The Southern Marin CERT Teams are committed to providing leadership and service to the community we serve in the event of a disaster or other emergency. We will strive to provide training and support to our communities; and emergency response to aid our families, neighborhoods, and public safety professionals.
Marin County Basic CERT Course Schedule for 2012 Released
The 2012 schedule for the Marin County CERT Basic courses has been released. The first class for 2012 in Nicasio is already sold out. The February class is scheduled for Thurs. February 9th and Fri. February 10th from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm in Novato. Please go to www.marincountycert.org to register for any of the 2012 courses. Courses in the Southern Marin area are scheduled for June and October 2012.
Great Article Regarding the Pacific Rim of Fire & Damage that will Occur Along California Coast
Please take a moment and read the link below. This is a really good article regarding the potential damage that will occur along the California coast, particularly in the north, after we suffer a Mega Quake. These devestating quakes are happening more frequently around the world. The results are as we all know. Events such as the Indian Ocean in 2008, and more recently Haiti and Japan, should be a serious eye openers for us all. Please take a moment to read this article.
SMFD Adds all SM CERT Responders into MEANS
The SMFD has added all SM CERT responders into the MEANS notification system.
There are currently approx. 280 certified CERT responders living within the District. MEANS (Marin Emergency Activation and Notification System) had been used to notifiy SM CERT division supervisors only. It was their responsibility to notify their division CERT's. This has now expanded the system to notify all SM CERT's when the teams are needed for activation. CERT's will be notified by the software program calling your home, and or cell number, to notify the CERT's that an activation is taking place. As in the past, the response plan will not change. All SM CERT's are requested to activate automatically in a large scale disaster. However, wait until activated in smaller isolated events such as localized flooding, wildfire, or winter storms.
Third and Final CERT Disaster Response Trailer Completed
The third SM CERT disaster response trailer is now completed. The trailer is located at the fire station in Sausalito. All SM CERT members are encouraged to stop by station 1 and familiarize yourselves with the equipment, and their locations in the trailer. Sausalito Division Supervisors need to download the equipment check out schedule located in the right hand column on this webpage. Checks need to be completed once a month. Assistance will be provided by the on duty crew if needed. Sausalito division supervisors, feel free to trade your month with another member. However, the checks need to be completed monthly. This bring's the total number of SM disaster trailers to three. One each in Strawberry, Tam Valley, and Sausalito. Questions or concerns to Larry.
SMFD and CERT Now on Facebook and Twitter
The SMFD now has both Facebook and Twitter accounts for our community. These social media sites are a great way for the District to communicate with our citizens about what is happening within the District. Information will include emergency responses by the District, information on special events, disaster preparedness information, photo gallery, and news and instructions in the event of a large emergency or disaster. This will be another method of communication to our community in the event of a disaster.
Disaster in Japan Should be a Serious Wake-up Call for Marin
Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami should serve as a serious eye opener for all of us here in Marin County. The 8.9 magnitude earthquake was thousands of times stronger than Loma Prieta in 1989. It is only a matter of time before Marin and other areas of the west coast suffer the same catastrophic events.
The California Coastline is part of the 'Pacific Ring of Fire' . These tectonic plates run deep under the ocean, and along our coastline. These plates are under constant stress from the movement of the ocean, and the rotation and gravitational pull of the earth.
It is imperative that we all take the threat seriously by being prepared. Have supplies in your car in the event a quick evacuation is needed. Always obey the directives and orders of local Public Safety officials if asked to evacuate. Get to higher ground as quickly and safely as possible in the event a tsunami warning is issued. Don't wait until the last moment. Most coastal regions of Japan had about 20-30 minutes between the earthquake and the tsunami. Never venture towards the water to view the tsunami, it's suicide! If we suffer a large scale earthquake, it should be assumed that a devastating tsunami will follow.
Lastly, have an emergency contact outside the immediate area so family members can call and check in to ensure family safety after a disaster.
You can go to:
to view a map of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Marin County CERT Website Up and Running
The new Marin County CERT website is up and running. The new countywide CERT program will hold it's first of ten classes for 2011 in January. The course will be conducted in Nicasio. Interested students may registar for classes by going to the website at www.marincountycert.org then click the Training link at the top of the page. This will take you to a drop down menu for registration. Students now have two ways to registar. The regisatration form may be filled out and mailed in with your payment, or the 'paypal' link for online registration may be used.
The website includes various articles, photo galleries, CERT news from around Marin, an events calendar, and Marin County CERT contact information.
