Saturday, August 9, 2008

CERT and National Night Out-"PIO's for the evening" make the event a smashing success!

Hi Folks!
Fairfax County CERT members participated in the National Night Out Tuesday August 6th, sponsored by the county police department and neighborhood watch. CERT members participated in "ride alongs" with police officers to community crime prevention events scheduled all over the county. Each member that participated should recieve a hearty "YOU ROCK!!!" for being "PIO for the evening".Here's the National night out roll of CERT participants:

David from CERT 14
Kevin from CERT 20
Judy from CERT 29
James from CERT 32
Karla from CERT 31
Bob from CERT 29
Susy from CERT 4
Peter from CERT 2
Bob from CERT 15

These folks worked as additional CERT volunteer public information officers this evening. We had a briefing at the government center Monday night on the event (with 100% attendance-thanks!)too. We covered CERT talking points, how to effectively communicate with the public, "PIO-ness" and specific details on National night out.We also divided up truckloads of handouts and "freebies"; each "PIO for the evening" was truly well stocked with information for the public.
On Tuesday August 5th I manned our CERT "wall display"booth for the National night out kickoff event. The many police officers in attendance were able to see how CERT is useful to the community at large.
With each community outreach event that we do, an after action report is always written and passed on to Derek. Since we had multiple PIO's on National Night Out, we had our "PIO's for the evening" write those reports. Below is a sampling of them; there are some truly good ideas here!
Thank you to all the volunteers participating in national night out; CERT has never had the opportunity to promote the CERT message to so many at one time.
your volunteer PIO

Peter worked in Mount Vernon district.
Hi Terry,
Just reporting in with you on the NNO PIO experience last evening. It
went just great and according to the plan!
I reported to Mt. Vernon station at 5:00PM. A rep from Medical
Reserve Corps was also there for the event.
We visited Homeowners associations within a few miles of the
station and I was able to hand out the cards, CD's, literature and
flashlights to raise awareness on FC CERT.
I was able to talk with about five to six people at each event in
depth about the training opportunities, both at the academy and at
their locations with the right number of people committed.
Thanks again for the opportunity to serve CERT and the community.
Kind Regards,

James worked in the Reston district. Sorry about the rough ride in the police cruiser, but thank you for some really GREAT !! ideas on how to make the event better next time.
Terry – quick notes
Susy and I did the RESTON tour
There is a great opportunity here – one we all should take advantage of and prepare for the next opportunity.
We had a table available at the first stop (Hastings Hunt) so we were able to make an ad hoc display with the brochures, CDs and our back packs as a background.
I did prepare a notebook with several photos I printed from Mike’s portfolio – showing several aspects of CERT exercise
I think that helped people visualize what we were saying about CERT.
More visual information would help convey the message (nothing elaborate)
The next stop (Hidden Brook) was very short.
The last stop (Parc Reston) was at a swimming pool – had 4 people interested and listened to the pitch we gave. Handouts are nice but you first have to capture their attention with some type of display (even a 12x24 card with the CERT logo would have worked.The “ride-along” part was terrible – Susy and I were crammed into the back seat (caged) of a cruiser with our backpacks, helmets, and handouts. If we were able to know what kind of events we were going to it would have been easier to prepare ourselves.Would definitely do it again – I can see what improvements and preparations there needs to be.We need some visual item to get their attention i. A chart/posture that defines CERT ii. Some “action’ photos that illustrate what CERT does
iii. Thought about demo-ing a field expedient duct tape and card board split as an attention gatherer.There is a natural tie-in with Neighborhood Watch.
Could we follow-up and have an opportunity to attend one of the monthly NW meetings that are held at all the district stations
Two (or three) CERTs could easily handle a meeting – educate /what is CERT/ training content (CERT Basic) FX tiered program
This was a good start – can see where we need to go and possibly several ways to get there.
Thanks for the opportunity

Kevin worked in Lorton, in his neighborhood. Kevin is a Neighborhood Watch block officer as well.

