Collettsville Controlled Burn

On Saturday, June 3, 2017, CERT-trained members of Caldwell County REACT provided support to the firefighters who used the demolition of a house near Collettsville to train in fire suppression. The home was uninhabitable due to repeated flooding.

Prior to the exercise the house was gutted of any dangerous materials and windows to prevent injuries. Hay bales and wooden pallets were used as fuel to feed fires that 7 different teams repeatedly extinguished as part of their training. Following the training exercises, the house was allowed to burn to the ground while being monitored to prevent spreading.

As in an emergency fire scene, the firefighters were required to submit to “firefighter rehab” in which they have their vital signs monitored before, during, and following a fire or other strenuous duties. They are also given water, drinks with electrolytes, snacks, wet towels for cooling, provided shade, and a misting fan. They are required to rest in the rehab area until released. Anyone displaying signs of stress from heat or exertion, may be relieved of duty or transported to the hospital.

There were firefighters, supervisors, and equipment from several fire and rescue departments including Collettsville, Oak Hill, Patterson, North Catawba, Valmead, and Caldwell County Emergency Services.

Caldwell County REACT members set up and staffed the rehab tent. EMTs Rosemary Hall (REACT President) and Michaela Hall monitored vital signs with assistance from North Catawba Paramedic Kenny Hall. Sherri Bogdan kept the records of the blood pressure and oxygen readings. Ted and Phyllis Huntley, Shirley Kanode, and Sabrina Laws provided water and assisted with gear removal and other support. Maria Hiller kept documentation of resources and activities for the Incident Commander. Curt Hiller, Gary Dishman, and Mark Barerra managed traffic due to a lane closure and firefighting equipment on the road. All are members of Caldwell County REACT, and several are CERT trainers. They reported at the Collettsville Fire and Rescue building at 0730 and left the fire scene at 1300 followed by a debriefing at the fire station.

It was a good opportunity for the firefighters to practice fire suppression skills in a controlled, safe environment. Our Caldwell County REACT members also used the opportunity to train and learn, and are grateful for the opportunity to participate.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Collettsville Controlled Burn

Skywarn Class in Lenoir–May 20

Be trained to be a SKYWARN® spotter and help identify and describe severe local storms. .

SKYWARN® storm spotters are part of the ranks of citizens who form the Nation’s first line of defense against severe weather. There can be no finer reward than to know that their efforts have given communities the precious gift of time–seconds and minutes that can help save lives.

Who is Eligible?

NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication, such HAM radio, to join the SKYWARN® program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become a spotter.

Topics Covered:

  • Basics of thunderstorm development
  • Fundamentals of storm structure
  • Identifying potential severe weather features
  • Information to report
  • How to report information
  • Basic severe weather safety

Classes are free and typically are about two hours long.

Storm Spotting and Storm Chasing is dangerous and should not be done without proper training, experience and equipment.

The Next Class Will BE:

MAY 20th 2017

Basic SkyWarn class: 10:00 am to 12:00pm

An Advanced SkyWarn Class will be from 1:00 – 2:15 the same day, if you wish to get both class.

RSVP by: May 8th.

828-757-1419 or kteague@caldwellcountync.org

SKYWARN® is a registered trademark of NOAA’s National Weather Service.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Skywarn Class in Lenoir–May 20

Wilderness Search and Rescue Class–April 29

Saturday, April 29, 2017, Saturday, 10:00 to 3:00—Wilderness Search & Rescue Class

Registration required. Limited number of spots available for Caldwell County CERT members.

Kings Creek (address will be provided to those who register)

The class will include a session on how to build an emergency shelter. Participants should bring an 8 x 10 ft. tarp.

