The Wiseburn Watch CERT program
To expand on the community services provided by the Wiseburn Watch, we have implemented a program to establish a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Modeled on an initiative initially developed by the Los Angeles Fire Department, and now operating throughout the country, CERT programs train volunteers in a variety of skills that will equip them to help their communities recover from a number of different emergencies, such as earthquakes, chemical spills, wildfires, and even terrorist attacks.
Here’s a description of the CERT program as it appears on the Web site of the Los Angeles County Fire Department (seehttp://www.fire.lacounty.gov/ProgramsEvents/PECERT.asp):
The 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
Mary and Phil Radler are coordinating the Wiseburn CERT program. Recent CERT graduates themselves, they will be helping Wiseburn volunteers plan for and carry out a coordinated response to emergencies that may befall the community. Contact Phil or Mary if you would like more information about the program; need help finding a CERT class; or wish to add your name to the roster of Wiseburn CERT volunteers.
You can call Phil at (310) 721-1876; Mary at (310) 890-1637; or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The recent budget cuts have put the Los Angeles Fire Department’s CERT training on hold. Phil and Mary are actively searching for alternate training sources, and we’ll let you know when the county is ready to resume its training classes. When training does resume, you’ll find the county’s CERT class schedule here:
An unofficial Web site operated by CERT graduates can be found here:
This site has a wealth of CERT-related information: manuals, schedules for advanced training courses, community meetings, survival tips, useful links, and much more.
Phil and Mary are developing emergency equipment lists that residents and CERT volunteers alike can use to prepare for contingencies. The latest versions will be posted here in June. Check back to print your own copies of the following:
- List of equipment for the community cache (required and on hand)
- Recommended personal equipment list for CERT members
- Recommended equipment list for individual residents
- Recommended equipment list for residents’ vehicles
What You Can Do Right Now
CERT graduates are encouraged to get in touch with Phil and Mary if you are prepared to lend a hand to the community during our next (inevitable) crisis. In addition to knowing about your CERT status, we’d like to know where you reside (just the nearest intersection); any special skills you have (e.g., CPR, first aid); any special training (e.g., engineering, firefighting, police training); and any useful equipment that you could provide to the Wiseburn CERT program in an emergency (e.g., jacks, crowbars, generators, winches, tents, camping gear).