I hosted the National Night Out Celebration in my neighborhood, last night. I had a table set up displaying CERT and Neighborhood Watch info, along with safety and preparedness information. The evening started at 7pm with a visit from The Fairfax Connection newspaper. I discussed the CERT program with the reporter, who had no idea that our program existed. We should get some press from this, I feel better now that I wasn't able to go to McLean on the ride along, since this interview may have a broader exposure. The West Springfield CPO, MPO, JT and VIPS (and CERT) John visited at 830, with a visit from Station Commander Capt Ferguson shortly thereafter. Frey and Ferguson were somewhat familiar with CERT, but not as much as I had hoped for. They each received our complimentary CERT flashlight. We had about 50 people attend, which I'm extremely pleased about. Getting a crowd from our neighborhood that large, for anything, is amazing. A neighbor took pictures for me, so as soon as I get them sent to me, I'll send them your way.

I hope the other teams had a successful night.
Kevin �

Judy worked in Mason district.
Hey Terry,
It was a grand event. I had fun. The CERT booth at Skyline Plaza generated 6 names!!! With my ride along- we went to one community then my own. May I keep the booth until I return t. I will call you to set up arrangements to get it back to you. Hope you had fun, too.
(Judy also reported an instance of "duelling sirens" at this event. Apparently two different groups of police showed up at Skyline plaza; and seemed interested in seeing who had the noisiest sirens. The noise generated from the duelling sirens was enough to generate noise complaints from the residents! Job well done, Judy :)

Bob worked in West Springfield.
He didn't write up a report but called me after the event. His bottom line report was, "Great!! event, CROWDS of people interested in the CERT basic and CERT 2 programs; let's do it again, I had FUN!"

Susy paired up with James in Reston district.
Sorry - I've been working late all week and haven't had time to send you anything. The Hastings Hunt event was by far the largest - The other two were smaller (Hiddenbrook and Parc Reston), and since we hit them so late, there weren't a lot of folks there (maybe 2 or 3 at Hiddenbrook).
I think our biggest problem was that we got to Hastings Hunt too early (we were there by about 5:30, and it wasn't even scheduled to start until 6) and stayed too long (till 7:30 or so). This was primarily driven by the fact that Hastings Hunt had the county helicopter come to their event, and the CPO we rode with was assigned to be there before the helicopter and stay until it left. As a result, we only made it to 3 of the 7 events scheduled for our district. We attended a great picnic event at Hastings Hunt, complete with the county helicopter, squad cars, fire engines, ambulances, a moon bounce, games, and good food., and also attended events at Hiddenbrook and Parc Reston. (On the "good food" front, Parc Reston had Ben and Jerry's ice cream at their event!) When I get home, I'll try to send you a picture of the helicopter (w/ Jim in it) from Hastings Hunt.
The positive thing was that when the CPO dropped us off at the station, he did ask for contact info for their station Open House in September. I gave him the CERT business card and my email address. I think you were already aware that they had asked us to participate at that - I expect it may go better than the ride along, since we'll be able to set up a real display (I think) and it should be a bit more organized.

Steve from CERT 14 just sent this in; he helped host the event in his community.Proposed Fairfax County CERT Blog article

Daventry/Ramblewood Celebrate National Night Out!
On August 5th, the 25th anniversary of National Night Out (NNO), almost 150 adults, parents, children, and several family pets of Daventry and Ramblewood Homeowners Associations (HOA), attend NNO activities at the Daventry Community Center and pool. VA Delegate Dave Albo attended the entire evening and Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity made an appearance.

Children’s activities included fun, games and activities around “So No to Drugs” campaign and anticrime activities. Parents, in addition to having a chance to talk with VA Delegate Dave Albo and Supervisor Pat Herrity, were provided food, water, and lots of literature on child ID kits, crime and drug prevention, Identity Theft, home and fire safety, after-school safety, Neighborhood Watch, Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Fairfax County’s Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN), just to name a few.

Officers and representatives from Fairfax County Police Department, Fire and Rescue Department, and our own Steve from CERT 14, were on hand to answer residents’ questions.
“Hands on” activities included a police cruiser from the Springfield District police station where YOU could turn on the lights and sirens. How cool is that!
Engine 427, led by LT Corey Matthews from Station 27 responded and provided a refreshing quench to the evening’s warm temperatures. The Engine 427 crew laid out the “booster line” and invited all to take a turn, practicing with the hose. What a “blast” or should I say “spray” from the hose kept many of the younger generation pretty excited.
A good time was had by all at this year’s Daventry/Ramblewood NNO activities. Huge thanks go out to Anna Jensen, Daventry Safety Neighborhood Watch Coordinator, and Christine Wells, Daventry Safety Chair for coordinating this years events It gets bigger and better each year. .

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