Thursday, January 28, 2010
- VATF-1 is expected to land at Dulles International Airport Thursday, Jan. 28, at 4 p.m.
- The public who wish to greet the team may begin arriving approximately 30 minutes prior to landing and follow signage marked "Fairfax USAR Haiti Event."
- Dress warmly; afternoon temperatures are expected in the upper 40s. The team will go through customs on board; expect a wait of approximately 15-20 minutes after landing for the team to deplane. This arrival area is outside and restroom facilities are not available.
- Free event parking is located at the corner of Rudder Road and Airport Drive, across from the cell phone waiting area.
Virginia Task Force 1(VATF-1), Fairfax County's urban search and rescue team, will return to Fairfax County on Thursday, Jan. 28. The team was activated by the United States Agency for International Development(USAID), Tuesday evening, Jan. 12, to the earthquake near Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Approximately 120 team members will arrive at Dulles International Airport tomorrow afternoon and are expected to land at approximately 4 p.m. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova and other board members and elected officials will greet the team on their arrival.
The public is welcome to attend this homecoming of VATF-1 and may bring welcome signs or banners, as well as personal cameras to document the arrival.
Persons attending the event may park for free in the event parking area across from the entrance to the cell phone waiting lot, located at the corner of Rudder Road and Airport Drive. Message signs will direct those attending and will be marked "Fairfax USAR Haiti Event." After parking, residents will enter through Gate 116, located along the west end of the parking lot to the cargo 6 ramp where the plane will park upon arrival.
For more information about the homecoming, call the Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187.
Note: USAID pays for all costs and expenses incurred by VATF-1 when team members are activated or participate in training. All training, training equipment, supplies, and personnel costs of VATF-1 are paid for by the federal government on a regular basis. Additionally, when firefighters and members are deployed, there is no loss in emergency response or service to Fairfax County residents, as minimum staffing for all front-line apparatus is continuous in all fire and rescue stations.
If you have any difficulty viewing this message or want to view the map that was attached to the original press release, please visit the Fairfax County Government Site.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Fairfax County CERT has been given a unique opportunity-placing a CERT display and doing demonstration drills at the Capital Home & Garden Show running February 25-28th at the Dulles Expo Center.
This very large, high profile event is going into its 14th year & takes place in two halls. The Expo center South hall is primarily Outdoor & Leisure products & services and the North hall is primarily interior products & services. We see an average of 35,000 people over the course of the 3 ½ days.
The special attractions include:
· John Gidding of HGTV – from the hit show “Designed to Sell”
· Dream Gardens built by the Area’s BEST landscapers
· WETA String Quartet
· Hybrid Giveaway Car Contest
· Room and Landscape Makeover Prizes
· Local Media Coverage – print, online, TV, and radio
Show Dates & Times
Thursday, February 25
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Friday, February 26
10:00 am - 9:00 pm
10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sunday, February 28
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
We are going to need LOTS of CERT help on this one. We need CERT help with the demonstrations and to help with the display. This is an event widely covered by local and regional media. With the recent earthquake in Haiti this would be an ideal event to help keep family emergency preparedness in the minds of the population.
We are looking for CERT help for all hours, all days of this event; this event is open to CERT Basic and CERT 2 graduates.If you are interested in helping, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (and CC judy, our outreach coordinator at email@example.com) with your name, CERT class number; what day/days you can work and a good phone number.
This will be a great chance to promote CERT and preparedness to people all over the region. Come and be a part of it!
your volunteer PIO
Thursday, January 21, 2010
It is now possible to send email messages to Steve and other folks close to our CERT program while they are on SAR operations in Haiti.Would you like to say Hi? Wish them well and tell them what an awesome job they are doing? Here is how to do it.
While they are in Haiti email can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be printed and given to the appropriate team member.Please remember, they CANNOT reply. These emails will be printed out and given to them.
They have been on the ground for a week now; I know there is a LOT of interest in the VA TF-1 search and rescue operation. We are all very proud of their efforts. Drop them a line and tell them! I'm sure they would like to hear from us.
Derek, THANKS!! for providing this information.
your volunteer PIO
It is now possible to send an email to Steve Willey,Paul Bertovich (remember Paul has helped on most of our final exercises). Also John Morrison is there and he has helped with some final exercises too....