To register, send an email with your name, phone number, and address to caldwellcountyCERT@gmail.com.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Wilderness Search and Rescue Class–April 29

Meeting Reminder–Caldwell County REACT

Anyone who has completed the Basic CERT Class is invited to attend Caldwell County REACT meeting Thursday, March 23, 6:00-8:00 pm, at the Health and Human Services Building, 2345 Morganton Blvd SW. Use the back entrance. Becoming affiliated with REACT International will provide us each with $1 million of liability insurance. We will also become a 501(c)(3) non-profit that will allow us to accept tax deductible donations and do fund-raising. Attend the meeting Thursday to learn more about ways we can serve the residents of Caldwell County and assist our first responders.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Meeting Reminder–Caldwell County REACT

CERT POD Class Held Saturday in Lenoir

POD Exercise

POD Exercise

Caldwell County hosted a CERT class for volunteers to learn about staffing a POD (Point of Distribution) that is a model used for distributing critical supplies to the public in the event of a serious disaster when normal channels of food and water distribution are interrupted. PODs were used last fall in the flooded areas of North Carolina as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

There were 6 Caldwell County CERT members in class joined by people from Winston-Salem to Asheville. The class was taught by Samantha Royster, NC CERT Program Manager from Raleigh.

Two POD kits were transported here for the class to see the equipment and gear provided by the state of North Carolina and to use in an exercise. Each kit includes personal protective gear such as hard hats, reflective vests, and gloves. In addition, the kits have traffic cones, whistles, flags, flashlights, and garbage cans. If a POD is deployed, semi-trailer trucks would transport the needed water, pre-packaged meals (MREs), and tarps that would be distributed to each family.

The POD system is designed to provide an organized, fast, safe distribution of critical aid in times of an emergency. Trained CERT volunteers would be a valuable resource in helping to staff PODS in Caldwell County if needed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on CERT POD Class Held Saturday in Lenoir

Caldwell County REACT Team Forming

Keith Smith-Steve BogdanTo become a charter member of the Caldwell County REACT team, attend our next organizational meeting on Wednesday, February 15, 6:00 pm at the Caldwell County Health and Human Services Building. Enter through the back door, employee entrance. Let us know if you cannot arrive by 6 pm.

We will vote for officers, approve by-laws that have been drafted by the By-laws Committee, and choose a logo drafted by one of our members, Mark Barrera. I plan on taking photos for our ID cards.

Our REACT members are required to have completed CERT Basic Training. Annual dues of $25 are required for REACT International which will include $1 million liability insurance for each member.

Membership Dues:      1st family member: $25

2nd family member or Junior member: $20

All additional family members: $10

Checks should be payable to Caldwell County REACT.

At our last meeting, a motion was passed to create the “Caldwell County REACT” chapter. We will be affiliated with REACT International, an organization begun in the 1960’s that supports community teams that encourage and provide emergency radio communications as well as:

“Many REACT Teams go beyond just communications and provide services such as traffic and parking control, search and rescue support, assistance with large public events, helping with safety breaks along roadways, help monitor traffic flow, assist with their local emergency management offices, law enforcement and also some participate in the Skywarn program of storm spotters.”

The Caldwell County REACT team will provide us the group status that will allow us to be deployed for community emergencies. We will work in collaboration with and support other groups such as the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club, other CERT teams, our local emergency management and first responders. We will continue to emphasize and provide CERT training to our members and the community.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Caldwell County REACT Team Forming

CERT Local Training Classes

Class 2Upcoming Training for CERT members–POD training, Map and Compass Reading, ICS 400, Wilderness Search and Rescue Class, and NC CERT State Conference.

There is no charge for these classes. The CERT Basic Training course is a prerequisite for attendance at these classes.

1. February 18, Saturday, Point of Distribution (POD) Training

NC CERT will be providing training on the POD system used for distribution of emergency food and supplies in the event of a community disaster disrupting the normal supply chain. This is a valuable service that, if trained, our members could be used to organize and staff POD centers in Caldwell County.

The training is on Saturday, February 18, 12:00-5:00, at the Caldwell County Health and Human Services Building, 2345 Morganton Blvd, Lenoir, NC.

Registration is on the state TERMS site.

If you are not already a registered TERMS user, you will need to sign in here before you can register for a class. The link to TERMS registration is on the upper right of the page.

