Air Squadron

This is a collateral duty. Assigned officers are called to action when necessary.



The California Office of Emergency Services (OES) was established as part of the Governor's Office in 1950 as the State Office of Civil Defense. In 1956, the agency became more involved in natural disaster operations, and the name was changed to the California Disaster Office. Adoption of the state's Emergency Services Act in 1970 changed the agency's name to the Office of Emergency Services. The Governor's Office of Emergency Services coordinates overall state agency response to major disasters in support of local government. The office is responsible for assuring the state's readiness to respond to and recover from natural, man-made, and war-caused emergencies, and for assisting local governments in their emergency preparedness, response and recovery efforts.

During major emergencies, OES may call upon all state agencies to help provide support. Due to their specialized capabilities and expertise, the California National Guard, Highway Patrol, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Conservation Corps, Department of Social Services, Department of Health Services and the Department of Transportation are the agencies most often asked to respond and assist in emergency response activities.

OES coordinates the statewide Fire, Law Enforcement, and Telecommunications Mutual Aid Systems based on the "neighbor helping neighbor" concept. As part of this Mutual Aid System, the state has been divided up into seven regions across California. Each region has an appointed coordinator that handles mutual aid request from the state and from within the individual region. Fresno County is located in Region V and the Region Coordinator is Sheriff Margaret Mims. During actual emergencies, OES activates the State Operations Center (SOC) in Sacramento and the Regional Emergency Operations Centers (REOCs) in impacted areas to receive and process local requests for assistance.

OES maintains the State Emergency Plan, which outlines the organizational structure for state management of the response to natural and man-made disasters. OES assists local governments and other state agencies in developing their own emergency preparedness and response plans, in accordance with the Standardized Emergency Management System and the State Emergency Plan, for earthquakes, floods, fires, hazardous material incidents, nuclear power plant emergencies, and dam breaks.

The OES Earthquake Program provides specialized earthquake preparedness planning and technical assistance to local governments, business, schools, hospitals, the public and other groups.

OES coordinates search and rescue missions through its Law Enforcement Branch's Search and Rescue program to locate individuals lost in the mountains or wilderness. Through its Fire and Rescue Branch's Urban Search and Rescue Task Force program, OES coordinates missions for those trapped by collapsed structures or in other high risk situations. OES also provides search and rescue task force training for local fire personnel, governments and volunteers. OES' training arm, the California Specialized Training Institute in San Luis Obispo, provides training programs for city, county, and state emergency services personnel on the latest techniques in disaster planning, response, recovery, and management.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office Field Training Officer unit consists of one Lieutenant, two Sergeants, and twenty-two Field Training Officers. The Field Training program is divided into three phases. Phase I is the P.O.S.T. Basic Academy required of all California Peace Officers. Successful completion of a Basic Academy makes the Trainee eligible to proceed to Phase II when there is an opening in the Patrol Division. Phase II begins when the Trainee is assigned to the Patrol Division under immediate supervision of the Field Training Unit. The Trainee will begin to apply prior training and knowledge to field situations.

During Phase II the Trainee will be assigned to a Patrol Area for a period of 720 hours of Field Training. The FTO Sergeant will assign the Trainee to an FTO Team. This Team will consist of three different FTOs for four weeks each on a scheduled basis, until the Trainee masters the comprehensive checklist of tasks required. FTO's are responsible for Daily Observation Reports for every day the Trainee is assigned to them.

After the 18th week of training the FTO Lieutenant will schedule the Trainee for a Basic Review Board. The FTO Lieutenant, the two FTO Sergeants, and the Trainee's primary FTO are on the panel which reviews the Trainees overall performance, and determines whether the Trainee advances to Phase III or remediates for a period of two weeks. Phase III is the Trainee's solo performance, and during this time the Trainee is evaluated on a weekly basis by the FTO Sergeant for a period of four weeks. The Trainee's Watch Supervisor then evaluates the Trainee on a bi-weekly basis for the next twelve weeks.

