During Marin’s recent storms, our local CERTs (Community Emergency Response Team) were called out by the fire department to assist residents in the Sycamore area of Mill Valley. Fifteen Mill Valley CERT members reported to the fire station and were divided into teams to go door-to-door, providing a warning and preparedness information about potential flooding. CERTs were also prepared to help with sandbagging, cordoning off downed power lines and creek watch.  Tricia Ossa, Chair of the Mill Valley CERT Steering Committee, commented, “A lot of good safety information was quickly spread and was well received by the residents of the Sycamore area”. Mill Valley Battalion Chief Michael St. John responded,  “We were impressed at how many CERTs turned out to help us. After a briefing, we were able to complete notifications of low lying areas within 1.5 hours. The CERT volunteers who responded were motivated, deployed quickly and were great to work with. It’s great to know we can count on CERT!”

CERT is a national program under FEMA and has been active in California for 30 years. There are over 600,000 CERTs across the country. The neighbors helping neighbors concept is one of the foundations of the CERT program, as many professionals feel that the true ‘first responders’ are  the residents that live in the area that is affected. Providing additional safety skills, such as first aid, light search and rescue, fire suppression and team organizational guidelines ensure that those neighbors helping each other are as safe as possible. “Doing the most good for the most people” is CERT’s mantra and doing that safely is a major part of our messaging.

To find out about the 18 hour training in Marin County or to register for classes, check out www.readymarin.org/cert/ or contact coordinator@marincounty.org. The next open class is at College of Marin on March 25 & 26.

MV CERT 1.17

Members of Mill Valley CERT, responding to call-out from Mill Valley Fire during the recent January  storms. Thank you to our CERT members, who we count on to help our community in times of need!