While they are in Haiti email can be sent to email@example.com and it will be printed and given to the appropriate team member. No replies are possible however.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Here is an update on VA task force one SAR operations in Haiti from Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County board of supervisors. Great job Steve and all VATF-1 team members! Come home safe and soon....
your volunteer PIO
I wanted to share with you the most current update on our Fairfax County's Urban Search & Rescue's (USAR) efforts in Haiti. Since my e-bulletin last week, I have heard from many of you about how proud you are of our Fairfax County Fire & Rescue personnel. I have made sure our men and women who are in Haiti know of your expressions of pride and appreciation.
As I mentioned in my last Byline article on this subject, when our USAR team is activated, expenses are paid for by USAID, and not county tax dollars. Training, equipment, and personnel costs of Virginia Task Force 1 are paid for by the federal government on a regular basis. The County benefits by having personnel trained in search and rescue operations as a result of our relationship with USAID and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA). Additionally, when personnel are deployed, there is no loss in service to Fairfax County residents as minimum staffing continues around-the-clock for all fire stations and for all fire and medical units. The training and expertise that is gained by partnering with the federal government in times of local, regional, national, and international disasters and emergencies enhances and improves the skills of our firefighters and paramedics. Those skills are passed on to the residents of Fairfax County and surrounding jurisdictions on a daily basis, making Fairfax County a safer and better place to live and work.
As of January 20th, our VA-TF1 assigned to the earthquake in Haiti is continuing their efforts. They are safe and their morale is high. Fairfax County has a total of 117 team members plus another four on support missions in Haiti. The following is information from the USAR team's report this morning:
Number of rescues to date for the team is sixteen. The last rescue was completed last night when the team assisted French and Turkish teams in the rescue of a 25 year old female.
* To date, international Search and Rescue teams have rescued 122 individuals. U.S. Search and Rescue teams have rescued 43 of the 122.
* The team was awakened this morning at 0609 hours by a 6.1 magnitude aftershock - all team members were in their Base of Operations on the embassy grounds at the time and all are well.
* Tasks for today include deployment of Recon and Rescue assets to the new epicenter site - this assignment may prove to be lengthy due to the distance from the Base of Operations and extremely heavy traffic. The team will also be sending personnel back to the Hotel Montana to assist with delayering operations and the recovery of human remains.
* Poor satellite telephone reception continues to be an issue;however, hand-held radios are working very well
* Restock of supplies continues to be an issue. The team has restocked on water and MRE's. Bottled water is being reserved for crews working in the field and personnel in the Base of Operations are refilling empty bottles with water that is filtered on the embassy grounds.
* Team members are all physically, mentally and medically in good health with the exception of a few insect bites.
* Team members remain motivated from the continued success of the mission and continue to work extremely hard.
* Demobilization plans are being developed but no timeline for demobilization has been established.
The White House's website has information on how you can contribute to the relief effort and get information about any friends and family in Haiti: http://www.whitehouse.gov/haitiearthquake.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
From the Embassy of Haiti's Web Site
From the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians (NOAH)
***SURVIVAL KIT DRIVE***
NOAH will be conducting a Survival Kit Drive THIS Sunday, January 17, 2010 from 11am - 4pm at the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti in Washington D.C. located at 2311 Massachusetts Avenue NW.
In appreciation of your assistance light refreshments will be available. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact (718.755.0119) or (202.904.9070).
Below are a list of items needed immediately. Many can be found at your local dollar store or even the One Spot in your local Target. Please spread the word to all because a MAJOR group effort is needed to get Haiti through this. I appreciate and thank you in advance for all your prayers, help and support.
ITEMS BEING COLLECTED:
Baby formula (dry/powder)
Toiletries (shampoo, soap, toothpaste)
First aid kits
Over the counter medicines
Non perishable food that’s not in cans (seal-paks of tuna or sardines, for example)
Friday, January 15, 2010
The article below and the picture appeared on the New Jersey Star Ledger website this afternoon. (thanks to CERT trainer Jack for the link).The link is below.
Yes, that man in the stars and stripes headwrap is our very own CERT instructor Steve Willey. Steve is a structural engineer with Virginia Task force one. www.vatf1.org
Steve was deployed earlier this week with the rest of VA TF 1 to assist in the Haiti SAR response. There are many VA TF1 members currently on the ground assisting in rescuing the thousands of trapped people in the Port au Prince area.
