Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A "Hi there!" from the CERT PIO..

Hey there everyone!
I'm a new blogger on the CERT blog; Cathleen, thanks for the invite. You all may remember me; I'm Terry from the CERT 14 class and Derek has asked me to perform as the Public Information Officer (PIO) for the Fairfax county CERT program. Thank you Derek, I am honored and will perform this duty to the absolute best of my ability.
For all my fellow CERT's out there in blog land; here's what I'd like to do as "Public Information Officer". I'd like to show the residents of our county "what we do" as CERTs. The fire and rescue department has provided us with a a large tabletop display and I'll be toting this display to a number of different already scheduled events in the county. We're doing the county's residents a helpful, useful function in the case of a large disaster as CERT and we need to let them know,"Hey, we're here"......... I think people call this "community outreach"; let's let the community know who we are and what we do. If you have a homeowners' meeting where you'd like to see CERT discussed, is there a church group that might be interested in what we train for; etc. Let Derek know first; he's the official CERT man and he has the ultimate say so on things like this. But, I am volunteering and if he approves of an event I'll be more than happy to do it.
Second, we as CERTs get lots of requests to volunteer for events; requests to be victims, etc. Derek will let us all know of these sorts of things; as I get these requests I'll post them to the blog asking for volunteers. I'll coordinate these requests and line up the volunteers.
Folks, I can tell you CERT's are popular! as victims and volunteers (which speaks volumes on the quality and effectiveness of the training we recieve; as well as the inherent high spirit of community and volunteerism among our CERT members-CERT's rock!). There are a number of events where CERT volunteers are needed; below is a list of them:

Saturday September 15th-Red Cross save a life event at Thomas Jefferson HS-I need help manning the CERT display from 8am to 5pm here. We'll talk about CERT to the event attendees and hand out disaster preparedness information as well.

Saturday October 6th- Alexandria CERT's final exercise-Alexandria CERT is looking for 50 to 75 victims for the event; with however many CERT folks who would like to participate. Come out and be a victim! You all know how much you secretly crave to be moulaged and be buried in a pile of wood :)

October 13th and 14th-This will be the Boy Scout's disaster drill camporee to be held at the fire academy itself. Charles Monts of CERT (12th class, Charles?) is planning an absolutely AWESOME camporee for these scouts-imagine going camping and having a natural disaster happen? WOW.....He's going to need 12 to 15 CERT's to help; both as "subject matter experts" and help with logistics, medical and the like. For those who helped volunteer for the spring camporee in Reston; each of you know how much fun that event was! Folks, we had a blast at this camporee; Kevin Mullins ,charles Monts and Eydie did an incredible job of manning the "tornado trailer". Jim Raba and John Birch did a super job manning our CERT gear display and Andrew, as always earned the CERT "oscar" for most creatively noisy car crash victim......
This one promises to be even more fun, both for the scouts as well as for the volunteers. And, the theme of disaster preparedness will be a message these scouts can learn and remember for the rest of their lives.

These are some of the events that we're needed for. If you'd like to help at any of these events; please, drop me an email and let me know! Let's let the residents of this great county we live in that we're there for them!
CERT volunteer PIO


  1. Thanks Terry, I'm glad it worked for you to post directly! Do you have any thoughts for CERT involvement in "National Preparedness Month" (September).. or could that be tied in to the ARC event? You can register NPM events at (the national site)...

  2. Cathleen,
    I'm going to register all events I have info on on the Citizen Corps website; it's a super way to get the Fairfax CERT "word" out.
    For National preparedness month, we are scheduled to man a booth at the Red Cross "save a life"event on September 15th (and I could use a few people for volunteers if you would like to come out and "Talk CERT"). As far as other CERT involvement I am completely open to suggestions. What would Derek like to see us do for National preparedness month?

  3. Hey Terry. I'd like to give you a hand the 15th. Demonstrations are a real attention getter. It would be fun for the crowd to simulate a small disaster, 2-3 people, using them as volunteers.(kids would LOVE the fake blood applied to them but we'd have to bring our own old shirts to put them in so the moms don't get twitchy). Better than face painting! We could demonstrate how to do a field evaluation or different ways of extraction. There would need to be a running commentary by another cert to explain the approaches, philosophy of what is going on and what the people are seeing. Just a thought.


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