Welcome to Ojai Valley CERT




This blog provides information to those interested in CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) activities in The Ojai Valley, CA. CERT works in partnership with OVARC (Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club) which provides Ham Radio Communications - http://www.ovarc.org/.

http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert is a good place to begin learning about CERT. The fact is, immediately after a major disaster, each of us will be on our own while Emergency Services Personnel (Fire, Hospital, Police, Hospitals, etc) figure out what happened and how to respond. CERT teaches valuable self-preservation skills and empowers each of us to be of service to ourselves, family, neighborhood and community. By integrating CERT with Ham Radio, citizens can effectively communicate actionable information from the field to the Emergency Operations Center -- help will be on the way sooner.

Please check out the CERT Calendar & Map at the bottom of this web-page and sign our Guestbook (top right of page).

Ojai Valley (CERT, Ham Radio, Red Cross)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ojai Valley CERT Organization Map

I'm trying out this web-based mind-mapping tool:

Please go to this link to see the Ojai Valley CERT Organizational Structure.

This map will, over time, display all the rendezvous points and CERT teams.

List of Ham Radios to consider

Thanks to Sean Kellythorne (KI6MGI) put together this list of Ham Radios to consider for your first/next purchase.

Friday, April 17, 2009

OVN article on Ojai Valley CERT

Ojai Valley News posted an article I wrote on our recent CERT Graduation and Exercise.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ojai Valley CERT class graduated on 4/4/09

The most recent Ojai Valley CERT Graduation was April 4th, 2009.

Ojai Valley CERT continues to grow as another class of 40 students held their final class, graduation ceremony and drill exercise Saturday, April 4th.

A last minute venue change required the class to complete their training at the New Wine Harvest Fellowship Church in Ojai -- thanks to Pastor Diane Bailey (KI6VCN), the East City Ojai CERT Neighborhood Area Coordinator.

A major addition to the group’s assets is access to the City of Ojai’s Mass Casualty Unit Trailer (MCU). The CERT group provides frequent inventory checks, basic maintenance, and cross-trains Ojai CERT members in equipment and supplies. Several CERT Ventura County Auxiliary Communications Service members are prepared to relocate the trailer on a moment’s notice, under the direction of Chief of Police Chris Dunn in event of emergency/disaster. Ventura County Fire Department provides the MCU training. Administrative oversight, maintenance and supplies are provided by Mike Culver, Ojai Director of Public Works.

The trailer was towed to the New Wine Fellowship Church grounds by Ken Williams (KI6VDT) and Paul Garth (KI6USA). Ojai CERT graduates set up the emergency equipment, tent; generator and floodlights. Stretchers, triage tarps, flags and other supplies were put in place during their final class. The new graduates have the experience of using real emergency equipment in a controlled training.

Brian Brennan, Executive Aide to Ventura County District One Supervisor Steve Bennett presented each graduating CERT member with a Certificate and Go-Bag. Brian offered encouraging remarks, and delivered a message of goodwill from Mr. Bennett.

Each CERT new graduate was introduced to their Neighborhood Area Coordinator and integrated into their team. During the drill the CERT graduates maintained their neighborhood groups, as they rotated through the various exercises, which allowed them to work together and form partnerships.

The purpose of the CERT Drill is to review the various practical aspects of the training which includes: Incident Command System; Communications; Search & Rescue; Cribbing & Lifting; Fire Suppression; and Medical/Triage. The exercise was a simulated earthquake affecting the site.

Kate Nelson (KI6YBB) volunteered as the Incident Commander and established the response teams.

Fire Captain Lazenby managed the Fire suppression exercise with Jake Bailey (KI6VCO). Kathlyn Miller (KI6VDI) assisted with Medical/Triage. Diane Bailey (KI6VCN) assisted with Search & Rescue. Beth von Gunten (KI6YBL) managed the cribbing & lifting drills. Ken Williams (KI6VDT) provided the Incident Commander with communication support. Paul Garth (KI6USA) assisted with Logistics. Sean Kellythorne (KI6MGI) ensured Safety during the drill.

The Ojai Valley CERT leadership team are all Ham Operators, supported by the Ojai Valley Amateur Radio Club. Twelve CERT graduates earned their Ham Radio licenses the prior Saturday.

Congratulations to all CERT graduates. Look for us in the 4th of July Parade, and please contact Cindy Cantle at (805) 654-2703 to register for upcoming CERT classes.

Upcoming American Red Cross Training events

The Ventura County Chapter of the American Red Cross holds frequent training programs which could be of interest to CERT Graduates -- First Aid, CPR, Shelter Management, etc.

For any volunteer effort, it's sometimes challenging to decide which hat to wear when assisting during a disaster. There are two areas to continually develop over time: additional skills/recurrency & awareness of another group's operations.

While CERT and Red Cross have functionally different operations immediately after a disaster, there may come a time to "switch hats" to assist other groups if needed.

Disaster Action Team (DAT) Mini-Institute

Saturday April 18th and 19th is a free Disaster Action Team (DAT) mini-institute at the Arc Enrichment Center at 210 Canada St. This is an excellent training opportunity and is put on in Ojai only a couple of times a year. It is a two-day training session that covers all the basics of Red Cross service and qualifies you to participate as a Red Cross responder.

If you want to extend your full participation in the Ojai Valley "triad" of CERT, Red Cross, and Amateur Radio, sign up for this event. Go out to www.arcventura.org and register for the class. The Institute covers Orientation, Mass Care Overview, and DAT Workshop on Saturday. On Sunday will be Shelter Operations and Shelter Simulation.

First Aid & CPR

Also under Red Cross training is a special class on Wednesday and Thursday this week (15-16 April) from 6:00 to 10:00 PM for First Aid and CPR. The CPR class covers infants, children, and adults - this is not common; usually the class is adult CPR only. If you are already an RC volunteer the cost of the training is $10. If you are not an RC volunteer you can still take the class for $60. Also highly recommended, and you know if you are not up-to-date on your CPR and F/A you need this. Go to the website and register -- www.arcventura.org