Monday, May 21 , 2018, 6:00 am | Overcast 52º


Local News

SBCC Staff Graduate From Community Emergency Response Team Training

Nineteen trainees put their new skills to the test in a simulated earthquake drill, the final step for certification

The mood was tense Friday as screaming, seemingly bloody Santa Barbara City College students emerged from the ruins of an earthquake.

Soon-to-be Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members reacted with a mix of precision and confusion, all hoping they would properly perform during the simulated drill that served as a culmination of a two-month training and the last step toward graduation.

Despite the stressful environment, which required using search and rescue training, fire suppression and medical triage, all 19 SBCC staff members completed the morning drill and received their CERT certificates a short time later.

The CERT class is the first to graduate from the college, which plans to send more of its employees through the eight classes to be prepared for any emergency scenario.

“It is stressful,” said Yolanda McGlinchey, emergency services manager with the City of Santa Barbara. “If they’re screaming, they’re still breathing. Some of them are going to be obnoxious. They’re supposed to work as a team.”

McGlinchey said Santa Barbara County as a whole could use more CERT-trained people, since there are just 4,000.

Rob Morales, SBCC director of administrative services and emergency response, and his fellow graduates wore green vests and hats with “CERT” clearly visible as they helped student patients out of a classroom to a tarp triage area.

Santa Barbara fire Capt. Kevin Bryant takes a head count of victims and injuries during Friday's CERT drill. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)
Santa Barbara fire Capt. Kevin Bryant takes a head count of victims and injuries during Friday’s CERT drill. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

The patients — college EMT students earning extra credit — complained of faux injuries. Morales confirmed that 17 patients were injured in the incident, and one was killed.

“We have four people standing around,” one of the student patients said. “I want a Band-Aid.”

Santa Barbara Fire Capt. Kevin Bryant, who was on hand with several other fire personnel, asked Morales a series of questions to learn more about the incident as the arriving agency.

“Have you notified any other agencies?” Bryant said. “We’re taking over now.”

At the conclusion of the drill, Bryant offered a few friendly critiques to help staff in future emergency scenarios, including how to better use personnel and interact with victims of trauma.

Although stressful at first, Morales said he thought the emergency event went well, considering it was their first-ever drill.

“It’s a great drill,” he said. “It was a great learning experience.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >