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Shake, Rattle, and Roll
Sherryl L. Parks | Del Mar City Council

 

CERT volunteers, midtown, preparing sign
describing damage done to residence.
Photo Bill Morris
Click on image to enlarge.

 

“Practice makes perfect” is frequently used to motivate kids to repeat a task they already have been taught. This is the same reasoning given for the October 17th Emergency Preparedness Drill, known as the “Great California Shake Out,” which took place all over California. Del Mar showed up in full force for the exercise.

 

Mayor Terry Sinnott and other CERTS collaborating at Emergency Operation Center (EOC) at City Hall Annex.
Photo Bill Morris
Click on image to enlarge.

 

The concept in conducting this drill was to exercise the local telephone tree to all those volunteers who have been trained as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members throughout all areas of our small community, including the south end of town near Ocean View, the mid-section near Crest Avenue, the north section near Sea View Drive, as well as the beach community. Downtown was represented by our city employees, who are considered ready to serve Del Mar in case of any emergency that could occur (including fire, earthquake, flooding and terrorist activities).

 

Del Mar’s Fire Captain Pat O’Neil converses with
Scott Huth (seated), Chief Emergency Operator for Del Mar.
Photo Bill Morris
Click on image to enlarge.

 

Dressed in full uniform, including helmets, vests, backpacks and medical kits, volunteers received a call to activate at 10:17 am. Once their own homes and families were secured, members reported to specific assembly points. After taking a muster and establishing ham radio communications, they were tasked to canvas their neighborhoods for simulated damage to residences, the possibility of death or injury, the number of pets involved at the homes as well as the accessibility of the residence for rescue operations. Each volunteer has specific training to report back to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which is now at the City Hall Annex. Alternative emergency centers might be used if the Annex isn’t available. These locations include the Del Mar library, the Shores School, the Lifeguard Tower, Torrey Pines High School, and the Fairgrounds. In previous fire episodes the Fairgrounds became an emergency center for animals and some residents as well.

 

Planning Staff Adam Birnbaum, Kathy Garcia, and Katie Benson collaborate with Tom Gallup, Fire Administrator at EOC.
Photo Bill Morris
Click on image to enlarge.

 

This exercise drew more than a dozen resident-volunteers. Once reports of the needs of the community were communicated (including medical help, blankets, fire and property damage) all CERTs convened at the EOC to continue to field calls for help. The reports were routed to the Incident Command team at City Hall for eventual relay to the San Diego County Emergency Operations Center via a web-based, televised network in order to request further assistance.
Bill Morris, photographing for the Sandpiper for the mock-rescue event, was asked if he would be willing to be CERT trained. “I was impressed by all that I saw today. It’s comforting to know that there are people in the community training for natural disaster preparedness, and that our city officials take this sort of training seriously.”

 

Del Mar CERT Coordinator, Cap Pinney reviewing
damage and needs with CERT volunteers
Photo Bill Morris
Click on image to enlarge.



If you are interested in joining our CERT Team, the next edition of the CERT Academy will welcome you. Training begins on November 3 at the Solana Beach Fire Department on Lomas Santa Fe Drive and is conducted on Wednesday evenings and Saturdays for four weeks. You can obtain further information by calling “Cap” Pinney at 858-755-5318 or contact the Del Mar Fire Department at 858-755-1522.


 

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