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City Manager's Updates

Periodic updates from El Cerrito City Manager Karen Pinkos.

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Dec 15

CERT Update

Posted on December 15, 2016 at 4:55 PM by Margaret Livingston

In 2011, the El Cerrito/Kensington CERT Program continued its steady growth in several different areas. First, they continued the development of relationships with the Kensington Amateur Radio Operators/El Cerrito Ham Operators (KARO/ECHO) Group, Kensington Public Safety Council (KPSC) and the El Cerrito Emergency Preparedness Network (ECEPN). These community partnerships are a very important component of the program as they serve to both provide an avenue of continued involvement from past graduates and serve as a conduit to bringing new students into the program for initial training. The Fire Department plans to continue and strengthen the relationship with these community partners. Moreover, the Fire Department continues to partner with our West County CERT neighbors from 2011. This partnership allows a production of high quality training experience for our students while sharing in the cost to produce such training.

Second, the community participation in the El Cerrito/Kensington CERT Program continued to grow with 61 participants and 26 graduates of the 20-hour CERT course. In addition, the program had 20 graduates of the May and November Boot Camps which is a condensed version of the CERT Program delivered in a one-day format for those who are unable to attend the full class. Additionally, 30 participants completed training at the inaugural CERT Refresher Drill. This training was designed to refresh and test the skills of past CERT graduates. This training received overwhelming approval and a refresher drill has been scheduled in 2012.

Third, the CERT team completed their community organization mapping and database project. This was a very labor intensive project that created an interactive community map for Kensington and El Cerrito. This interactive map identifies six (6) Kensington and eleven (11) El Cerrito CERT areas for the purpose of community organization and response of CERT participants. This interactive map is interfaced with the CERT database which allows the identification of each participant’s location. A series of CERT area meetings have been scheduled in 2012 that will help further support and prepare our citizens.

The CERT program looks forward to another productive year ahead with three full 20-hour classes scheduled, two CERT Boot Camps and two CERT Refresher Drills. A Disaster Service Worker (DSW) Program has been introduced, which will allow our students to register for the State Workers Compensation Plan. This DSW Program promises to be very popular in our communities and allow better protection for our students and graduates. In addition, the CERT database will be updated as new information becomes available. As always, the goal is to continue the community organization efforts and the quest to build an emergency community network, and strive to do the greatest good for the greatest number of the City’s citizens, as every effort is made to become a self-sufficient community in the event of a major disaster.