The five Marin CERT training zones have been working since earlier this year to standardize CERT trainings throughout the County.
Southern Marin Community Response Teams
What is CERT?
Simply put, Community Emergency Response Teams are groups of amateur emergency workers. CERT personnel receive basic training from emergency response professionals and work in the initial aftermath of a disaster to augment official emergency services. CERT members are not intended to replace a community's professional response capability, but rather to serve as an important supplement to it.
The Community Emergency Response Team concept was developed and implemented by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department in 1985. They 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 or other assistance could arrive. The Whittier Narrows earthquake of 1987 underscored the threat of a major disaster in California and the need for training civilians in the CERT concept. As a result, LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with the purpose of training citizens in CERT. That training proved to be so beneficial that the Federal Emergency Management Agency felt that the concept and the program should be made available to communities nationwide. With the cooperation of the LAFD, FEMA's Emergency Management Institute expanded the CERT training materials to make them applicable to all hazards.
Why is CERT needed?
Obviously, the best source of help in an emergency or disaster is the paid or volunteer professional responder. Unfortunately, professional responders such as fire departments and police are often overwhelmed in a major emergency.
For example, an average arrangement for a city of 100,000 people is to staff two police stations and five fire stations, with approximately 40 firefighters with 10 pieces of fire apparatus and 30 police on duty at any given time. This would be adequate for normal emergencies, rescues and crime control. The average emergency rescue is completed in less than 30 minutes and the rescuers outnumber the victims 4 to 1.
If a massive emergency such as an earthquake were to affect only two percent of the community, there are instantly 2,000 victims, many with injuries. If only professionals respond to this disaster, the results are devastating. 2,000 victims divided by 0.5 hours per rescue equals 1000 hours. With ten rescue trucks, that means there are 100 hours of rescues. As many as 3/4 of the victims could die waiting for rescue. After and hour and a half, shock victims would begin to die. After 24 hours, trapped children and elderly would begin to die of thirst. After 48 hours, otherwise healthy adults would begin to die. Most of these deaths could be prevented by early rescue and simple first aid. Community Emergency Response Teams can help fill the void.
What do CERT members do?
According to Webster's Dictionary, a disaster is "any event that overwhelms existing resources to deal with the event." Disasters may be natural events such as earthquakes, fires, floods, or may be caused by human actions such as a terrorist act, civil disturbances, or hazardous materials incidents.
People naturally respond to disaster. Those who are not injured are more often than not drawn to help those who are. The "volunteerism" was particularly notable during disasters such as the Loma Prieta Earthquake, the Oakland Hills Fire, and the Northridge earthquake. People want to help. In the immediate aftermath of disaster, CERT's are far more effective than the average untrained citizen.
Community Emergency Response Teams are trained in basic emergency response procedures such as:
• Conducting an initial size-up of the situation in their immediate area
• Reducing immediate dangers by turning off utilities, suppressing small fires, and evacuating hazardous areas
• Performing immediate medical triage and basic treatment of injuries
• Assessing structural integrity and performing light search and rescue
• Collecting and recording vital information to be relayed to professional responders on damage, victims, and actions taken or resources needed
• Providing leadership to untrained volunteers
In a large scale disaster, self-reliance and the use of volunteers will be necessary. With this in mind, the Fire Departments and Districts in Marin County have undertaken a program of Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) for civilians.
A new CERT program and manual was developed under the auspices of the Marin County Disaster Council (DISCO) based on the Federal CERT program. The new County-wide program has been developed and implemented as of January 2011.
This course (15 hours) empasizes more hands-on experience, and will be taught to Marin County residents by Marin Fire Agency personnel. The intent is to train and prepare volunteers to achieve a higher level of basic skills in:
- Introduction & Disaster Service Workers, Disaster Psychology
- CERT Organization
- Disaster Medical Operations
- Fire Safety & Suppression
- Light Search & Rescue
- Disaster Simulation and Next Steps
The Fire Departments and Districts in Southern Marin have joined together to teach the CERT program. Many class formats and locations throughout Marin are now available for this 15 hour series. Please refer to the county website at www.marincountycert.org for course scheduling, registration, questions and contact information.
All trainees receive a CERT manual. Upon completion, each trainee will receive a disaster service worker ID card, backpack with helmet, vest, eye protection, and a certificate of completion.
