Saturday, January 24, 2009

CERT members help others in many ways during the inauguration-some stories.

Hi folks!
Well, the inauguration is over and done with. It was a historic and hectic event for all the first responders who helped keep everyone safe during this time.
Volunteers helped in numerous ways during the inaugural as well. Many members of the Fairfax County CERT family helped others in the course of this historic event; here are some of their stories.

Weeks in advance of the inauguration, Fairfax
County Emergency Coordinator (and Fairfax County CERT) Jeff Wilson, AI4IO,
led a field test of the
repeaters planned for use for the primary Regional Coordination Net to
ensure that participating Emergency Operations Centers would be able
to operate cleanly through the selected repeaters. Field tests are a key
lesson learned from MCM and identified necessary changes to the
Communication Plan.

Fairfax Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Operations,(and Fairfax County CERT) Art Pond ,
KD4FBT, worked very long days during the planning phase. Due to his job
he was busy getting the new members' IT infrastructure set up. "He pulled one of the six hour rotations in the EOC during what might have been the highest activity time if there had been transport problems inbound," Freund said. "This shows the dedication of the
volunteers in working very long days on their regular job, pulling
activation duty for the event, and then going back to their regular jobs
the very next day."

Two of our CERT members, CERT trainers Jack and Andrew helped in their other volunteer "jobs"as Red Cross volunteers in their regional disaster coordination center during the event. I know that other CERT members (like Deborah and Marco) helped as Red Cross disaster action team members (DAT team) during the inaugural. I know there were other CERT members that helped; if you have stories about what you did please share them!

Here's something unique that happened in the course of the inauguration.Congratulations Andrew!

"In his 2002 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush issued a challenge to all Americans to make time to help their neighbors, communities, and Nation through service. He called on each person to dedicate at least 4,000 hours – or two years – to service over the course of their lives. Andrew reached the President's Call To Service of 4,000 hours, while volunteering during MLK Day and Inauguration.

Picture above being congratulated by American Red Cross' Celebrity Cabinet Member Leeza Gibbons (also from Entertainment Tonight and Leeza), in the Regional Disaster Coordination Center.

Your volunteer PIO even got into the act. I was on call with the Fairfax County Medical Reserve Corps (check them out at )during the inaugural as a CRI trained "super 7".

Thanks to all the CERT members that helped others during this historic time!

your volunteer PIO