May 22, 2024

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Community Emergency Response Teams seek volunteers to survey neighborhoods

4 min read
Andy Davis invited Eugene Springfield CERTs to join a neighborhood survey team.

Andy Davis invited Eugene Springfield CERTs to join a neighborhood survey team.

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Eugene Springfield CERTs are teaching neighbors how to respond in times of need. It all starts with identifying yourself as the first person on the scene. Oregon Emergency Manager of the Year, Patence Winningham.

[00:00:12] Patence Winningham: I would just say within the first hours, the early on hours, the expectation and you’ll learn this if you haven’t been through CERT training is, you’re the first on scene when you walk out of your house and you can do the windshield survey on your block and then inform first responders about here’s what I see. And by going through the damage assessment training, you will have a better understanding of the information that first responders are going to be looking for, or need to help make their job a lot easier.

[00:00:39] For example, you have five houses on your street and you go through and you assess all five houses and you know how many people are trapped, who needs most immediate life safety attention, wherever the walking wounded may be, and then, what homes have been impacted?

[00:00:54] There’s that first end piece where I’m helping my neighbors and I’m helping first responders within the auspices of my training and what I understand for damage assessment, to inform first responders when they arrive on scene.

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[00:01:06] John Q: The city and county emergency managers were in the Zoom room this week. Andy Davis gave a progress report on the CERT program and encouraged volunteers to get involved.

[00:01:17] Andy Davis: We’ve all seen the news about the terrible tornadoes through the center of the country and in Kentucky. The first responders were not able to reach Mayfield in over an hour. So who took care of each other? Neighbors took care of one another. They interviewed this one gentleman. He said he crawled out from his collapsed house from the basement. And so he just stepped up and started helping his other neighbors to get out of their collapsed homes. So that’s what we want to do here.

[00:01:48] We’re going to get you guys busy in your neighborhood.

[00:01:50] John Q: Small teams can train to work together in their own neighborhood.

[00:01:53] Andy Davis: We want you to invite your neighbor that lives next to you or someone that you know well in the neighborhood to establish a neighborhood damage assessment survey team, to go out and check the neighborhood after a major event. We will ask our fellow neighbors that live in our neighborhood if they’d be willing to be a part of a damage assessment survey team.

[00:02:18] You may want to dust off your CERT basic participant manual that you may have on your bookcase and the fire training area, the size-up. Do you remember the steps for sizes up? So basically for the damage assessment survey teams, we would want them to know about size up steps, one, two, and three. So basically they’re going to go out and report back what they see . So you can pass it on to a neighborhood ham, which in turn will pass it on to the city emergency operations center. This will be more and more folks involved.

[00:02:57] John Q: Andy said there are many ways to volunteer as a CERT.

[00:03:02] Andy Davis: We also have opportunities for each one of you in 2022. If you’ve always would like to be an instructor and stand up in front of the class of some new CERTs, we welcome you. There is some additional training that you need to take, which will be a course through FEMA, which is, ‘Train the Trainer.’

[00:03:23] The Eugene Springfield CERT program is looking for a certain logistic officer to help our CERT coordinator to maintain the have supplies ready for our CERT Basic classes, we also would like to have Assistant CERT District Leaders for each of our districts that we have. If you’re a ham radio operator, you can volunteer , to be a part of the Eugene emergency communication net. So these are opportunities where you can serve.

[00:03:54] John Q: In the State of the CERT address, Andy pointed to many recent accomplishments.

[00:03:59] Andy Davis: We partnered with Eugene Water and Electric Board, EWEB, to staff the emergency wells. We partnered with the city emergency management of Eugene to pass out personal protection equipment from January to March of this year. So you remember how cold it was and how rainy it was, and we appreciate all the efforts that you did and helping your community by passing out the personal particular protection equipment.

[00:04:32] We also were able to this year in August to partner with Willamalane and participate with the children’s celebration. We also in October partner with Jerry’s and participating with their safety day in October. We developed and we established the Eugene emergency communications network, which some of you are participate with your skills of being a ham radio operator. Also this year on October 23rd, the Saturday following the great American Shakeout, we had a city-wide emergency communications exercise that went very well.

[00:05:12] John Q: It’s about being there for neighbors on the worst day of their life.

[00:05:15] Andy Davis: What is our mission? How do we as CERTs accomplish this mission task? We provide information and training to improve the disaster awareness preparation and core skillset of neighbors in Eugene Springfield neighborhoods.

[00:05:36] John Q: To volunteer, see the CERT website or contact your neighborhood association.

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