by Jessica Fullmer

AGENDA – (no Radio Practice this time)

NEW LOCATION – hosted by Sussane Von Stern, across from West Valley College

19149 Oahu Lane, Saratoga (Allendale, Portus, to Wendy, to Oahu)

Call Jessica cell if any questions (408 348 3201)


Jessica Fullmer (West Valley-Quito Division Leader)

Susanne von Stern -Meeting host

Charles Rader (Cox Division Leader)

Tom Galbraith

Rashad Wiley

Doug McFarlin (West Valley-Quito Division)

Meeting Notes:

CERT had a booth at the Saratoga Classic Car Show on Sunday, July 28th, to promote community awareness of the Saratoga CERT program and recruit new volunteers.

Jessica talked about lessons learned from incidents reports.  We are instructed not to use FRS radios in an emergency and instead call 911 for Saratoga.  911 staff will sort the type of response, not CERT team members.


Active shooter incident led to a recommend by Charles for all CERT members to take “Stop the Bleed” training course prepared by FEMA.  Charles will arrange to have Michael Gordonbach(?) provide “Stop the Bleed” training for Saratoga CERT probably late Fall or later.

CERT refresher training courses are scheduled starting in September.

Radio class 8/24 at LG Police Station. There is a YouTube video of the class.

Charles is a member of a group testing a neighborhood damage assessment application for Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Management Services.  The application uses ESRI ArcGIS mapping and location software along with maps provided and maintained by the City of Saratoga.  The application provides a standardize means for activated CERT team members to enter assessment information using their mobile device that is automatically communicated to the City’s Emergency Operations Center over the cellular network.  If the user’s mobile is unable to connect to a cell tower or the cellular network is down, the report is sent when the mobile reconnects to a cell tower.  The application is called the Santa Clara Damage Assessment Report Application.  Should CERT teams have a FirstAlert capable cellular radio that remains connected to a cell tower during an emergency when devices other than those used by first responders are dropped to alleviate congestion.

Chuck attended the California For All CERT/LISTOS Conference, May 30 – June 1, 2019.  The topics covered were CERT Mutual Aid Program, Animal Response and Sheltering, and CERT Emergency Communications.

The concept of mutual aid is gaining traction in CA.  It is modeled after the CERT mutual aid program in deployed statewide in Florida (championed by a former governor with state funding). Organizations are harmonized across the state with the same uniforms, equipment, training and procedures, such that a CERT team can be deployed anywhere they are needed in the state and be able to effectively support the local first responder units.  CERT has a seat in the Office of Emergency Services to call up and dispatch CERT volunteers. Orange County has a similar mutual aid program for its 38 CERT organizations. To remain in active status all CERT members are required to attend the American Red Cross Shelters Fundamentals course and all CERT refresher training courses.  Governor Newsome is supportive of a CERT mutual aid program.

Saratoga has a pact with American Red Cross to provide shelters in the City, where ARC provides equipment and the City provides staffing.j  The Tier 1 shelter is located at West Valley Community College, Tier 2 shelter is at Redwood Middle School and Tier 3 shelters are at Joan Pisani Community Center and Friendship Hall in Saratoga Prospect Center.  The City will decide which shelters to open in response to an emergency.  CERT members should be trained to staff these shelters.

Other shelters in the City are the American Red Cross operated shelter at Saratoga High School and the independent shelter at Prince of Peace Church.

Listos is a parallel organization to CERT in California with communication and training materials in the Spanish language. FEMA is translating CERT training materials in Vietnamese and Chinese.

Animal response and animal sheltering for pets is gaining interest after experiences during recent wildfires where people would not leave their pets to go to shelters.  FEMA offers on line training. Shelter layout and understanding animal behavior are key topics covered. Sacramento Fire has CERT trainers specialized in animal sheltering.  Charles will arrange animal response training and co-ordinate with SCC CERT in Spring 2020.  Meanwhile, he has sent out links to the FEMA training modules:

Animal Response Module I:

Animal Response Module II:

As divisional lead for Saratoga Cox CERT division, Charles has written a draft Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) for his division.  This supplements materials in the FEMA CERT training binder.  He handed out sections from the EOP, Section 3.0 “Status as a Recognized State of California Disaster Service Worker Volunteer,” Section 3.1 “Legal Protections for CERT Members…,” Section 5.0 Hazards Assessment,” Section 6.0 Activation of City of Saratoga CERT Members,” Section 6.0.1 “CERT Member Identification, Apparel,…Upon Activation,” Section 6.1 “Specific Actions…After a Major Earthquake,” Section 6.2 “Potential use of Saratoga CERT …,” Section 7.0 “CERT Incident Command,” Section 8.0 “CERT Emergency Response Supplies,” Section 9.0 “CERT Disaster Communications,” Section 10.0 Establishing and Manning a Field Medical Treatment Area,” and Section 12.0 “ CERT and Spontaneous…Volunteers.”  He reviewed Section 9.0. at the meeting.

Recommended actions for West Valley – Quito CERT Division:

Recruit and train members to establish a core team to support and sustain the disaster preparation activities

Identify location(s) Field Medical Treatment Areas within the division (West Valley Community College, Gardiner Park?)

Develop disaster communications plan and verify Level 1 communication coverage using FRS radios.


Revisit the following three areas Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) training topics:

   (1) Establishing and manning a CERT Field Medical Treatment Area/Site

   (2) CERT and Spontaneous Unaffiliated/Untrained Volunteers (SUV’s)

   (3) CERT and Vulnerable Populations

New topics:

   (1) Santa Clara County Fire Department (SCCFD) resources in the area / interaction with CERT

   (2) FRS radio usage and communications protocol (radiotelephony procedures, radio terminology, phonetic alphabet, etc.)