We wish Steve a safe and productive deployment with VATF-1; and a speedy return home when the job is done.
your volunteer PIO
A man identified as a U.S.citizen is rescued by the Fairfax, Va. County Fire and Rescue team from the rubble of the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010. The hotel collapsed during the powerful earthquake that hit Haiti on Tuesday. Rescue workers said both his legs had to be amputated to free extract him. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
Press release from the www.vatf1.org website.
|VATF1 Deploys to Haiti January 13, 2010 |
| Virginia Task Force 1 (VATF-1), Fairfax County's urban search and rescue team was activated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Tuesday evening, January 12, 2010, to the earthquake near Port-au-Prince, Haiti.|
The task force is composed of 72 personnel, 6 search and rescue canines, search and technical rescue personnel, physicians, paramedics, structural engineers, other support personnel, and approximately 48 tons of rescue equipment and supplies. The team is self-sustaining for approximately 14 days.
The task force left from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Academy at 8:15 a.m., January 13, 2010. The task force deployed to the Haitian town of Petionville, near the capital of Port-au-Prince for a school collapse in November of 2008.
The task force has also deployed nationally to the Oklahoma City Bombing, The Pentagon, Hurricanes Katrina and Isabel. Additionally, they have deployed internationally to the bombing in Kenya, earthquakes in Turkey, Taiwan, and Iran.
Additionally, as a part of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, the task force maintains constant operational readiness, and is a local resource for residents of Fairfax County.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
CERT volunteers help neighbors in Arlington
During the recent snowstorm, approximately 40 Arlington County Community Emergency Response Team volunteers answered requests from the Arlington County Office of Emergency Management to help clear snow from nearly 100 fire hydrants, bus stops and storm drains. In addition, Arlington CERT Volunteer Citizen Liaison Cynthia Kellams wrote an editorial published online in the Sun Gazette:
The editorial urges residents to be prepared to support themselves for at least three days after an emergency by collecting emergency supplies, having a plan in place to evacuate and taking a CERT class.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
This event has programs like: Live Performances, Great Asian Food, Chinese New Year Parade, Door Prizes, Kids Activities, Asian Culture Exposure and more.
Why not spend a couple of hours at the cert booth talking up CERT?This is an indoor event at Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Rd. in Falls Church. We will be there on Saturday Feburary 13 from 10:00am to 7:oopm, and Sunday Feburary 14 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
E-mail Judy and Terry as to which day and times you would like to join them. I'll be handing out kisses (chocolate ones of course) at the booth. This sounds like a fun event for all ages, so come join us!!!
your outreach coordinator
How can you get the CERT message across to 2 to 12 year olds without scaring them for life?
Make it a GAME.
Our Outreach Team came up with a fun game that was informative as well as giving the player a prize. Who doesn't like getting a prize!!! So, the kids got to stick their hand in a green box filled with white plastic peanuts and pull out a piece of paper with a question. If the answer was given correctly (with help from mom or dad, or the ever helpful CERT booth babes or dudes) a nifty pen light or CERT pen was given. This game drew a crowd!!
We also had a quieter coloring page activity. 275 Preparedness Activity books were handed out as well. And we got a full page of parental sign ups for CERT classes. Those of you CERTs that were nursing a hangover; you missed a great event. We had a booth location near the stage. We got to see plenty of talent, from ballet to tap, rap to obo and belly dancers. Patty from CERT 19, Barbara from CERT 14, and your outreach team Kevin, Terry and Judy all have a head start on their 2010 refresher requirements.
But, don't worry.CERT has the next great outreach event coming up in Feburary. See the next post!!
your outreach coordinator
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Find out more at http://www.diversitypreparedness.org/
Monday, January 4, 2010
Our Mission Statement:
The Fairfax County Community Emergency Response Team Planning Committee is created to develop an organizational structure and awareness of the program throughout the County. To develop training opportunities with the goal to expand, involve, recognize, retain and utilize its active membership. To prepare and assist citizens to do the most good for the most people in emergency situations effectively and efficiently without endangering themselves.
Kevin M., Chairman
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Ready.gov has some resources for Winter Weather to review as a good refresher to be prepared. Get a kit. Make a plan. Stay informed.