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The next meeting of the City of Redlands Disaster Council will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, July 27, in the Redlands City Council Chambers. The meeting is open to the public.

The City Disaster Council develops and recommends emergency and mutual aid plans and agreements for consideration and possible adoption by the Redlands City Council. Meetings are held quarterly.

High school graduates interested in a career in emergency services will undergo a week of intensive hands-on training this month, part of the award-winning Redlands Emergency Services Academy.

Each year, some two dozen local teens with an interest in a public safety career attend the annual Redlands Emergency Services Academy.  The participants share temporary quarters for one week on the campus of the University of Redlands, are exposed to hands-on training exercises in fire and police operations, and are introduced to state of the art simulators.  This program stresses the importance of a well-rounded education, as well as the value of an extended education to each of the teens in attendance.

High school graduates from the class of 2015 will arrive at the University of Redlands at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 15, for the 17th annual Redlands Emergency Services Academy (RESA). By 9:15 a.m. they will be participating in formation and marching drills and by evening learning firearm safety and fire behavior from members of the Redlands Police and Fire departments.

Mayor Paul Foster and Mayor Pro Tem Jon Harrison will meet with the public for the July Coffee with the Council beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 18, at Olive Avenue Market, 530 W. Olive Ave.

The monthly Coffee with the Council was begun in February 2011 as part of the City’s continuing efforts to increase interaction with residents and promote transparency in City affairs.

The informal meetings are held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month, rotating among three local restaurants – Olive Avenue Market, 530 W. Olive Ave; Cuca’s Mexican Food, 1752 E. Lugonia Ave.; and Stell Coffee & Tea Company, 1580 Barton Road, Suite A. Council members rotate attendance, with no more than two members at each meeting.

Council members have held the meetings for the past four years as a way for residents to ask questions or share concerns outside the formal setting of a City Council meeting.

The schedule for the remainder of this year’s Coffee with the Council meetings is included below.

Several downtown streets will be undergoing road improvements during the month of July as part of the City’s PARIS Resurfacing Project.

Repaving on Sixth Street between Citrus and Olive began July 6 and is expected to be completed by the end of the week.

Work is set to begin improving East State Street as well as Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and portions of Fifth Street between Redlands Boulevard and Citrus Avenue. The streets will be closed to automobile traffic for up to two weeks, beginning July 13. All businesses will remain open and the City is taking additional measures to assist visitors in reaching their destinations along those streets.

The City is still seeking volunteers for a General Plan Steering Committee to advise the Planning Commission and City Council during the General Plan update. The deadline for accepting applications to the committee has been extended to July 24.

Residents who live within the City and its planning sphere are invited to submit an application. Candidates should have lived within the City or its planning sphere for at least three years.

The City of Redlands has scheduled another three-day Community Emergency Response Team training in August. The free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

Three teen-age boys were arrested for arson and vandalism Thursday evening following a structure fire at a construction yard near the Santa Ana River wash.

An off-duty Cal Fire battalion chief driving on Orange Street reported a fire near the river wash at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 2. At about the same time, an observer in a Fontana Police Department helicopter, providing air support to the Redlands Police Department also reported a structure on fire in the same area.

Redlands Fire and Police units, along with Cal Fire and San Bernardino County Fire units responded to the Larry Jacinto Construction yard at the north end of Texas Street where they found a small utility building near the truck scales fully involved with fire.

The Fourth of July is one of America’s favorite holidays. And why not? Families and friends gather to celebrate our country with food, parades, parties, picnics and fireworks.

And yet there is a very dark side to this great holiday. For many, the celebration includes alcohol, and the holiday can quickly go from festive to fatal when people choose to drive after drinking. From 2009-2013, nearly 40 percent of ALL traffic fatalities over the Fourth of July period occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. Of the five major holiday periods of the year in California, the Fourth of July ranks as having the highest daily fatality rate.

Over the Fourth of July holiday period in 2013 alone (6 p.m. July 3 to 5:59 a.m. July 8), 199 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes on our nation’s roads, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In California, 28 individuals were killed in alcohol- involved crashes.

Construction has begun on Cypress Avenue and Terracina Boulevard as part of the City’s PARIS Resurfacing Project. Work will begin on Fern Avenue later next month.

Repaving on Cypress Avenue west of San Mateo Street and on Terracina Boulevard from Cypress to Fern Avenue is anticipated to begin the week of July 6 and is anticipated to be completed by the end of the week.

Repaving on Fern Street between Eureka and Center streets is expected to begin later in July. A date for construction to begin has not been determined.

A vegetation fire burned 4.9 acres of brush in south Redlands Monday morning.

A concerted effort by the Redlands Fire Department and resources including fixed wing aircraft and a helicopter, dozers and hand crews from CalFire, San Bernardino County Fire Department and the U.S. Forestry Service quickly contained the blaze which was first reported at about 10:40 a.m. Monday, June 29, in a brushy ravine below the 200 block of Edgemont Drive.

No structures were damaged. One firefighter suffered a minor burn to his chest from a hot ember. The fire was contained shortly before 12:30 p.m.

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