Thursday, August 6, 2009

CERT and National night-Success in spreading awareness of CERT !

Hi folks!
On Tuesday, August 4th several members of our CERT family participated in the national night out crime prevention event. These CERT members did "ride alongs"-they rode with crime prevention officers to various events around the county to talk about CERT and emergency preparedness. This is the only outreach event of the year where we actually go out into the community to talk CERT. They "talked CERT" all over Fairfax county! These folks did a fantastic job!
Below are some of the reports I received from those who participated.
Great job folks!

your volunteer PIO

From Sandra of CERT 34-She covered the McLean area.

Wanted to drop a line that National Night Out was great. Lots of participation from communities, the police and I could not make it to every requesting neighborhood. There was also a Medical Reserve Corps volunteer and a VIPS (police volunteer) as well. The weather cooperated: not super hot and definitely no rain. In fact, Officer Lucas offered to e-mail me pictures of the National Night event for us.


From Bob of CERT 15-he covered Fair Oaks.

Fair Oaks District Station had approximately twenty neighborhood events for their annual National Night Out. I had the pleasure of riding with Detective Harrington of the Criminal Investigations Section. We started the evening at 16:00 in the role call room, for assignments and
so the twenty plus Detectives, officers, bike patrol team members, auxiliary officers and the station Commander, CAPT Thornton, could pick up the "goodie bags" to be distributed to the children at each of the neighborhood events.

Tom and I hit four of the events throughout the evening and even though the crowds were a bit smaller this year than in previous years they were still having a good time, enjoying the festivities and were very interested in finding out about CERT, receiving the refrigerator
magnets, the emergency planning information and the Homeland Security brochures. I had a few of the flashlights left over from last year as well as a supply of the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management CDs that I also passed out. These items were a big hit again this year
and I ended up giving up the last flashlight I had.
Tom and I met up with CAPT Thornton at the event in Oakton. He was escorting the Providence District Supervisor, Ms Linda Q. Smyth, whom I had the opportunity to give the CERT elevator speech to (about 20 seconds worth). She was very happy that we were out there supporting
the NNO events and was familiar with the CERT program and what we offer the community.

The last event that Tom and I hit, at Franklin Farms Community Pool, was apparently cut short due to some "poo.." in the pool. We still took the opportunity to chat with the neighborhood watch chairs who were familiar with CERT (she took my last light) and were very appreciative of our
participation in the NNO events. Overall it was an enjoyable evening and Detective Harrington was a great host with lots of interesting stories.

From Dawn from CERT 38, who covered Braddock district with James from CERT 32.

James (CERT 32) and I (CERT 38) attended four gatherings (three hosted by neighborhoods and one by Target) in Burke. Folks from the Bonnie Brae Civic Association remembered a presentation about CERT from 4-5 years ago. Whoever did that presentation: good job, it was memorable! We
didn't draw as much attention as McGruff, the crime dog, but we found several people who were really interested in CERT. We were successful at getting the contacts for neighborhood association newsletters and Web sites as a way to get info out to more people. James graciously agreed to follow up with these contacts.


From James of CERT 32, who worked with Dawn in Braddock district.

I send an add-on to Dawn's reply.
Dawn, Adina from MRC and I had the opportunity to ride in the Sec of the Air Force's armored SUV (as a favor from his security detail to the W Springfield District Commander).
I can confirm that these NNO opportunities with the local Police Districts are an opportunity that is wide open,and CERT can gain a lot of local awareness and interest. When you are 'competing' with McGruff we have to have something that is just as interesting for the adults to make them aware of this CERT concept.
Great Night Out. Hope to do it again. It can only get better.

Jim, CERT 32

Our CERT volunteer instructor Jack from CERT 4 covered the Reston district.

At the various events, I had some interest Also, I had the opportunity to talk with Supervisor Faust (Dranesville) and I gave him my card. He was asking how we could get training set for his district.

From our actor victim coordinator, Kevin. Kevin hosted a national night out event in his community.

As you know, I hosted an ice cream social in observance of National Night Out for the Southpointe Estates, Marovelli Forest and Winsdor neighborhoods. The event was well attended with over 50 people attending. We were visited by 2 Officers from West Springfield Station who brought the Camaro patrol car. Everyone had a chance to play with the lights, sirens and PA system in the car. The children had fun with the frisbees and beach balls provided by the Officers. I had numerous neighborhood watch, CERT and Swine Flu handouts for everyone to take, as well as the magnets and a few OEM disc's.

I have at least one neighbor signing up to take the CERT Basic course. I hope everyone else had as successful night