The goal of the Field Training Program is to produce a deputy capable of safely and skillfully working a solo beat assignment. The means to accomplish this is through the Field Training Officer. In addition to full beat responsibility, the FTO has the responsibility of training and indoctrinating new employees through a phased-type learning process. The FTO must be able to be a reliable, objective evaluator of a Trainee's performance. He will write daily evaluations of performance, plus submit additional documentation as required. The FTO attends all work-related activities that the Trainee is required to attend. These activities would include court testimony and other assignments outside of the field patrol function. If remedial training is required, the FTO shall notify the FTO Sergeant and assist in developing such training.

Since the ability to operate solo is a requirement for advancement from Phase II to Phase III, the FTO is responsible for assuring that the Trainee demonstrates knowledge and skill with little or no interference from the FTO. During and between Trainees, the FTO has the responsibility to continually monitor those phases of the FTO Program he comes into contact with. He should forward any deficiencies or potential innovations noted through channels to the FTO Lieutenant for consideration. Any materials that the FTO feels might be appropriate for the FTO Reference File are submitted for approval.

The FTO is a role model to the Trainee and to other members of the Office and the public. The FTO is expected to maintain the highest standard in all aspects of their job duties and performance. Personal grooming standards, operational procedures, and conformance to Office practices and policies, should always be above reproach. The FTO unit is a highly motivated, team oriented unit, committed to producing the best-trained deputies in the state.

Operation: Identification, or Operation I.D., is a theft prevention/property identification program for use in homes and businesses. Operation I.D. involves the marking of property with an identifying number as a means of discouraging burglary and theft. This number also helps law enforcement agencies identify your property should it be lost or stolen.

All items that might be attractive to a thief such as radios, televisions, camera equipment, stereos, small appliances, tools, and sports equipment should be marked. Small or very valuable items such as jewelry or antiques can either be engraved by a jeweler and videotaped or photographed for identification purposes. Photographs and videotapes should include a ruler to show scale size. The photograph should be dated and your identification number should be shown in the picture or written on the print.

Methods of marking your property vary and include using an electronic etcher or an acid-based ink. Heavy equipment can be marked by using a metal stamping kit.

Make a video tape and/or list of the marked items including the make, model, size, color, and serial number, as applicable. Also, record the exact spots where you have engraved the items. Keep this record or video at home for reference and additions.

After marking your property, display an Operation I.D. sticker near every entrance to your home. The stickers can be obtained from a Fresno County Sheriff's Office Community Service Officer.

You can mark your own property or contact a Community Service Officer at the Fresno County Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention office to mark your property for you. The telephone number to the Crime Prevention Office is 559-488-2525. Your property can be marked by inscribing your driver's license number and state identifier (CA for California). If you do not drive, mark you valuables by engraving your California identification card number, which can be obtained from the state Department of Motor Vehicles. If you wish, an Owner Applied Number (OAN) can be issued to you by a Community Service Officer. All of these numbers are unique and can be traced to you if your property is lost or stolen.


  • Patrol Areas

    The Sheriff's Office Patrol and Support Bureau have dedicated deputy sheriffs and professional staff ready to serve the many communities throughout the County of Fresno. We are dedicated to our partnerships with those we serve based on mutual communication, mutual cooperation, and mutual trust.

    The members of the Sheriff's Office are expected to liaison with citizens in the community, businesses in the community and service organizations. We also assist and serve other law enforcement agencies and emergency service agencies in order to provide excellent law enforcement services, reduce crime, and increase the quality of life for the people we serve.

    The Fresno County Sheriff's Office provides Patrol services for its more than 6,000 square miles. In 1983, patrol services were decentralized and divided into four Patrol areas. Each area is commanded by a lieutenant who supervises field services from a substation located in each of the areas.

  • Communications
  • Fresno State Reserves
  • Mutual Aid

Contact Information

Lieutenant Kathy Curtice
(559) 693-2437
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