Just as CPR saves lives, so does knowing how to stop a life threatening bleed (think trauma, mass shooter, bombing, etc.). This 90-minute class trains bystanders to become educated, equipped, and empowered to assist in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. Certificates will be awarded to all participants completing the training. No medical background necessary.
FEMA Updates Community Emergency Response Team Training
FEMA conducted a webinar on January 8 on the release of the updated Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic training curriculum. Presenters shared the reasons for the changes, highlighted best practices, and shared impacts of the updated training. Participants learned how trainers can deliver the updated training and how to order materials. This was the second of two webinars about the updated CERT Basic training curriculum, though the webinars presented similar information. Recordings of the webinars can be found here.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the 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. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.
The updated CERT Basic Training can be found here. It features a revised Disaster Medical Operations section, updated Terrorism and CERT section, and new hazard-specific annexes. Find the new curriculum materials online and order free copies from the FEMA publications warehouse beginning January 8, 2020. The CERT Basic Training includes research-validated guidance for CERT programs to teach members what to do before, during, and after the hazards their communities may face. The materials in the training include instructor guides, participant manuals, and hazard annex slide decks. The FEMA Independent Study IS-317: Introduction to CERT can be taken online before or during training.
[ARRL is an affiliate under the Department of Homeland Security’s Citizen Corps programs–Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers in Police Service, Community Emergency Response Teams and Medical Reserve Corps. The mission is public preparedness and safety. In other words, neighborhood and community volunteers serve as the “help until the help arrives.” Radio amateurs are ideal candidates for the CERT program owing to their unique ability to communicate within their neighborhoods and communities for local emergency communications, but also when the need exists for communications with the outside world. Find your local CERT group and get connected. – ed. ]
The CERT Curriculum has been in for a re-write through most of 2019. As of January 8th, 2020, the new curriculum has been released.
It contains an update to the layout, flow, and styling improvements as well as a number of significant changes.
- The Units have been re-arranged:
- Unit 1: Disaster Preparedness
- Unit 2: CERT Organization
- Unit 3: Disaster medical Operations I
- Unit 4: Disaster Medical Operations II
- Units 5: Disaster Psychology
- Unit 6: Fire Safety and Utility Controls
- Unit 7: Light Search and Rescue
- Unit 8: Terrorism and CERT
- Unit 9: Course Review, Final Exam, and Disaster Simulation Participant Manual
- Some of the notable changes include:
- Unit 1: Disaster Preparedness:
- Changed from ‘member’ to ‘volunteer’
- Discussion of having a Home, Car, and Workplace emergency kits
- Unit 2: CERT Organization
- Brought in the CERT Size-up here (earlier in the teaching)
- CERT Mobilization reflects SOP’s that might allow self-activation
- Unit 3: Disaster Medical Operations I
- Dropped all the START (Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment) as well as RPM (Respiration, Perfusion, and Mental state)
- More focus on “Treating Life-Threatening Conditions”
- Dropped pressure points
- A section on tourniquet use
- All the Basic First-Aid brought over from part II to this unit
- Unit 3: Disaster medical Operations II
- Same as previous version (just thinned down removing first-aid contents)
- Unit 5: Disaster Psychology
- Improved this unit a fair amount
- Added ‘Listen, protect, Connect’ discussion
- Improved a section on Stabilizing Survivors
- Finally added a ‘Say This Instead’
- Unit 6: Fire Safety and Utility Controls
- Added the new ‘Global Harmonized System’ for chemical hazard communication
- Unit 7: Light Search and Rescue
- No significant changes
- Unit 8: Terrorism and CERT
- Added Active Shooter
- Added Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)
- Cyber Attacks
- Unit 1: Disaster Preparedness:
It will take for the new publications to be available as the FEMA warehouse needs to exhaust the current stock before new one will be shipped.
The Santa Clara County Fire Department will migrate over to the new content in the coming months.
At this point, it is not expected to have a FOG manual update until the next order is required (a year or so)
Please take a look at the new Participant manual and let’s start some dialog on the changes over the coming months.
All the content can be found at this address http://www.ready.gov/cert
We want to invite you to the 30th anniversary celebration of the founding of SARA (Saratoga Amateur Radio Association (SARA).
Please pass this to all CERT Division Leads and Members. Please refer to the attachment for details.
- Saratoga vicinity residents interested in ham radio
- Hams, families and friends
- CERTs, families and friends
- General public
- Saturday, December 7, 2019
- 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
- Friendship Hall at Prospect Center
- 19824 Prospect Road
- Saratoga, CA 95070
Food: Sandwiches, snacks and drinks will be served
Please RSVP with your name, contact info and number of guests to help us plan the food.
