The event was hosted by Fairfax County CERT, in partnership with CERT Con 2011 host Montgomery County CERT, CERT Con 2012 host Georgetown University CERT, Anne Arundel County CERT, Prince George’s County CERT, and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
|CERTs network at CERT Con 2013. All photos by Joe Loong, used under Creative Commons License.|
Leaders Recognize Value of CERT
|L-R: Fire Chief Richard Bowers; Director Brian Moe; Supervisor John Cook; Director Dave McKernan|
Master of ceremonies Chad McWreath opened the event by highlighting the importance of first responders in the community, saying "People like you saved my life" after an accident.
Fire Chief Richard Bowers, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, noted that he was "thrilled and amazed" at the number of CERT Con attendees who were at the event to make a difference.
Similarly, Brian Moe, Director, Office of Homeland Security, Prince George's County, lauded CERTs for volunteering and being willing and able to provide guidance and leadership to their neighbors.
Continuing the theme, Supervisor John C. Cook, of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (Braddock District), noted that all members of the community have a role to play in public safety.
Closing out the opening remarks, Dave McKernan, Director of the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management, exhorted all participants to be safe and learn throughout the seminars and training exercise.
Preparing for All Hazards
- Stress and Trauma Management for First Responders
- Search and Rescue Operations
- Wilderness First Aid
- Navigating Your Safety in a Disaster
- Pet First Aid
- Disaster Communications
- Hazmat Awareness for First Responders
- Traffic and Crowd Management Skills
- WMD/IED Threat Picture
- Deafness and Hearing Loss: The Communication Challenges for Emergency Responders
- Planning and Delivering a Local Exercise
Past Performance and CERT's Future
|Dante Randazzo, FEMA||Meagan van Harte, NYC OEM||Linda Rubin, VDEM|
Later, Meagan van Harte, featured speaker from the New York City Office of Emergency Management, gave a detailed presentation on the important role New York City CERT volunteers played during the response to Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.
The first day closed with comments of thanks, encouragement, and appreciation for CERT volunteers from Linda Rubin, Citizen Corps program manager for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
Day 2: Full-Scale ExerciseCERT training is known for combining classroom training and practical application, and CERT Con 2013 was no exception. The conference was capped by a full-day, full-scale exercise at the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue training facility in Lorton, VA, under the guidance of Fairfax County CERT instructors Stephen Willey and Mike Forgy.
|CERTs deploy to the disaster scene.|
|CERTs attend to a victim actor.|
CERTs and First Responders Collaborate
|Fairfax County fire trucks and equipment participating in the exercise.|
|Incident command handoff.|
|CERT and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue|
personnel manage the Medical area.
|CERTs and First Responders work together to transport a victim actor.|
A Volunteer-Driven Effort
|Fairfax County's Dana|
Powers and Jeffrey Katz.
"We were proud of our volunteers -- they worked hard, planned well and their efforts culminated with a successful conference," said Katz.
"In the beginning, planning a two-day conference for 200 attendees and guests seemed like a big task," Dana Powers offered, "but when we divided up the duties, our CERT conference volunteers took charge and accomplished each task with enthusiasm."
CERT CON 2014 will be hosted by Prince George’s County CERT, with dates still to be determined.
For more information about Fairfax County CERT and how to get involved visit: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/oem/citizencorps/cert.htm
For additional information, video, or photos of this event, visit the Fairfax County CERT Volunteers Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Mike Piccione, with assistance from Judy Howell and Joe Loong.