Status of all upcoming CERT training events in light of Public Health guidance on the COVID-19 Coronavirus
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 “firstname.lastname@example.org” 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
|Half of all Americans live in areas subject to earthquake risk, and most Americans will travel to seismically active regions in their lifetime. FEMA is fostering awareness of earthquake risks in the United States through the newly developed FEMA P-530, Earthquake Safety at Home. Get your copy today for free by click here.|
This publication is intended to show readers why earthquakes matter where they live, and how they can “Prepare, Protect, Survive, Respond, Recover and Repair” from an earthquake. This publication will help readers become familiar with why and where earthquakes might occur. It discusses wide-ranging steps that readers can take to adequately prepare and protect themselves, their family, and their belongings. These include: developing family response plans, assembling earthquake disaster supplies, securing heavy objects and furniture, retrofitting a home, and more.
During and immediately after an earthquake, guidelines for action can help keep victims safe. The Respond section of this publication includes a post-earthquake Home Safety Checklist that can assist users in checking the safety of their home before reoccupying it. This publication also provides recommendations for post-earthquake recovery and repair that can help individuals and families resume regular activities as quickly as possible.
|For information on the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, visit: https://www.fema.gov/national-earthquake-hazards-reduction-program.|
You’re invited to register for the upcoming Santa Clara County CERT Skills Day
Sat April 25, 8:00 – 1:00, at the Mission College campus in Santa Clara
This exciting day will be a great opportunity to refresh basic skills and build new ones. You’ll be able to choose 4 class sessions from a list of 8 offered classes:
- Triage/Medical Operations
- Basic Search & Rescue
- FRS Radio Skills
- Incident Command Systems (ICS)
- Stop the Bleed class
- Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional needs
- Household Pet Emergency Preparedness and First Aid
View the class descriptions for more info on each
8:00 check-in, and opportunity to meet CERTs from across the County
9:00 – 1:00 class sessions (1-hour class periods)
1:00 you’re done!
Call up a couple other CERTs and make a plan to carpool over to Santa Clara and enjoy this great day strengthening your CERT skillset.
Ann Hepenstal, CBCP
City of Los Altos
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
CERT Program Manager
From ARRL ARES Newsletter:
FEMA released the revised 2020 HSEEP Doctrine earlier this month. The update incorporates feedback and input from exercise planners and practitioners across the country and ensures that HSEEP doctrine, the training course, and corresponding documents continue to best meet the needs of the whole community. HSEEP is flexible, scalable, adaptable, and is for use by stakeholders across the whole community and nation-wide use of HSEEP directly supports the National Preparedness System by providing a consistent approach to exercises and measuring progress toward building, sustaining, and delivering core capabilities. The 2020 HSEEP doctrine continues to make HSEEP a practical and yet effective tool for exercise planners and practitioners across the whole community.
The HSEEP doctrine was used for the planning of Florida’s major exercise – 2020 Hot & Cold – to be held on March 1 in Gainesville, Florida. View the exercise plan here.
With the release of the new 2020 HSEEP doctrine, FEMA will be hosting webinars to provide information, highlights, and changes as a result of the review process. The webinars will continue until May 15, 2020. Please visit the HSEEP webpage to get additional dates and time: https://www.fema.gov/hseep. See also the Information Sheet and Frequently Asked Question sheet at the same page.
A working group of Saratoga hams met with Crystal and Charles during January to examine problems that the Saratoga CERT division have had with FRS radios and to propose solutions. The FRS radios have two problems: (1) FRS is intended to be a short-distance and low-power radio service with coverage of no more than a mile, and (2) our particular FRS radios are cheap and probably do not live up to that modest coverage goal. There seems to be three practical solutions to our division’s communication problem:
1) Invest in to top of the line FRS radios that will meet the maximum allowed coverage allowed by the FCC. Advantage – no license needed and the radios, even good ones, are plentiful, easy to use, and relatively cheap. Disadvantage – the range is inherently limited due to FCC restrictions on the radios.
2) Move to a GMRS radio service (General Mobile Radio Service) set up. GMRS radios use roughly the same frequency range as do FRS, but much higher power is allowed. Advantage: the resulting range can be 2-5 miles, and the GMRS radios are only slighltly more expensive than FRS radios. Disadvantage: each individual/family would need an FCC license – no test needed, but a small fee is required.
3) Move to a commercial radio license (as does Campbell CERT). This would require the city of Saratoga to get an FCC license. The good news is that relatively cheap imported radios are available for this band.
Don Steinbach will be proposing radio coverage tests for the 3 different solutions in conjunction with Jeff Walker, Peter Melhus, and Brent Hailpern. Our goal is to have a recommended solution by the end of February.
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