Based upon evolving guidance from international (WHO), national (CDC/NIH), State of California, and local public health agencies, and projected trends for COVID-19 coronavirus spread for the next six to eight weeks, all CERT-related training events have been reviewed for either cancellation or postponement.
The following is an update on the status of all CERT training events that had previously been planned or scheduled for Saratoga CERT participation:
(1) The Santa Clara Countywide CERT Skills Day, previously scheduled for 25 April 2020 at Mission College in Santa Clara, has been indefinitely postponed. There is no guidance at this time on whether this event will occur at a later date in calendar year 2020, or will be cancelled for the year. I will keep all informed on any new information as it is received from the Santa Clara County CERT Leadership Team. Please note that the Eventbrite registration webpage for this event is still accessible, but the event is shown as POSTPONED.
(2) The joint City of Saratoga CERT/City of Campbell CERT Animal Response/Animal Sheltering class, previously scheduled for 02 May 2020 at Saratoga Prospect Center, has been postponed to a new date of Saturday, 15 August 2020. As this new date falls within the high-risk period for wildfires both here in California and throughout the western United States, the City of Sacramento CERT AR/AS training team – who conducts this course – may be either “on call” for field activation or deployed for a “real world” incident. Alternately, it is uncertain what the state of COVID-19 coronavirus will be in August, so another postponement of the class may be warranted. Again, I will keep all informed on the status of the proposed 15 August training date as we get into the late June/early July time frame.
(3) The joint City of Campbell CERT/City of Saratoga CERT American Red Cross Shelter Simulation Exercise, proposed for a possible date in early summer 2020 at the Campbell Community Center, has been indefinitely postponed. Like the Animal Response/Animal Sheltering team, all members of the ARC instructional team who conduct this exercise are “on call” to support “real world” incidents (i.e., ARC disaster response to wildfires in California and the western U.S., and hurricanes in the southeastern U.S.) and may not be available to conduct the training. The rescheduling of this exercise will be reviewed in the early-to-mid summer time frame.
(4) As of now, all Santa Clara County Fire Department CERT Academy sessions and refresher courses are postponed and subject to possible cancellation for the year. We had discussed the possibility of Jeff Walker providing Saratoga CERT with a refresher course on CERT damage assessment. The scheduling of this class will be reviewed in line with evolving COVID-19 public health guidance pertaining to group gatherings. In light of the current conditions, it is unlikely that this course would be scheduled for any time before at least the beginning of August 2020. Also, if SCCFD CERT Academies are restored for CY-2020, then our refresher class will be conducted on a “not to interfere” basis with the dates of any restored CERT Academy sessions.
(5) An American Red Cross Disaster Psychology/Psychological First Aid class, conducted by Kay Ammon of the ARC, was proposed for late spring/early summer 2020. I have corresponded with Kay, and we are now tentatively looking at conducting this three-hour class on either a Tuesday or Wednesday of the first or second week of August 2020. This will be reviewed in the late May/early June time frame, to see if the proposed August dates still are realistic in light of the current public health emergency.
(6) Finally, Michael Grodin of the Campbell CERT organization (and a Santa Clara County Emergency Medical Services EMT) has had two “advertised” Stop the Bleed classes scheduled for a number of months, with the classes falling on 15 April 2020 and 22 July 2020 at the Campbell Community Center. I know that both classes have been filled for a number of weeks, and any new registrants would have been “wait-listed.” I have not heard any word as to whether Michael has postponed or fully cancelled these two classes. If you are registered to attend one of these classes, you may want to contact Michael at “email@example.com” to confirm the status of the class. I also mentioned at our last Saratoga CERT general membership meeting (Thursday, 05 March) that I will work, in the future, to see if Michael can return to Saratoga to conduct a Saratoga CERT-specific STB class in the late fall/early winter time frame. This is obviously predicated on the future status of the continuously evolving COVID-19 public health emergency.
Please e-mail me if you have any questions on the above.
My thanks to all,
Charles RaderCity of Saratoga CERT Volunteer Program Lead