As the new year gets underway, I would like to thank each of you for your dedication and commitment in actively participating in the Saratoga CERT organization. Each of you has “stepped forward,” as a volunteer, to learn critical life-saving skills and be ready – at a moment’s notice – to render invaluable assistance to both our Saratoga friends and neighbors, and the community as a whole. You should be justifiable proud of the critical contributions you are trained, equipped, and prepared to perform in support of our wonderful community.

Secondly, I would like to highlight some of the primary upcoming CERT-related training events for the first half of calendar year 2020 – please pencil them in on your calendar. Also, read on for more CERT news and events.

If you have questions about CERT, ideas for enhancements, training exercises, or anything else, please do get in touch with me at any time. I look forward to hearing from you.

Chuck Rader
City of Saratoga CERT Lead/Volunteer Program Manager

2020 CERT Events

Planning is currently ongoing for the Countywide CERT Field Training Exercise, scheduled for Saturday, 25 April 2020 at Mission College in Santa Clara. The six core areas for “hands on” training are the following: Search and Rescue, Cribbing, Triage/Medical Operations, Field Radio Skills, Incident Command System and establishing an Incident Command Post, and “Stop the Bleed” training. This year’s exercise will be separate from the Countywide ARES/RACES radio exercise, due to the desire to have all exercise participants focusing on their CERT skillsets. This should serve to remove any conflict for those volunteers who are both CERT members and hams.

Joint Saratoga/Campbell CERT Animal Response and Sheltering Training and Animal Shelter Simulation: Saturday, 02 May 2020 at Saratoga Prospect Center. This will be an all-day event, with lunches provided, to provide FEMA CERT structured curriculum training in the areas of post-disaster assistance in small domesticated animal/pet response and sheltering operations. The morning “sit-down” session will be held in the SPC Grace Building classroom, while the “hands on” animal shelter simulation will be held in the adjacent SPC Friendship Hall building. The training will be provided by the City of Sacramento CERT Animal Response Training Team, headed by Kathy Winkelman. This will be a joint training evolution for both the Saratoga and Campbell CERT organizations.

An American Red Cross Shelter Operations Simulation exercise is currently planned for the first half of 2020 (date undetermined at this time). This will build upon the skills learned by those who have attended previous American Red Cross Shelter Fundamentals, advanced ARC Shelter Management, and ARC Disaster Psychology training classes. This simulation will be a jointly-sponsored event by both the Campbell and Saratoga CERT organizations. The likely venue for the simulation exercise will be the Campbell Community Center at 1 W. Campbell Avenue in the city of Campbell. This exercise will only be open to those who have completed the basic shelter course.

FRS Radio Replacement CERT Working Group

A working group of our Saratoga CERT radio experts is being organized to address identifying a replacement field handheld radio more suitable for neighborhood assessment use than the existing Floureon M-880 FRS radios. This group will be leveraging previous research and decision-making conducted by other CERT organizations here in Santa Clara County, as well as conducting independent research into the various available options. Considerations are: power output/LOS ranges offered by the replacement radio; specific radio capabilities, functionalities and special configurations; any licensing requirements associated with the replacement radio; and pricing/options for procurement. The committee will present its findings and recommendations to both our City of Saratoga Program Sponsor and Saratoga CERT volunteer leadership.

FEMA is Revamping CERT Training

A major revision to nation-wide CERT training programs. Please see the summary blog post from Jeff Walker:


CERT Academy – Campbell
Campbell Community Center
First Class: 14 January 2020
Graduation: 1 February 2020


Ham Cram Class
El Camino Hospital Los Gatos
Conference Center (Rooms 1, 2, 3)
815 Pollard Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95032
8 February 2020


Do you have a current Saratoga Disaster Service Worker (DSW) Card?
Visit the Saratoga CERT Resources page for instructions.

Online ICS and NIMS Classes (100.c & 700.b)
Visit the Saratoga CERT Resources page for ICS and NIMS course material and resources.