Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Thanks, Linda!

Recently, the state of Virginia and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) decided to shut down the State Citizens Corps Council.

The other day, it was decided to move VDEM CERT program manager/representative Linda Rubin to other duties. As of January 1, 2015, the CERT office at VDEM will no longer exist.

[Update: August 11, 2014: Linda Rubin is no longer with VDEM. Thanks, Linda, for all you've done to support CERT!]

While that doesn't affect the Fairfax County CERT program directly, it does have quite an impact throughout the state. 

As the VDEM CERT representative, Linda has been a fierce, tireless proponent and evangelist for CERT, single-handedly crisscrossing the state to help jurisdictions start their own CERT programs, and keeping in touch to monitor their progress.  (You may also remember her as a featured speaker at CERT CON 2013.)

Linda Rubin speaks at CERT CON 2013.
Through her classes for local program managers, Linda has ensured that all CERT programs in Virginia follow the same standard curriculum, and give the full program.

She has also worked steadily to help the local CERT programs partner with other entities to further protect the residents of Virginia.

And finally, by holding annual meetings in each of Virginia's many VDEM zones, Linda has helped many CERT organization collaborate across jurisdictions.

Linda helps check in victim actors during the CERT CON 2013 full-scale exercise.
Losing Linda as VDEM's CERT program manager hurts Virginia's CERT program, undermining the goal of empowering citizens to increase preparedness and community resilience 

What Can You Do?
If you think Linda has been doing a great job incubating, promoting, and supporting CERT programs in Virginia, please take a moment to leave a comment below thanking her.  send a message thanking her for her efforts at Linda.Rubin@vdem.virginia.gov.

And if you believe that Linda should continue in her role as VDEM's CERT program manager, please say so, so that she and others know that her efforts have not gone unnoticed.

As of January 1st, the CERT office at VDEM is gone, but with a little help, we may be able to save it.

Joe Loong, volunteer Social Media Specialist for Fairfax County CERT, is an editorial content and community engagement consultant. You can email him at blog@fairfaxcountycert.org

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