Thursday, April 28, 2011

Never turn down a training opportunity....

With the recent storms ripping through the South, take a moment and put yourself in the role of having to respond to such massive devastation as the folks down there have found. When looking at news reports, think about how damaged the building is; light, medium, heavy? What type of resources might be available? Do i have enough materials in my bag to effect rescue or set up triage? Pretty much every item we talk about in class (minus the terrorism parts) is something responders are looking at right now. So, trained CERT members, if it were you, how would you handle things?


Linda's Helpful Websites. Tornado Preparedness and Disaster Response Online Resources

Some info from Linda Rubin, VDEM
FYI- Valuable information to pass on…..

Recently, severe storms and tornados have impacted multiple families, organizations and communities across the nation. Currently, people are helping these communities recover from multiple weather disasters by donating their time, resources as well as preparing for the next severe weather event. We are enclosing some online Tornado Preparedness and Disaster Response Resources for you to use and share with your local communities. Disaster - Help Others Impacted by disasters - (FEMA Donations page) Ready Tornado Preparedness - What to do to before, during and after a tornado - Ready Evacuation Plan -
Recent Tornado and Severe Storm Disasters: Oklahoma Severe Storms, Tornadoes, And Straight-Line Winds - North Carolina Severe Storms, Tornadoes, And Flooding - Tennessee Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding -

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thank you Actors!

Again, I am amazed at the quality and dedication of the volunteer victim/actors. It was a dark and gloomy morning....wait, yes actually it did rain during registration and nobody left! It was very cool, but warmed up as the day went on. I'm not talking about that building fire either. Anyway 55 victims showed up and did an amazing job! Thanks to all who came out, braved the weather and made our drills the envy of all the other local CERT teams. THANKS AGAIN!

CERT 54/55 drill pictures on Facebook

Hi folks!
Some pictures of the CERT 54/55 final exercise have been posted to the Fairfax County CERT Facebook page. A lot of these were taken in the division 25 area; if you have pics you would like to add to this album please send them to Judy, our volunteer PIO at
You can check out the ones posted already at:

Congratulations to all the new brothers and sisters in the Fairfax County CERT family!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Final Exercise Time!

Where: Lorton Prison
When Saturday 4/23/2011 7am (ish)

Awesome day for a disaster. Sunshine and going to the 70's. Come out and help the current classes train to help the community in it's time of need. As always, dress for the weather, but you need long pants, closed end shoes, water bottles, sunscreen, and bug repellent. It'll be muddy, but who cares? Lunch is served by the Boy Scouts. Certificates for Community Service are given to the participants---great for HS folks. Contact for details. Directions, release forms and more details will be sent beginning Thursday 4/21/11.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

CERT 54-55 Get-together

This is from current CERT student Kelly Polinsky-

CERT Teammates Class 54 & 55!Meet tonight, Tuesday, 4/19/11 at Panera Bread - 7939 Tysons Corner Ctr, McLean - (703) 442-7755

Cooperate and graduate! We'll brainstrom some "innovative" ideas for success and go over some equipment suggestions folks have given.

Call me at 703-795-2952 or email me if you can make it.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

CERT CON 2011: Connecting CERTs in the National Capital Region June 10-12 Silver Spring, Maryland

CERT CON 2011:
Connecting CERTs in the National Capital Region
June 10-12 Silver Spring, Maryland

The Montgomery County (MD) Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is sponsoring a two-day conference to promote cooperation, coordination, and information-sharing among CERT teams in the Metropolitan Washington area.
CERT-CON 2011 will help participants improve the readiness of their CERT teams and increase the resilience of their communities by making contacts, building relationships, and increasing knowledge and skills.

As CERT Program Managers, we need your help in soliciting ideas and help from your CERT leadership and membership. This conference is being presented with the support and approval of the CERT National Program Office.

Read on and you will see more details below. We have only a short time to pull this together, so we are asking you to take a quick look at the rest of the information and get back to us as soon as possible. Would it be unreasonable to ask you to touch base with us by Friday April 15??

Thank you very much for your interest and support.

