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Goleta’s Community Emergency Response Team Graduates Ready to Help

Ceremony and simulation cap intensive eight-week training course for local residents

The city of Goleta recognized its first class of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members Saturday at the Goleta Valley Community Center. CERT members are trained to provide critical support to first responders, offer immediate assistance to victims and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with nonemergency projects that help improve the safety of the community.

“I want to thank all the participants for investing the time into this emergency training,” Mayor Eric Onnen said. “Their efforts will benefit our community for years to come. Being prepared is our best defense against disaster.”

Thirty-two local residents participated in eight weeks of training, which included segments on disaster preparedness, team organization and disaster psychology, medical operations, damage assessment, disaster simulation, fire suppression and light search and rescue.

CERT participants were Linda Battala, Steve Beal, David Briggs, Jim Caesar, Lee Coulter, Kirsten Deshler, Ed Easton, Marv Gustafson, Lala Hannah, Yukimi Lemont, George Levinthol, Adam Lewis, Maureen Lewis, Maria Lopez, Amy Mallet, Todd Matson, David McClure, Michael Mills, Richard Nordsieck, Gilbert Perleberg, Barbara Pies, Jesus Rios, Mark Rousseau, Brian Salisbury, Tari Schnepf, Chris Sprenger, Rubayi Srivastava, Jill Switzer, Dorothy Turner, Mike Wapner and Linda Williams.

Participating presenters for the course were Roberta Ainciart of the American Red Cross-Santa Barbara County Chapter, retired Santa Barbara County firefighter Jack Armstrong, retired Carpinteria-Summerland firefighter Scott Coffman, Bill Cottriel of Nargan Fire & Safety Co., Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Rob Durtche, Anthony Hudley of the Lompoc Fire Department, disaster readiness consultant Gracie Huerta, Charlie Johnson of the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Department, Yolanda McGlinchey of the city of Santa Barbara and county Sheriff’s Detective Adam Reichick.

Other cooperating agencies included the Goleta Valley Community Center, the Goleta Valley Senior Center, Medical Reserve Corps, Orfalea Foundation (Aware and Prepare Initiative) and Santa Barbara County Fire Stations 11, 12 and 14.

Additional CERT courses will be offered through the city of Goleta in early 2011. Click here for more information or to register, or call 805.961.7500. The CERT program is part of Goleta Prepare Now! / ¡Goleta Prepárese Hoy!, a program to educate and prepare the Goleta community for disaster.

— Valerie Kushnerov is the city of Goleta’s public information officer.


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