Orange County and State have made available a number of resources to keep us and the public updated on both best practices and current statistics related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Orange County Health Care Agency COVID-19 Information & Updates Orange County Health Care Agency COVID-19 Counts & Figures California Department of Health Information & […]
The Cities of Buena Park, Cypress, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Westminster had scheduled a 20-hour Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training academy at JFTB-Los Alamitos on March 20-28, 2020. Out of an abundance of caution, we are postponing this academy to a future date, which is to be determined.
The CDC recommends that older adults and other high risk individuals “limit close contact” and “avoid crowds as much as possible” during the COVID-19 outbreak. By postponing this non-essential gathering, we can reduce the risk to CERT participants and allow cities and emergency agencies to focus on their primary response missions.
We sincerely thank the Joint Forces Training Base, along with all who had expressed interest in this course. We could not conduct this high quality training academy and exercise without the help of our sponsoring cities, response agencies, instructors, and the volunteer members and leaders of our CERT Team.
We do not yet have new Academy dates but will keep you advised here and via emails to our members.
Additionally, the Seal Beach Run on 3/28, the City of Anaheim Police & Fire Departments event on 4/2, and the Westminster Spring Festival on 4/4 have also been canceled.
Our February Team Training & Potluck was full of fun and fellowship. Hosted in Los Alamitos at the Community Center, we were treated to some very tasty Pot Luck dishes ranging from home baked ham and onion rings to a number of salad offerings, fried chicken, and bite sized sandwiches and of course the more traditional pizza and the usual slew of tempting dessert offerings.
More than forty Team members that attended our meeting where we were welcomed to the City by Los Al PD Captain O’Connell and Emergency Services Coordinator Robert Acosta. It was great having such a good turn out for our first meeting of the year.
Our training presentation from SCART (SoCal Animal Recuse Team) was both interesting and thorough. Our thanks to Susan Keyes and the other presenters for educating us on our personal animal preparedness and how to assist in caring for pets in a disaster. If you want to be ready to assist with pet care following a disaster, feel free to reach out to SCART for training dates and additional information. And a huge thank you to Robin for arranging the presentation.
The rest of our event was all about the upcoming CERT Basic Academy and finalizing the class leaders, the Team members who will assist with the medical exercises and of course who will gt to wear the “red hats” during the final exercise. Our next Academy is at the end of March, so we have jsut a few weeks to get things set.
Our Academy events are a full team effort to get 50-60 area residents exposed to basic disaster preparedness for themselves and their family members. When we have the next major disaster event in Southern California it will be 3-5 days before our first responders will be able to get to our homes to assist. During those times, we will be on our own. Our family members. Our immediate neighbors. Our block. Are you prepared for that? What if you are at work when this disaster occurs? Will your family be able to care for themselves if you can get back home for days? These questions are at the core of the FEMA based CERT Basic Training. If you need a refresher or are just stopping by for a bit more information, click the red button at the top of this page to find out when our next CERT Basic Academy is.
Our next Team Training & Potluck will be on Wednesday April 8th at the Seal Beach Police Department.
The early morning was cold and foggy as amateur radio volunteers from across the county checked in for duty, arriving by 6:30, with some arriving by 6:00 – and you know who you are! There were members from West County CERT, SORA, Laguna Niguel and Mission Viejo RACES and OCHEART there to support Westminster RACES and provide “eyes and ears” and radio communications throughout the half mile 2020 TET Parade route in Westminster.
Mickey Mouse served as the Children’s Grand Marshall and lead the parade ushering the Lunar New Year, Year of the Rat. The parade route ran along Tran Hung Dao Blvd. (Bolsa Avenue) from Magnolia east to Bushard before turning south and ending at Bishop Place. The celebration takes place in the Little Saigon area of Westminster which has the largest concentration of Vietnamese living outside of Vietnam.
The event itself went very well and was well attended with an estimated 10,000 spectators joining in the festivities. There were more than 80 parade entries ranging from political candidates and city council members to marching bands and floats. Of course, there were plenty of Dragons and firecrackers to celebrate and ring in the New Year.
Westminster RACES Lead, Chi Nguyen, was able to get some good photos of the radio communications teams as they were deployed. Thanks to Hermie, Karla, Art, and Barbara for representing West County CERT at the event.
You can watch the full TET Parade below:
The City of Westminster appreciates the assistance of all the volunteers who helped to make the parade possible. West County CERT looks forward to being there again in 2021.