CERT Spring training
April 13, 2019
The Greater Tehachapi Valley Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), will be holding their 2019 FREE Spring Training on Sat., May 4 and 11 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sat. May 18, from 8 a.m. to noon with graduation! This year's location will be the Alpine Forest Chalet, 18900 Alps Dr. near the West Gate in Alpine Forest. Parking is complimentary.
Having trained over 1,600 residents in 17 years, CERT is under the sponsorship of the Kern County Fire Department. CERT educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and train them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety; light search and rescue; team organization and disaster medical operations.
With the hiring of Kern County Fire Department CERT County Coordinator, Jeannie Taylor, the program has expanded to offer additional opportunities to volunteer within your community and the county, with Level Two and Level Three.
Many residents take the training for their own preparedness whom are affectionately called "catch and release." These students use their skills for their own household and are not part of a community team. CERT students are under no obligation whatsoever to join a team.
"Level One students are a very important part of our communities' resiliency as they will be able to help themselves in a disaster and hopefully not need professional assistance. They also demonstrate by example and by talking to others about the importance of personal preparedness," said Taylor.
Should you wish to join a team, Level Two team members may be activated and deployed as part of their local CERT, to assist others in an emergency within Tehachapi. These CERTs may also assist with planned events such as Gran Fondo or Safety and Preparedness Fairs. Within the County, CERT has volunteered at "Campout Against Cancer" in Bakersfield for the past two years, providing parking assistance, and were deployed by the Kern County Fire Department, as part of their storm preparation to distribute sand bags in Lamont in March, as well as participating in a few "House Burn" exercises in Shafter and Bakersfield.
Level Three members volunteer to be part of a new team formed by the Kern County Fire Department. These members go through a vetting process with the County and will be a deployable asset of the Department throughout the County. Additional training is required beyond the Basic Training. Teams train/meet monthly to keep their skills fresh.
In 2018, 25 CERT volunteers were sworn in as California Disaster Members from Tehachapi CERT teams in Stallion Springs, Golden Hills, City of Tehachapi, Old West Ranch, Bear Valley Springs, Sand Canyon and Alpine Forest.
If you would like to register for the Spring Training, RE-CERT if it has been three years since Basic Training, or add your name to the interest list, email us at GTVCERTrain@gmail.com or call (661) 271-7066. Please LIKE, FOLLOW and/or send us a private message at our Facebook page – Tehachapi CERT or visit http://www.TehachapiCERT.com. As of now this is the only training being offered this year, but that could change. We look forward to welcoming you to Tehachapi CERT!
–Sally Thoun is a board member of Tehachapi CERT.