Foothills Fire and Life Safety Festival Report

It was hot. It was humid. But 11 of our CERT members showed up and did a great job. CERT volunteers not only worked at our booth, but assisted at least four other booths with much gratitude from those needing the help. It was a great day sharing information with our community and supporting our awesome first responders.

CPR was being taught in the booth next to us. It made us smile all day as people, even the children, took their lessons very seriously, even toddlers. One little fellow who couldn’t have been two yet went straight to one of the practice dummies and started pushing on its chest then blowing in its mouth. The mother was shocked and wondered where he had learned that. I wish I had a video of that!

We are grateful to Kenneth Teague, Emergency Management Coordinator for Caldwell County, for his support of CERT and encouraging our participation. The CERT volunteers who participated today were Rosemary Hall, Michaela Hall, Shirley Kanode, Irv Kanode, Mark Barrera, Keith and Cindy Smith, Josh Hollar, Joy Mann, Joe Resnick, and Richard Koger.

Emergency Shelter Deployment Training and Practice

Finished Shelter

Finished Shelter

Caldwell County CERT has two mobile, 12′ x 16′ shelters available for use during emergencies. It is quick to deploy and includes heat and air conditioning. On June 25 and 26 the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club will use one or two of the shelters for their annual, international Field Day. We are going to use this opportunity to train new CERT members how to set up the shelter and take it down. The first class that did it took 30 minutes to set it up. The time was reduced to 15 or 20 minutes the second time we did it last year on Field Day.

This will give you hands-on practice in putting up the shelter in the event we are needed to set up the shelters during a disaster. This is also a good opportunity to support our local Ham Radio Club.

All CERT members are encouraged to attend.

Installing floor

Installing floor

The Radio Club has invited CERT volunteers to share their Saturday evening dinner on June 25 at Redwood Park in Hudson.

Shelter set-up time:

8:00 am, Saturday, June 25, 2o16

Shelter take-down time:

2:00 pm, Sunday, June 26, 2016


Redwood Park, 470 Redwood St., Hudson, NC

To register:

Send an email to with your name, email, phone number, and whether you will attend Saturday morning, Sunday afternoon, or both. Also RSVP for the dinner if you wish to attend.

Foothills Fire & Life Safety Expo June 4–Volunteers Needed

CERT Volunteer Dave Thomas

CERT Volunteer Dave Thomas

The annual Foothills Fire & Life Safety Expo will be Saturday, October June 4, 2016, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Caldwell County Community College and Technical Institute on Highway 321.

The Caldwell County CERT team will have a display booth to share information about CERT and emergency preparedness. Kenneth Teague will also have a booth for Emergency Management. The Lenoir Amateur Radio Club will have a tent with ham radios and antennas installed for demonstrations. There are many other booths, equipment, and demonstrations by all the fire and police agencies in Caldwell County. There are lot of free activities, demonstrations, and giveaways for the entire family.

CERT Volunteers Needed

CERT volunteers are needed to help set-up the CERT booth beginning about 8:00, staff the booth talking to the public and distributing material, and tear-down at the end of the day. Let us know if you are able to spend some time helping inform our community about emergency preparedness and CERT.

Marie Hiller-Dave Thomas-Kenneth Teague

Marie Hiller-Dave Thomas-Kenneth Teague

Send an email to with your name, email, phone number, and hours you would like to work.

Basic CERT Class Completed March 10, 2016

Cribbing 19Caldwell County CERT program has added about 20 new CERT members trained and ready to help our community in the event of an emergency. Thank all of you who have volunteered your time to learn about CERT and your commitment to keeping yourselves, your families, and neighbors safe.

During the basic course, new CERT members learn about the purpose and goals of CERT, command structure, emergency medical operations including first aid and triage, search and rescue, minor fire suppression, utility controls, disaster psychology, and terrorism.

Here are some photos taken during class including a team-building exercise in which small groups had a few minutes to build a four foot tower out of nothing but construction paper and tape. Other photos were taken on the day the class learned about search and rescue including how to use cribbing to raise and stabilize a fallen wall to remove a a victim. Part of the group was assigned as the medical team to assess the victim during the wall removal and provide treatment after he was extricated.

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Kings Creek FD CERT

I had a great time with the women of the Kings Creek Fire Department Auxiliary and CERT team. We discussed the needs for emergency medical care within the community in the event of a serious disaster that may limit access to traditional care and the role CERT would play. Thank you, Catherine, Trina, Alisa, Angela, Evelyn, Lisa, and Claudia for all you do for Kings Creek and Caldwell County!