Cost: $30.00 per person;
Make checks payable to Marin County CERT, and mail along with the registration form to: Marin County CERT Coordinator, 1400 5th Ave., San Rafael, CA 94901
Marin OES: Office of Emergency Services
Disaster Service Worker Form
The form that CERT students fill out during the initial course is a standard State of California form. This form gets filled out and filed with the County OES office for many different reasons and job descriptions. One of which is the 'Community Disaster Service Worker'. After the student is 'sworn in', this form protects the disaster service worker from liabilites while performing their trained duties. It also entitles the disaster worker to workers compensation protection in the event of injury or illness occuring during the performance of their duties. It does not allow the State of California, or the Federal Government, to mandate a disaster worker to be available for disaster response. The CERT responder must be re-sworn every 4 years as per federal mandate.
There have been some concerns from CERT responders regarding this issue. Hopefully this answers those questions.
Southern Marin CERT: Division Information
Division 1A: Sausalito / Spencer Ave. South
OPEN: Division Supervisor
Primary Staging Area/Command Post: Old fire station #2; Spencer Ave. @ Highway 101
Division 1B: Sausalito / Wolfback Ridge
Karen Scholz: Division Supervisor
Primary Staging Area/Command Post: 8 Wolkback Ridge
Division 1C: Sausalito / Spencer-Rodeo
Pat Howe: Division Supervisor
CALL SIGN: K16Q00H
Primary Staging Area/Command Post: Park at Sausalito City Hall
Division 1D: Sausalito / Rodeo-North
Sandra MacLeod-White - Division Supervisor
Primary Staging Area/Command Post: Old MLK School gym
Secondary Staging Area/Command Post: IFO 3030 Bridgeway
Division 4A: Tam Valley / Tennessee Valley
Richard Skaff: Division Supervisor
CALL SIGN: Ki6RiQ
Primary Staging Area/Command Post: Tam Valley Improvement Club; Marin Ave. & Tennessee Valley Rd.
Secondary Staging Area/Command Post: Eastwood Park
Division 4B: Tam Valley / Almonte-Loring
Martin Langeveld: Division Supervisor
Cell: (415) 794-7862
Primary Staging Area/Command Post: Mount Tamalpais School; 100 Harvard Ave.
Secondary Staging Area/Command Post: Park and Ride lot; Almonte & Miller Ave.
Division 4C: Tam Valley / Homestead Valley
Jim Derich: Division Supervisor
Primary Staging Area/Command Post: Homestead Community Center; 315 Montford Ave.
Secondary Staging Area/Command Post: Volunteer Park; Melrose & Evergreen Ave.
Division 9A: Strawberry / Seminary
Rick Rossi: Division Supervisor
Primary Staging Area/Command Post: Strawberry Shores Apartments Club House; 111 Seminary Dr.
Secondary Staging Area/Command Post: Seminary Parking Lots; Gilbert Dr. & Schuck Dr.
Division 9B: Strawberry / Alto / Bayvista
Sierra Suraci: Division Supervisor
Primary Staging Area/Command Post: Strawberry Recreation District
Division 9C: Strawberry / Reedlands / BelAire
Judy Bloch: Division Supervisor
Primary Staging Area/Command Post: Cecilia Place and Leland Way
Division 3A: Marin City / Bowl
OPEN: Division Supervisor:
Command Post: Manzanita Center; Drake Ave.
Secondary Staging Area/Command Post: St. Andrews Church; Drake Ave.
Division 3B: Marin City / Docks
Ray Dunaway: Division Supervisor
Primary Staging Area/Command Post: Waldo Point Harbor Offices parking lot
Secondary Staging Area/Command Post: Kappas Marina green
Division 5A: Throckmorton Ridge / Panoramic
Richard Popson: Division Supervisor
Primary Command Post / Staging Area: Throckmorton Ridge fire station; Panoramic Highway
Division 5C: Muir Beach / Muir Woods
Michael Kaufman: Division Supervisor
Southern Marin CERT Divisions
The Southern Marin CERT organization is comprised of Public Safety Professionals, Southern Marin CERT Division Supervisors & Community Leaders. The council sets short, medium and long range goals and objectives for the CERT program. Planning for future growth of the program, organizing and conducting advanced CERT trainings, and communicating information to CERT trained members in the community are among the other responsibilities of the council. Committees have been established to address specific areas of concern such as emergency communications and finance issues.
Southern Marin CERT Program Coordinator
Assistant CERT Coordinator & Public Relations
Southern Marin Fire District
Marin County Fire Dept.
Marin County DC3
Secretary of Council
Southern Marin RACES Liaison
SM CERT Communication Supervisor