Sunday, October 12, 2008

October 11, 2008 Fire Prevention Outreach event

This will be a long report on the 11 October Fire Prevention Outreach event. We had 4 fire stations to man with booths. Terry was at the Centreville #17 Fire station, Jim was at the Burke #14 Fire Station, Kevin was at the Vienna #2 Station and I was at the McLean Fire Station.
I got to the McLean Fire Station early (0800) after running the big booth to Vienna for Kevin. I met Chief Clyde Clark, the VFD chief for McLean. Chief Clark told me that they expected about a 1000 people to attend the open house that day. The VFD Asst. Chief had a table and chair set up for me in their Bay. I was set up next to the CPR table. The Fire Department had many demos and booths for all ages. The McLean station has one of the high tower ladder trucks and that attracted many people with it reaching up into the air, 10 stories. A few of the things the fire department demonstrated were how they use the jaws of life and other cutting tools to take off the roof of a car to get at a trapped victim and they had a fire fighter show how his turn outs and scot pack go on. The children were able to see and feel and hear what a fireman in full gear is like. I had many people ask what CERT was and took information with them. Many people were glad to know that the county has such a program. Adding to the excitement was the fact that we were at an active fire station that responded to calls during the day. I was treated well and was invited and ate a great lunch.
CERT Outreach Coordin.

Report from Terry
I covered the Centreville VFD open house today. Mark from CERT 21 came out to help too.It was a really good event; traffic was brisk throughout the day. This station will definitely want CERT back at the next Fire dept. open house.
Report from Jim
Burke Station 14 sponsored a very ‘professional’ open house for the community. The preparation and organization was first class.
The lady in charge (did not get her name) meet me when I arrived and had our place all set up with table, chairs and a sign in short order.
(Before the day was over they were presented with the First Place in the Battalion plaque by the Fire County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief).

Our CERT display (was placed between two of the event areas for the children (Smoke Alarms and Kitchen Safety) so I was able to attract the parents of the more than 600 children that passed by. I was able to sign up 5 individuals that were ‘really’ interested in CERT 2, and interested at least 20 more that were going to discuss the CERT Basic program with their neighbor associations and friends. Three people identified themselves as part of their community associations and were interested in bringing the CERT information back to their next board meetings.

Several people came by that were CERT in other parts of the country and did not realize it was active in this area. I received many positive remarks about CERT and the county effort by the way.

As people approach the display I could see interest in the ‘disaster’ pictures – but many thought this was a display for USAR. The “Are you familiar with CERT?” question and my lead-in explanation were well received as evidenced by the number that asked for the handouts before I offered them. Several children were attracted to the green helmet and brought a parent to the table.
I was able to handout more than 50 of the OEM cds – I made up a folder with printouts of the brochures so they knew what was on the CD.

As large as the Burke Station 14 event is each year it might reap dividends to have several (three) CERT members available next year. It would be hard to compete with ‘Stop-Drop and Roll’, the Kitchen Safety demo, and the Fire Alarm demo (all for kids) – but the parents, appropriately, would be easy pickins’ for some adult information.

Very enjoyable day – appreciated the Burke Volunteers’ hospitability (only noted the name Chief Bocknek but all were very helpful).
Chief Bocknek took a picture of me in front of the display on his cell phone to send to an office mate with Arlington County CERT ... something on the order of we have CERT also!

Also met Dana Powers and Jeff Katz from the Fairfax County Volunteer Office..

Report from Kevin
Our Victim/Actor Coordinator
I ran the CERT booth at the Vienna Volunteer Fire Dept's open house on Saturday October 11. The members and personnel could not have been more hospitable, they made sure that my table and chairs were ready before I arrived and they provided both breakfast and lunch. (it’s true, Fire Department food is awesome) The open house attendance was very good and there was a steady stream of visitors throughout the day. I had the 'wall' display which had the large pictures which really caught the attention of both the kids and parents. I spoke 'CERT' to about 100 folks. Though familiar with our program, several firefighters also asked some very detailed questions on how we deal with different scenarios. As always it is always pleasing to hear from the public that they had no idea this program existed and was appreciative that the County is very forward thinking in regards to emergency planning. I also had a visit from Supervisor Catherine Hudgins and we had a very nice chat about our program. Dana Powers from the County Liaison office also came by to say hello. I have several names for the next class and as victims. Many more had planned to visit our blog site.I especially want to thank President Howard Springsteen and Ch Jeff Grey for making my visit very enjoyable, I truly felt welcomed.Of course kudos'to Terry & Judy for managing this event and getting all the stations covered and the displays delivered.