Kings Creek FD CERT

Basic CERT Class Learns Search & Rescue Using Cribbing

There are 9 new Caldwell County CERT members who have completed their basic training. What an interesting group! The class included men and women, a wide range of ages, and various careers and skills–we even have our very own rocket scientist, construction supervisor, former and current military, a real estate agent, a licensed Ham radio operator, etc. The class discussions were always informative. They are already recruiting friends, neighbors, and coworkers to attend the next CERT class.

We wish to congratulate these new CERT members who are dedicated to the safety of their families, neighborhoods, and community.

  • Darrell Pitts
  • Jordan Kidwell
  • Joy Mann
  • Lissa Holsclaw
  • Mark Barrera
  • Richard Koger
  • Ron Kidwell
  • Sandra Shytle
  • Dr. Joe Resnick

Their class last Saturday was dedicated to learning the skills to safely extricate victims from under a collapsed wall using a technique called cribbing. It was taught by firefighter and paramedic, Kenneth Hall. Rosemary Hall and Shirley Kanode were also instructors for the Basic CERT Course. Here are some photos of the group learning and practicing cribbing skills.



Disaster Drill–School Bus-Propane Truck

Firefighters 2On October 10, 2015,  several area emergency services providers participated in a disaster drill. The exercise scenario was based on a school bus full of students overturning after colliding with a propane truck. CERT volunteers participated along with area fire departments, Caldwell County Emergency Management, two hospitals, the Caldwell County school district, NC State Police, and others.

The drill was an important tool to assess the organization, skills, and readiness of emergency services providers during a disaster. The drill helped identify training opportunities and improvements in coordination and communication.

Three CERT members, Rosemary Hall,  Michaela Hall, and Mark Barrera, were responsible for the trauma moulage (make-up) to make the victims appear injured for more realistic assessment and treatment by the first responders. CERT member Curt Hiller played the role of the severely injured bus driver, and Maria Hiller took photos throughout the exercise.

NC CERT Fall Conference Report

Tony Sturey, Meteorologist

Tony Sturey, Meteorologist

The NC CERT Fall Conference was held Saturday, September 12, 2015, in Lenoir. The agenda included Tony Sturey, a meteorologist  from the National Weather Service, who spoke about the 2015-2016 winter weather outlook for North Carolina.

His conclusions were:

  • There is an 85 to greater than 90% probability that our winter weather will be affected by El Nino.El Nino 1
  • This means there is an increased chance of more severe winter storms including colder temperatures and increased precipitation including snow, sleet, ice, or rain.
  • The “wild card” in attempting to predict winter weather is “Arctic Oscilation” or Arctic Vortex, which can occur with only a week or two warning bringing severe cold and winter storms.

Tony illustrated the different conditions resulting in rain, snow, sleet, and rain, the dangers of black and white ice and the conditions under which they form.

Margie Mansure, Extension Agent

Margie Mansure, Extension Agent

Margie Mansure, Watauga County Extension Agent for Nutrition and Foods, described preparations and measures to take in the event of a power outage to provide safe food for your family and alternative methods of cooking. It is common to lose power during winter storms in North Carolina resulting from broken tree limbs, ice, and wind. In addition to losing power to refrigerators and freezers, those with well water can lose power to run their pump. Her handout covers her discussion points well.

Margie emphasized the importance of preparing ahead of time for these type of emergencies. She explained that perishable food can spoil at temperatures above 40 degrees for 2 hours or more. If you are unsure if food is safe during a power outage or afterwards, discard it.

Freezers and refrigerators will remain cold much longer if the doors are not opened. Freezers are more efficient when kept full. Freezing containers of water and storing them in the freezer will help the freezer operate more efficiently and keep your food cold longer in an emergency. It can also provide you emergency water.

Power Outage Handout

Samantha and Jay RoysterSamantha Royster, NC CERT Program Manager, and her husband, Jay, were there from Raleigh to host the event. She reported on the activities of NC CERT and led a discussion of the group about future programs.

Kenneth Teague, Caldwell County Emergency Management Coordinator, welcomed the attendees and provided the meeting location and refreshments.

There were representatives from several communities including Caldwell County, Matthews, Charlotte, Gastonia, and Hickory.

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