Monday, November 19, 2007

Fairfax County CERT talks to West Springfield Neighborhood Watch members

Hi folks!
Tonight Fairfax County CERT did a presentation on the CERT program for West Springfield's neighborhood watch monthly meeting. This was held at the Kings Park library in Burke, and was a good community outreach event.
We "tag teamed" the participants with information this evening; I was fortunate in having Kevin Mullins from CERT 20 and John Bauer from CERT 21? there to help with the talk. Both John and Kevin are members of neighborhood watch,John is also a member of our "sister" Citizen Corps organization, the VIPS program. VIPS is short talk for Volunteers in Police Service; and John is a tireless 160 hour per month !! volunteer in this program. Way to go John!
I gave the participants an overview and history of the CERT program,and a short session on emergency preparedness. We also explained what activities we would be doing in a disaster that might overwhelm normal first responder activities. Kevin, John and I went through the class schedule; and described what incredibly well organized training we go through to help our fellow citizens in times of disaster. The participants were most interested in how we would "self deploy" in our neighborhoods; and interested in our "fun with duct tape and sharpies" medical techniques. (Folks, peoples' ears perk up when you mention "duct tape" and "lifesaving first aid" in the same sentence...........)
Kevin wrapped up the talk with a detailed CERT gear demonstration. Kevin "walked" the people through the contents of his CERT pack; showing the use of the various items and emphasizing the importance of PPE when doing CERT activities. He did a great job doing this; and we ended up the presentation with a short question and answer session.
Thanks to John and Kevin for setting up this event; events such as this help further the ideals of personal emergency preparedness among the members of our community. Would you be interested in having CERT come out and talk about preparedness at your next community event? Hey, let me know; I'll be happy to do it. Just shoot me a short email to
your volunteer PIO

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