East County News Service
April 21, 2017 (El Cajon) -- As natural disasters continue to grow and become more destructive, emergency responders, such as CAL FIRE San Diego, are becoming increasingly dependent on community volunteer organizations. One such organization that has been called on to assist is San Diego County’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). When activated through their sponsoring agency, CERT members can find themselves working in close cooperation with local first responders; augmenting their numbers and aiding their neighbors that have been affected by a disaster. Skills that CERT members have been trained in can include basic first-aid, volunteer organization and search and rescue. CERT members were activated as recently as last year during the Border Fire in Potrero and quickly became an integral part of the community response by helping families and property owners that were impacted by the fire which ultimately grew to nearly 7700 acres over two weeks.
On Saturday April 22, 2017, local CERT teams will converge on the campus of Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego to participate in a regionwide CERT drill. Team members will put their first-aid and rescue skills to the test by simulating a response to a disaster alongside local first responders.
Organizations participating in this year’s drill include:
32 CERT Programs
CAL FIRE/San Diego County Fire
Heartland Fire & Rescue
Santee Fire Department
San Diego Sherriff’s Department
Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
SD City College - City FX
Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)