Charles (Cap) Pinney | Kalamath Drive
|Training Course participants including Dwight Worden, Cap Pinney, and Sherryl Parks. Photo courtesy Cap Pinney.
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How prepared are we as a city for a catastrophic, mass-casualty event? The answer varies according to the threat that we face. The top local concerns are fire and earthquake. These are the kinds of events for which your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the city make plans.
During the week of May 27 a national group of CERT teams met in San Diego to discuss various aspects of preparedness planning and receive news that the Governor has released $13 million dollars to support CERT teams and training in California. The conference was attended by over 650 attendees from 30 US States and territories and two international countries. Also on hand were representatives of FEMA, police and fire departments, San Diego Office of Emergency Services, and California For All, the state agency administering several volunteer preparedness organizations.
Your Del Mar CERT representative participated in two advanced training courses regarding: 1) Volunteer and Donations Management, and 2) Management of Spontaneous Volunteers in a Disaster. Amid the initial chaos of a mass casualty event, offers of assistance come pouring in from many sources. Monetary donations to charitable organizations are the most effective method of providing immediate assistance. Spontaneous volunteers must be registered and supervised carefully in order to become effective.
There were break out sessions throughout the conference covering almost every conceivable topic of interest to trained volunteers and managers. One of the most interesting was a presentation by David Harrison, the Emergency Manager of Carlsbad, who described how CERT volunteers assisted in the Emergency Operations Center during the 2017 Lilac Fire.
Interest in CERT operations throughout the country has led to the formation of the National CERT Association led by a Californian as President. This interest was sparked by CERT teams responding to the most recent 2018 Camp and Woolsey fires in supporting roles.
Del Mar CERT volunteers are currently participating in a national field day for ham radio operators and a county wide drill to enhance preparedness skills. If you are interested in being a member of Del Mar CERT or being further trained for a specialized role, please contact Cap Pinney at firstname.lastname@example.org. The training will prepare you for many possible threats to our community and increase your preparedness.