- Ron Jones
- AJ6EG@ARRL.NET or
- 408 872-1301
Hope to see you and your family there.
Ron Jones, AJ6EG
14355 D Saratoga Avenue | Saratoga, CA 95070
408 872-1301 land | 408 316-0854 cell
Saratoga CERT Membership Meeting
24 October 2019
1. Charles Rader chaired the meeting and announced that he has officially taken over as the Head of Saratoga CERT, replacing Brent Hailpern. Charles will, for now, continue his division leadership responsibilities and Brent will continue his Ham Radio and CERT IT duties.
2. Introduction of attendees
3. 2020 Santa Clara County (i.e., countywide) CERT field training exercise is being planned for Mission College in April (current date is 4/25/20, but that date is not firm)
4. Upcoming training opportunities
For details see the CERT October Newsletter at https://saratogacert.org/2019/10/07/saratoga-cert-september-2019-newsletter/
- CERT Refresher – 11/14
- Stop the Bleed – 11/13 (Michael Grodin, Campbell CERT and SCC EMS paramedic)
- America Red Cross Basic First Aid (without CPR) – 11/6
- Ham Cram – 11/23
5. Training in 2020?
The Animal Sheltering training comprises both classroom training (about three hours in a morning session) followed by a three-to-four hour afternoon “hands on” exercise in which class attendees plan and set up a simulated pet animal shelter. This training is focused on domesticated/pet animals (think: cats, dogs, guinea pigs, birds, exotic pets such as iguanas and snakes, etc. and NOT large animals). Large animal rescue is handled by a separate Santa Clara County DSW volunteer group entitled the County of Santa Clara Large Animal Evacuation Team (SCCLAET). The Animal Sheltering training is conducted by a traveling training team from the City of Sacramento CERT organization. We will most likely team up with the City of Campbell CERT organization for this training.
The Red Cross Training and Shelter Exercise with Campbell CERT is the delayed/postponed ARC Shelter Operations Simulation exercise that we tried to organize for earlier this year. I will be coordinating with Steven Teeter, the head of Campbell CERT, to unify our request to Jim Mollerus (Mass Care Coordinator of the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross) to get this simulation exercise scheduled. The exercise will most likely either take place at the Saratoga Prospect Center Friendship Hall building or at one of the larger rooms at the City of Campbell Community Center.
6. Where/when to recruit new members
- Currently we do Blossom Festival in the spring, and the Saratoga Car Show in the summer
- Other possibilities:
- Saratoga Farmers Market booth?
- outreach to Saratoga Neighborhood Watch organization: show and tell at meetings, presence at block parties?
- activities with Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce?
7. Do we want a CERT social event in January 2020 – perhaps the 3rd weekend? Charles will discuss with Crystal the idea proposed about an immediate post-holiday/new year pot luck for our CERT organization
8. Printed maps of Saratoga are available at City Hall – they should be part of our standard backpack list
Why you can’t always make cellular calls
By Lisa M. Krieger
Even as California burns, the cell phones of many residents have gone mute, preventing them from giving or getting emergency information.
A report prepared by the Federal Communications Commission reveals that at least 874 of the state’s cell sites were out on Monday, up from 630 on Sunday, when fires broke out all around the Bay Area.
Because these cell sites lack battery or generator backup, they’re useless when PG&E cuts power.
In Marin County, more than half — 57.1 percent — of sites weren’t working.
Fire-ravaged Sonoma County, where the Kincade fire is 66,000 acres and growing, lost 17 percent of its sites. Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Napa, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties lost 22.5 percent, 11.4 percent, 19.2 percent, 11.4 percent and 2.1 percent of sites, respectively. Data was not reported for Alameda County.
In addition, more than 454,722 subscribers with landline phones, cable television or Internet also lost service, according to the FCC report.
“It has been extremely isolating and worrisome,” said Santa Cruz Mountains resident Sherry McNamara. “Weare cut offandthusput in danger.”
Residents said even their once-reliable landlines and internet, such as those operated by Frontier Communications, weren’t working. Comcast/Xfinity also was down. Four FM radio stations — K238AF, KKLJ, KNOB, KSXY — reported being out of service. Also silent were two AM radio stations, KIHH and KYAA.
Of the outages, most were due to loss of power to the cell tower. Only about 60 were caused by wind or fire damage.
And that’s only part of the problem. The new report contains only data submitted by providers in the Disaster Information Reporting System, a voluntary network used to report communications infrastructure status during times of crisis. Of California’s 58 counties, 32 are included. That represents about 26,000 cell sites.
