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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2016
Contact: Jean Pasco
Supervisors Applaud Mutual Aid for San Bernardino County
Orange County supervisors thanked Health Care Agency employees Tuesday for providing assistance to County of San Bernardino colleagues in the aftermath of the December 2, 2015, mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center that left 14 dead and 22 wounded.
Nineteen County of Orange behavioral health workers provided crisis counseling and training services in San Bernardino between December 15 and 17. The work of the agency’s behavioral health division was affirmed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors as part of a mutual aid agreement among counties in the event of a medical or health calamity resulting in mass casualties.
“What happened at the Inland Regional Center was an unspeakable act that shattered dozens of lives and we’re thankful that so many of our employees stepped up to help,” said Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District.
“We stand united with our colleagues in San Bernardino County as they come back from this horrific terrorist attack and resume their service to the public even while their lives have been changed forever,” said Vice Chairwoman Michelle Steel, Second District.
Supervisor Andrew Do, First District, said Health Care Agency staff provided critical counseling for San Bernardino County’s environmental health division, which included some former Orange County workers and many cross-county friendships. “This was a despicable act that called for an immediate response of compassion and support,” Supervisor Do said.
Supervisor Shawn Nelson said a tragedy such as that in San Bernardino is a grim reminder of the need for vigilance and preparedness—and for comfort in the aftermath. “Our employees did what they were trained to do even while knowing they had lost friends and colleagues,” Supervisor Nelson said.
Supervisor Todd Spitzer, who chaired the Board of Supervisors at the time of the attack, ordered workplace violence response training among County employees that will continue. “Employers need to offer training to prevent and survive incidents of workplace violence and active shooters,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “Increased training is the first step toward helping Orange County employees feel safer in the workplace.”
Behavioral and Environmental Health staff and other County workers remain available should San Bernardino County request additional assistance.
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