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West County CERT is holding a basic training course in April at the Joint Forces Training Base. This is a golden opportunity to find out more about CERT and prepare yourself and family for an emergency event.
The CERT basic training course covers 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 are better able to assist their family, neighborhood or workplace following an event when first responders (paramedics, fire, police) are not immediately available to help.
Did you know….
In a wide spread emergency event like an earthquake, it could be 3 to 7 DAYS before any emergency responders are available to reach the neighborhoods and businesses in Western Orange County.
This is why attending the CERT basic training is so important for you – for the safety/survival of your family, if no other reason. Please make the time and take this course. Plus, you may even have some fun while you learn.
Friday, April 7 6:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 8 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.
Friday, April 14 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 15 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base (JFTB)
Veterans Service Center Building 244
There is no charge for the course and is open to anyone 18 years or older; 16+ with parent or guardian permission; 14+ with parent or guardian participation.
Get your application here and follow the directions to register.
Still have some questions?
Here are some of the questions we hear most often from people before they register and attend the course:
Why should I attend?
Your CERT training may be used just for your family, or in neighborhoods, businesses, and schools. Trained CERT members realize that in the event of a major disaster they may be required to rely on themselves and their neighbors to handle emergencies until first responders arrive.
The primary reason for CERT training is to give people the decision-making, organizational, and practical skills to offer immediate assistance to family members, neighbors, and associates while waiting for help. While people will respond to others in need without the training, the goal of the CERT program is to help people do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.
And you just may have some fun while you learn how to survive the next disaster.
How does CERT benefit the community?
People who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace and community, and can take the right steps to lessen the effects of these hazards on themselves, their homes or workplace. When a disaster happens that overwhelms local response capability, CERT members can apply the training learned in the classroom, and during exercises, to give critical support to their family, loved ones, neighbors or associates in their immediate area until help arrives. CERT members can also assist with non-emergency projects that improve the safety of the community.
What if I want to do more than just the basic training?
CERT members can increase their knowledge and capability by attending classes on animal care, special needs concerns, donation management, community relations, shelter management, debris removal, utilities control, advanced first aid, Automatic External Defibrillator use, CPR skills, and others. CERT member also can use their skills to help the program flourish by volunteering for scheduled events.
What if I have concerns about my age or physical ability?
There are many jobs within a CERT for someone who wants to be involved and help, such as documentation, comforting others, logistics, etc. Non-disaster related team activities may include keeping databases, developing a website, writing a newsletter, planning activities, helping with special events and organizing exercises and activities.
During CERT classroom training, if one has a concern about doing a skill like lifting, just let the instructor know. You can learn from watching. We would like everyone who wants to go through the training to have an opportunity to participate and learn the skills. CERT educates participants about local hazards and trains them in skills that are useful during disaster and life’s everyday emergencies.
What about liability?
The text of the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 is available to view here. Also there is information about State Liability Laws from FEMA and the Citizen Corps. During training, each sponsoring agency should brief its CERT members about their responsibilities as a CERT member and volunteer.
Get your application here and follow the directions to register.
Frank Borden discusses how CERT was created and what influenced it’s growth and development into a nation-wide (and now world-wide) life-saving program during the February 2017 Huntington Beach CERT meeting.
Before we get into Frank’s presentation, take a quick look at this summary of his extensive background with the L.A. City Fire Department.
Frank Borden retired from the Los Angeles City Fire Department as an Assistant Chief with over 36 years of service and became a consultant and instructor in emergency management and preparedness. During his fire service career he has commanded hundreds of emergency incidents and had a direct role in the management of response to many disasters. In his last assignment, he was the Commander of the Training and Disaster Preparedness Division of the Fire Department and member of the City of Los Angeles Emergency Operations Organization.
He has an extensive background in emergency planning, preparedness, management and training in all levels of government and the private sector. He has been involved in many research projects and developed many nationally and internationally recognized programs such as the Community Emergency Response Team Program (CERT); Urban Search and Rescue (US&R); and the Incident Command System (ICS). This research has been done as a team leader to investigate disasters such as the Mandeville Fire, the Mexico City earthquake, the Loma Prieta earthquake, the Los Angeles Riots, the ’93 Southern California Firestorm, the Northridge earthquake, and the Kobe earthquake. Many improvements have been made as a result of this research in community and government preparedness and response.
You can watch his presentation here.
Pardon the unsteady camera work during the first few minutes. It does get better. Great talk though.Frank Borden, the father of CERT talks about the history of the CERT Program at the Huntington Beach CERT meeting on 2/9/2017
The City of Seal Beach requested the assistance of West Orange County CERT in filling sandbags that could be used by residents of the City of Seal Beach in event of their need for flood prevention in anticipation of the heavy rains expected on 02/17/2017 according to the National Weather Service.
West Orange County CERT responded to for the 10th sandbagging event “Operation Sandbag X” for the City over the past few years. Seal Beach Public Works had provided sand and sandbags for this operation, as well as wooden pallets on which to store the completed sandbags. The Lions Club of Seal Beach, members of the Seal Beach Police Department’s Explorers came out in force to fill the bags. After a brief demonstration and safety discussion lead by Wink Chase, the group began filling sand bags. By the end of the evening, 904 sandbags were filled, tied, and stacked on the pallets. Before the Team left the beach at about 8:00 p.m. more than 50 sandbags had been picked up by nearby residents who were concerned about flood waters reaching their homes.
ABC Channel 7’s Eileen Ferrer videotaped the operation and her news presentations appeared at various times on Channel 7 throughout the evening and into the next day.