June 6th , over 200 participants, actors/victims, volunteers, and staff came
together at the former K-Mart building in the City of Colton to train and
exercise what they have learned as members of their local CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)
programs. The City of Colton served as host to the 2nd Annual
Training/Exercise in partnership with San Bernardino County Fire
Office of Emergency Services.
year’s training/exercise was designed to test the ability of volunteer
emergency responders to deal with an earthquake-driven Mass Casualty Incident.
The purpose of the exercise was to evaluate player actions against current
response plans and capabilities for responding to an earthquake-driven Mass
"Our Countywide CERT program provides an invaluable
resource for local communities as they deal with disasters and major
emergencies. It is a volunteer work force that augments the scarce resources
available in large scale emergencies. Exercises, such as the recent one in
Colton, bring training and education in to real life scenarios" stated County Fire Chief Mark
were invited from CERT programs both countywide and throughout
Southern California. Participants from San Bernardino County Disaster Corps and
San Bernardino County Fire Emergency Communication
Services (ECS) programs joined in this year’s exercise to practice their
skills. Moulaged actors were brought in
to assist in the realism of the exercise. Participants were exercised on Fire Suppression,
Triage, Disaster Medical, Search and Rescue, and Communications operations that
will need to be addressed in the real world. In addition to exercising the
volunteer emergency responders the American Red Cross and Southern Baptist
Convention Disaster Relief, members of the San Bernardino County VOAD (Voluntary
Organizations Active in Disaster), exercised their disaster response feeding
operations and served the participants lunch.
is the second year we have done something like this. It really is a team
effort; from the planning team, to the execution team, to the partner
organizations and especially the CERT volunteers who attend from all over
County” stated Michael A. Ramirez, Emergency Services Officer/County CERT
Coordinator, San Bernardino County Fire Office of Emergency Services.
their skills is what will help all when the next disaster strikes. Watch for
future trainings and exercises.
get involved in Community
Emergency Response Team or other disaster volunteer programs contact
your local emergency services office or visit www.sbcfire.org. Courtesy photos
also located at website under latest news.