The POD class has a prerequisite of the online POD class and test. It is interesting and worth the time. Here is a link to the IS-26 class.

This video is a short overview of the POD system.

2.  February 21, 2017, Tuesday, 7 pm—Map and Compass Reading

Kings Creek Fire Department

Maps and compasses will be provided for the training. To register, call Kenneth Teague at 828-757-1419.

3.  February 25 and 26, 8:00 to 5:00. ICS-400 – Advanced Incident Command System Command and General Staff – Complex Incidents

Grace Chapel Volunteer Fire Department
4547 Grace Chapel Road, Granite Falls NC 28630

ICS 100, 200, and 300 are prerequisites. Register on the TERMS website.

4.  March 4, 2017, Saturday, 10:00 to 3:00—Wilderness Search & Rescue Class (Registration required—maximum of 20-25 CERT participants. Lunch provided.)

Kings Creek (address will be provided to those who register)

The class will include a session on how to build an emergency shelter. Participants should bring an 8 x 10 ft. tarp.

To register, call Kenneth Teague at 828-757-1419.

5.  May 20, 2017, Saturday, 9:00—NC CERT State Conference (More information to follow—please put this date on your calendar.)

Morganton, NC

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on CERT Local Training Classes

Starting a Workplace CERT Team

A Workplace CERT program can support and enhance existing capabilities, and CERT volunteers can participate in efforts to increase the preparedness and resilience of the workplace and community. A Workplace CERT program equips employees with skills that enable them to perform basic disaster response operations in an emergency.

Having trained volunteers available on staff helps protect the health, safety, and lives of people at your workplace. Workplace CERT volunteers are trained using the CERT Basic Training curriculum. A CERT program can increase workplace resilience by increasing personal preparedness, allowing employees to return to work more quickly after a disaster. For organizations with a large public-facing component, such as grocery stores or shopping malls, CERT can also help serve the public in the event of an emergency. CERT training will ensure employees have the knowledge and skills to act quickly.

Workplace CERT volunteers can also support the non-emergency needs of the workplace. For example, appropriately trained Workplace CERT volunteers can help manage traffic and crowds at large events and functions. However, while CERT volunteers learn a variety of skills, they are not professional responders and should not act beyond their training.

There is a free Workplace CERT Starter Guide available for employers who would like to learn more about CERT in the workplace.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Starting a Workplace CERT Team

Caldwell County REACT Team

CERT Club Meeting—1/26/2017

At our meeting on Thursday evening, a motion was passed to create the “Caldwell County REACT” chapter. We will be affiliated with REACT International, an organization begun in the 1960’s that supports community teams that encourage and provide emergency radio communications as well as:

“Many REACT Teams go beyond just communications and provide services such as traffic and parking control, search and rescue support, assistance with large public events, helping with safety breaks along roadways, help monitor traffic flow, assist with their local emergency management offices, law enforcement and also some participate in the Skywarn program of storm spotters.”

The Caldwell County REACT team will provide us the group status that will allow us to be deployed for community emergencies. We will work in collaboration with and support other groups such as the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club, other CERT teams, our local emergency management and first responders. We will continue to emphasize and provide CERT training to our members and the community.

Our next meeting will be Wednesday, February 15, 6 pm, Caldwell County Health and Human Services Building, 2345 Morganton Blvd, Lenoir, NC.

Benefits of being affiliated as a REACT chapter include $1 million general liability insurance for our members and status as a 501(c)(3) (tax exempt) organization that will allow us to fund-raise and apply for grants.

For those of you wishing more information about REACT, here are some links to Burke REACT and REACT International.

We encourage all our CERT-trained volunteers to attend the meeting on February 15 to become charter members of the Caldwell County REACT team. We will need to collect annual dues owed to REACT International for Charter members on February 15. This includes the cost of $1 million general liability insurance for each member. Please bring a check made out to Caldwell County REACT.

Membership Dues:      1st family member: $25

2nd family member or Junior member: $20

All additional family members: $10

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Caldwell County REACT Team