Greg St. James
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue
Montgomery County CERT / Fire Corps
101 Monroe Street, 12th Floor
Rockville, Maryland 20850


The conference will cost $25 per attendee, which includes a meet-and-greet reception on Friday evening, June 10th, lunch and breaks throughout the day on Saturday, June 11th, as well as special training activities on Sunday morning, June 12th.

CERT Basic training graduates are invited, as well as some specific invited guests.
Invited Keynote Speaker: Craig Fugate or other high-ranking FEMA/DHS official.

CERT-CON 2011 will be held at the Silver Spring Civic Building, at One Veterans Plaza in downtown Silver Spring. The building itself is almost a year old and has all the conveniences that we might wish for in a conference facility, including several breakout rooms, a great hall, an entrance foyer looking out over the plaza, and a wonderful location. If you are driving, it’s a couple of miles from the Beltway (down Georgia Avenue or Colesville Road) and there is free parking right across the street. For public transit, we have a Metrorail stop about three blocks away and several bus routes. In downtown Silver Spring, we are lucky enough to have an abundance of restaurants, hotels, and shops within a couple of blocks of the Civic Building.

A tentative schedule follows:

Friday, June 10, 2011:
Registration set-up starts at 4 pm.
Registration and Meet-and-Greet 6 to 8 PM
For further gathering and especially for those who might want to stay in the Silver Spring area, Silver Spring has a huge number of hotels, great restaurants, and watering holes within a very short walk.

Saturday, June 11, 2011:
Plenary Session: 9 AM
Breakouts: 10:30 to noon – see below for suggested topics and please help with your own ideas for topics and speakers.
Lunch with speaker: noon to 1:30
Breakouts: 1:30 to 5 or 5:30 – see below for suggested topics and please help with your own ideas for topics and speakers.
Evening: On your own. There will be some meeting space at the Civic Building to meet until 8 PM, or just to regroup before dinner.

Sunday: June 12, 2011
We envision two or three focused workshops, from 9 or 10 AM to noon. Already confirmed is:
- Moulage Hands-On Seminar from Military Moulage of Virginia - World class moulage instruction. The first 50 people to sign up for this can attend.
Proposed topics for the Sunday sessions include hands-on, skill-building activities. Since all attendees will have completed the CERT training, we would like to focus on skills that are not in the basic CERT training, but which enhance or advance the existing skills of individual CERT members.

For the breakout sessions, we will have some that are 90 minutes long and most that are 45 minutes long.

Here is where we want to include your ideas, your speakers, your suggestions, and your support in following up. What ideas do you have? What speakers might you contribute? Please contact us (at no later than April 15 2001 so we can get this process started. We appreciate your support and participation.

Suggested topics so far include these:
- Sheltering in Place – New Value to an Old Idea
- Power (and Water) To The People – Dealing with the most common disruption to our daily lives in the region
- Metro Rail – Hazards and Opportunities for CERT preparedness and response
- Beyond CERT Basic – what programs exist or do we want that take CERT grads to a higher level?
- Advanced Medical Response for CERTs – going beyond basic first aid
- Using Social Media to promote preparedness and/or team-building
- “Fit to Respond” – dealing with physical and psychological issues of individual and team readiness
- Psycho-Spiritual Aspects of Response – Why we do the things we do, and how it affects us
- CERT Leadership Roundtable – an opportunity for people in CERT leadership positions to compare notes and help each other
- Including People with Disabilities in CERT Training and Response – Gifts Differing
- Coordinating CERT Communications Protocols – not about the toys
- Non-traditional Preparedness Outreach
- Mutual Aid among CERT Teams in the National Capital Region
- Seeking behavioral change in community preparedness
- Victims No More! - Getting Involved in Other Organization’s Emergency Exercises as Responders
- Working with NGO's
- Sharing real world/life stories
- Recruiting and Retention
- Running Effective Meetings
- Animal Sheltering