Cell towers, for instance, use antennas and base stations to connect calls from one tower to another and to other cellular and landline providers. And these systems need electricity to operate.
But there is no requirement to have backup electrical power at cell towers. The only requirement is that they deliver backup power to certain sites and at certain locations — such as an evacuation center — after an emergency, according to Ana Maria Johnson of the Public Advocate’s Office of the state Public Utilities Commission..
During an emergency, they are not required to disclose which towers are down or which carriers have lost service, according to the CPUC. Nor do they need to tell authorities how close their backup power is to downed cell site. Is help an hour away, or two days away? Only the company knows.
This jeopardizes the safety of residents who have cut the landline cord and rely solely on cell phones, said Johnson.
Wireless networks deliver federal and state emergency alerts, transmits 911 calls and helps police and other “first responders” make decisions about when and where to deploy resources.
“It is unacceptable for cell sites to nothave backup power, when over 80 percent of our 911 calls are from wireless phones,” said Johnson.
Comcast customers lose service where the power is out at their home, because the services need energy to operate, according to Comcast’s Joan Hammel. Comcast service also stops if power is disrupted elsewhere in the network.
“Like all PG&E customers, we are also affected by this power shutdown, said Vince Bitong of AT&T. “We are aware that service for some customers may be affected and we continue to move quickly to keep our customers, FirstNet subscribers and public safety agencies connected.”
Landlines used to be more reliable, because their power was sent to the phones through copper wires, which are more heatresistant. And phone company offices had extensive battery systems, as well as backup generators.
But companies’ transition to Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) — with phone calls over the Internet — requires power. VOIP calls fail when either the company’s facility or the resident’s home lacks backup power.
In 2008, the Federal Communications Commission ordered carriers to install eight hours of backup power at all cell sites and 24 hours of backup power at all central switching facilities.
But when thewireless industry challenged the order in court and won on procedural grounds, the FCC dropped the effort.
In 2007, California also considered stronger reliability standards but declined to impose them.
CPUC’s advocates filed a legal motion urging the Commission to immediately require carriers provide backup battery or generator power and network redundancy in designated high fire risk zones to ensure that emergency alerts are received and that 911 calls are answered. They are hopeful that new CPUC president Marybel Batjer will demand accountability.
“The companies need to provide safe and reliable service,” said Johnson.
Along with hams from Los Gatos/Monte Sereno, SARA members planned and executed the “Radio Programming” activity at the County annual ARES/RACES event at Edith Morley Park in Campbell on Saturday, September 28 from 8:00 am-1:00 pm. The radio programming activity focussed on helping new/ inexperienced hams get their HTs programmed and challenged experienced hams to program an HT they had never seen before. The activity was very successful with 34 participants and mentors. People went away having improved their ham operating skills, and they had some fun while they were doing it!
Overall, the County event drew well over 100 hams from around the county who focused on a variety of activities to improve their ham skills. In addition to the radio programming, there were also activities focussed on net control, field operations, packet operations, shadowing and cross-band repeating. There were exercises for both inexperienced and experienced hams in each activity. According to County sources, this was the best turnout ever for this annual event.
Saratoga Amateur Radio Association (SARA) was formed on December 15, 1989, shortly after the Loma Prieta Quake. The SARA ham radio club has been in continuous operation for three decades providing a variety of activities for members and support for the Saratoga Community.
We invite all to join us at Friendship Hall on Saturday, December 7th, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this important group in our community and learn more about ham radio in Saratoga. Details to follow.
County Fire completed their latest academy in Cupertino on 9/28/2019 with a total of 21 graduates. Seven of those graduates are Saratoga residents and have met with Craig to get their starter backpacks and an introduction into our CERT organization and division layout.
I am pleased to announce the launch of 9-1-1 texting services throughout Santa Clara County. This new option will help those who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired and anyone who feels unsafe speaking over the phone. The County operates a consolidated (law, fire and medical) emergency communications center that is staffed by 130 employees, including 80 dispatchers who answer approximately 45,562 calls per month, 62 calls per hour, 1,497 calls in a 24-hour period (491 of them considered urgent or emergency calls), and 546,750 calls per year. Dialing 9-1-1 in an emergency is still the preferred way to request help, and the public is reminded to “Call if you can. Text if you can’t.” Texting is not always ideal because it takes longer than a voice call and does not provide the location of the texter. The service is currently available in the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County and all local jurisdictions, except for Campbell and Los Gatos, which are scheduled to offer the service by the end of the year.