The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept was developed and implemented by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. It was recognized that citizens would very likely be on their own during the early stages of a catastrophic disaster. Accordingly, LAFD decided that some basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills would improve the ability of citizens to survive until professional responders could arrive. The program proved to be so beneficial that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) felt the program should be made available to communities nationwide. The Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland has expanded the CERT materials and made them applicable to all hazards.
The goal of the training since then continues to be preparing people to help themselves and others. Following a catastrophic disaster such as a major earthquake, you and the community of Calistoga may be on your own for a period of time because of the size of the area affected (including Sonoma County, other jurisdictions in Napa County, and other surrounding counties), lost communications, and impassable roads.
CERT training is designed to prepare you to help yourself, your family, and your neighbors in the event of a catastrophic disaster. Because Calistoga is a small town with a small work force, emergency services personnel will not be able to help everyone immediately. You can make a difference by using the CERT training to save lives and protect property.
Are you prepared to help yourself, family, and neighbors in the event of a major disaster? Do you know what utilities to shut off in your home and how? Do you know how to extinguish a fire before it gets too large? The training covers basic skills that are important to know in a disaster when professional emergency services are not available. With training and practice, you will be able to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people after a disaster, while protecting yourself from becoming a victim.
The countywide CERT training has been in existence for about six years and is offered in each month of the year in various locations throughout Napa County. The course is offered to residents and workers of Napa County through the cooperation of the Cities of Calistoga, Napa, American Canyon, County of Napa, and the Napa Valley College. It consists of six classes in a two week period covering a series of topics in a 20-hour format that are taught in a hands on environment. You must be at least 16 years of age and those 18 years and under must register with a parent/guardian.
For more information about CERT and for future courses in 2009, please contact Joe Russo, Emergency Services Coordinator for the City of Calistoga, at 942-2840. Additionally, current information may be available on the following web site..... Napa Valley C.E.R.T.
Calistoga Fire Department