closed on official County holidays during this year’s holiday season. The closure dates are also in effect for San Bernardino County Museum historic sites and branches, including the Asistencia in Redlands, Agua Mansa Cemetery in Colton, the Yucaipa Adobe in Yucaipa, the John Rains House in Rancho Cucamonga, the Yorba and Slaughter Adobe in Chino, and the Victor Valley Museum in Apple Valley.

The closed dates are:

  • Thursday and Friday, Nov. 27 and 28
  • Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 24 and 25
  • Wednesday, Dec. 31 and Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015

For more information about Museum hours, please visit

Businesses boost participation in On-the-Job training program

Final Government Works StampThe number of businesses participating in the On-the-Job Training program offered by the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board  is on track to surpass last year’s numbers.  The On-the-Job Training program assists workers with finding employment, and reimbursing employers that hire workers who lack experience or training. The program pays up to 50 percent of a new employee’s salary, saving the company money normally spent on training.

“A small business is not an institution designed to train employees,” said Greg Hudson, president of Lifetime Solutions, a plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor located in Victorville. “If I send a new employee out with a skilled technician, the technician will to have to slow down to train the new employee, so productivity may be lost. It’s more cost-effective to recruit employees with experience.” “At the same time, finding qualified, experienced employees is challenging,” added Hudson.

The On-the-Job Training program allowed Lifetime Solutions to hire three inexperienced employees in the past year. The program eased the burden of new employee training. Hudson said the Workforce Investment Board allowed him to take a chance on people not as highly skilled who could become great employees.

The program has grown exponentially as more local businesses discover how useful it is. During the most recent program year ending in July, 259 people were placed into On-the-Job Training; which is an increase from 219 the prior year.

“This is the type of practical program our businesses are clamoring for,” said Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board. “The number of participants is up to 90 in the first three months of this fiscal year. So, clearly this is a service that is needed by our businesses.’’

The demand for the program comes from San Bernardino County’s growing industries, which covers a range of transportation, logistics, distribution, manufacturing, construction, healthcare, and energy and utilities. The wide variety of positions in these areas offers options for job seekers as they search for work in demand fields.

“On-the-Job Training represents an opportunity to use our resources to solve specific challenges our businesses face, while providing well-paying positions for our residents” San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair, Janice Rutherford said.

This is an example of how Government Works.

To learn more about how On-the-Job Training can help your business, please call (800) 451-JOBS or visit

County appoints new EDA Administrator

LarryVaupelLarry Vaupel will bring extensive experience in private and public sector economic and real estate development when he assumes the helm of the San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency on Monday.

“Larry’s background and enthusiasm will be great assets as we work to attract and retain investment in San Bernardino County and continue our work toward achieving the Countywide Vision,” said County Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux, who announced Vaupel’s appointment today.

Vaupel currently serves as Economic Development Manager for City of Riverside, where he leads a team of 11 economic development and marketing professionals helping businesses create jobs.  Prior to his service in Riverside, Vaupel spent much of his career in Illinois working in city planning, real estate development, and economic development, where he served a diverse mix of urban, suburban and rural communities. Vaupel has worked in some of the fastest growing communities in the U.S. as well as established cities and public-private economic development agencies. He has also been a real estate developer and owned and managed a commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Continue reading

Twitter @SBCountyFollow @SBCounty on Twitter!