I. City of Campbell CERT “Great ShakeOut” Field Skills Training Day: Saturday, 22 October 2022
The City of Campbell CERT hosted a seven-hour field skills training day at Marijane Hamann Park on Saturday, 22 October 2022, to which Saratoga CERT was invited to also participate. Skills presented at the event included Incident Command System (ICS) planning and execution using a table-top game, field medical operations and crush syndrome, setting up an Incident Command Post mobile ham radio site, damage to residential utilities and how to identify associated risks and secure/turn-off these utilities, and an introduction to disaster psychology. The utilities skills area was taught by our very own Jeff Walker of the Cox CERT Division. The event culminated in the Campbell Police Department explaining and demonstrating their new aerial drone capability as well as providing tours of their Mobile Expeditionary Operations Center, a large-size bus vehicle configured as a mobile command post. A general-purpose fire engine of the Santa Clara County Fire Department (SCCFD) was also on-hand to demonstrate its capabilities and for the SCCFD firefighters to answer questions from CERT event participants. Saratoga CERT participants included Vivian Mills of the West Valley CERT Division, Chuck Rader of the Cox CERT Division, Susan Schwaderer of the Argonaut CERT Division, Steve Steps of the West Valley CERT Division and Jeff Walker (instructor) of the Cox CERT Division.
II. City of Saratoga Neighborhood Watch Dinner held at the Joan Pisani Community Center Multi-purpose Room: Monday, 07 November 2022
The City of Saratoga hosted a dinner for Saratoga Neighborhood Watch leaders on Monday evening, 07 November 2022. Davina Morgan-Witts, our Argonaut CERT Division lead, attended the dinner and presented an overview to dinner attendees of the purpose, organization, and anticipated use of Saratoga CERT in a post-disaster environment. Her discussion resulted in a number of attendees approaching her with interest in attending a future Santa Clara County Fire Department CERT Academy class. Well done to Davina for her great representation of Saratoga CERT!
III. City of Los Altos Festival of Lights Downtown Parade: Sunday evening, 27 November 2022
The City of Los Altos requested assistance from all CERT programs in the Santa Clara County region for CERT members to provide “mutual aid” support for their annual Christmas Festival of Lights Parade held on the streets of downtown Los Altos. CERT participants were teamed up with a ham radio operator and positioned at strategic locations along the parade route, with the task of monitoring the parade and attendees for any medical emergencies, accidents, or lost children incidents. A total of five Saratoga CERT members answered the call to participate, and had a very fun time in so doing. Saratoga CERT participants were one of our new CERT Academy graduates and Cox CERT Division member, Benedict Chua, along with Cynthia Darrow (and her son) from our at-large CERT team, Chuck Rader of our Cox CERT Division, Diana Steps of our West Valley CERT Division, and her husband Steve Steps who carried out ham radio duties for the event. The event went down without a hitch and our participation was greatly appreciated by the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills hosting CERT organizations.
New CERT Academy graduates who have affiliated with Saratoga CERT:
We had two Saratoga residents who attended the Fall 2022 Santa Clara County Fire Department CERT Hybrid Academy session and who graduated during the final in-person class Skills Day held on Saturday, 05 November, at the City of Campbell Community Center. These are Benedict Chua, who resides in the central Prides Crossing neighborhood of the Cox CERT Division, and Rebecca Feng, who resides in the Greenbrier neighborhood of the Cox CERT Division. Welcome to both Benedict and Rebecca for their desire to help our community through active participation in the Saratoga CERT program!