Friday, April 8, 2011

CERT Final Exercise-April 23, 2011

Community Emergency Response Team Final Exercise LORTON PRISON-April 23, 2011 - Call for Victim Volunteers The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a system of training citizens to respond to large scale emergencies within their own neighborhood when the resources of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue system have been overwhelmed. These citizens are trained in the absence of a fire department response to mobilize and organize a rescue team for their community. We are in need of people to play the role of "victims" for this exercise. As a victim you will be expected to play your role as realistically as possible. You will receive "make-up" to show "wounds" and will have fake blood placed on your clothes. As such, please dress for the elements (we have the exercise rain or shine) as you will be waiting outside to be found, in clothes that you can get very dirty, stained, and possibly even torn. You must wear long pants and closed end shoes, due to the location, we cannot make exceptions to this rule. Some of you may also be called upon to assist the rescuers in performing their duties. You may participate in any way you feel comfortable. This is a very exciting opportunity to help your community. Live "victims" are essential to providing high quality training, and you will learn quite a bit too! We will even throw in lunch afterwards. You need to arrive at the Lorton Prison Complex, Youth Facility, 9845 Furnace Road Lorton VA 22079 (also known as Landfill Drive) by 7:30 am. We’ll have signs posted on the roads to direct you too. The drill should be completed by no later than 1pm. We'll need you to participate for the entire time. However, if you need to leave early due to an emergency, just let a Controller know so we can account for you. Due to limited parking, it is requested that you carpool as much as possible. The schedule for the date usually goes something like this: 7:30 am - Arrive and park. Check in. You'll be registered and your contact information taken. You'll be given a card with a set of "injuries" you are to act out. You'll start in the makeup process. While this doesn't take much time, there is a wait to get through. The lead instructor will give you a brief presentation on safety issues, what to expect, and what CERT is all about! This is a great time to sign up for a class! 8:30am – 8:45 am - You'll be escorted to the area that you'll be "trapped" or laying. 9:00pm - The Drill begins. The rescuers will search, sort the victims by severity, extricate those that are trapped, and transport all victims to a treatment area. NOON – Lunch, debrief, "thank-you" from the students and Victim checkout. We prefer adults, but will gladly accept minors 15 years and older with signed parental consent (attached) with a full understanding of what's involved. At checkout, those that would like them can receive a certificate signifying 6.5 hours of community service provided. REQUIREMENTS: You must wear long pants and closed end shoes---no exceptions here! Do not bring iPods, phones or any electronics that may get wet or damaged. Also, sunscreen and bug repellant is recommended. This training is a very comprehensive class providing "real world" hands-on skill training in the above areas. Unlike traditional classroom training or task-focused practicals, Fairfax County CERT training provides a full disaster simulation every class! Our students receive practice in fitting all of their skills together and honing them under the stress that only our realistic training scenarios can provide. Our unique 32-hour curriculum includes easy remember mnemonics and simple to use and implement processes that provide our graduates with superior tools, judgment, and skills to truly make a difference in a disaster. Our instructors are experts in the fields of emergency response, terrorism, building collapse, command and control and more. Our instructors have been around the world responding to large-scale disasters. With the full support of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, our CERT classes are conducted at our large and modern Fire and Rescue Academy. Here our training props include buildings, high rises, apartments, collapsed structures, vehicles, live fires, hazardous materials and more. At the end of this training is a "big" final exercise in which they will have to respond to a "disaster" (This is where you come in). This disaster will encompass approximately four square blocks of area with multiple hazards within. These citizens will have to locate, extricate, treat, and evacuate the victims found within this disaster zone.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fairfax County CERT is offering (CPR / AED) classes

Attention CERT members:
The Fairfax County CERT is offering First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / Automatic External Defibrillator (CPR / AED) classes at the Fire and Rescue Academy. The courses follow the National Safety Council curriculum and are 4 hours each. Seating for First Aid is limited to the 20 students for each night. CPR / AED is limited to 12 for each night. You only need to attend one night to complete the First Aid or CPR / AED class. Sign up will be on a first come, first served basis.
The classes are offered as follows:
Tuesday May 10, 2011 - 6:30pm to 10:30pm (CPR / AED) Thursday May 12, 2011 - 6:30pm to 10:30pm (First Aid) Tuesday May 17, 2011 - 6:30pm to 10:30pm (CPR / AED) Tuesday May 24, 2011 - 6:30pm to 10:30pm (First Aid)

There is no cost (to you) for the course and all training materials will be provided.If you are interested and available please reply to me indicating the date or dates you are interested in.
Thank you