City of Saratoga Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Cox CERT Division

Meeting Minutes

Meeting held on Thursday, 07 February 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at the home of Lori Stafford.

Saratoga Cox CERT Division meeting attendees were the following:

  1. Tom Baker
  2. Trueman Denny (rejoining active CERT operations)
  3. Jack Griswold (02 February 2019 CERT Academy graduate)
  4. Reshu Jain
  5. Kevin Marques (future CERT Academy graduate)
  6. Peter Melhus
  7. Craig Pietrow (on hand for issuing of Floureon FRS two-way radios)
  8. Chuck Rader
  9. Brad Silveria
  10. Lori Stafford
  11. Lyle Topham
  12. Jeff Walker

Discussion items:

  • A motion was made to nominate Brad Silveria as the assistant (i.e., deputy) lead for the Cox CERT Division. A hand vote was taken and Brad was unanimously appointed to the position of assistant division lead.
  • Peter Melhus, Brad Silveria and Chuck Rader discussed the results of their exercise to determine the maximum transmission and reception range of the Floureon M-880 handheld two-way FRS radios. Testing from a centralized “command post” location at Kevin Moran Park to the extremes of the divisional AOR revealed that the average maximum range was approximately three-quarters of a mile. Unreliable transmit and receipt were encountered in the farthest four corners of the AOR, with a notable lack of coverage in the Saratoga Woods and Westbrook neighborhoods.
  • All meeting attendees were provided a preliminary Floureon M-880 FRS radio setup document prepared by Peter Melhus. Based upon discussion, a revised document will be prepared by Peter and will be sent out with these meeting minutes.
  • A detailed review of all upcoming CERT-related training and exercises was conducted. Of particular note is the upcoming American Red Cross (ARC) Shelter Fundamentals training class, to be conducted at the Pisani Recreation portable from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, 28 February 2019. This class is required for all Saratoga CERT members who would like to work in a City of Saratoga/ARC shelter. After completing this class, those CERT members who would like to elevate to the position of a credentialed City of Saratoga/ARC shelter manager can pursue additional training opportunities to obtain this qualification. Following the Shelter Fundamentals class, the ARC can provide a mentored “hands on” drill that exercises the principles of the class by actually setting up a “subset” shelter and conducting simulated shelter operations. The student leads for this training would be those Saratoga CERT members who have pursued the higher qualification of shelter manager. This shelter establishment and staffing drill is tentatively scheduled for late March or early April 2019.
  • Another key training opportunity will be on Thursday, 25 April 2019, when Michael Grodin from the Campbell CERT organization (and a Santa Clara County Emergency Medical Services EMT in his daily work) will provide “Stop the Bleed” training. There will be two back-to-back training sessions on this evening; the first from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and the second from 7:10 p.m. to 8:40 p.m. The training will be conducted at the Pisani Recreation portable.
  • A brainstorming discussion was held on how CERT could work to address the potential for displaced/stray dogs after a major-magnitude earthquake. It was decided that establishing a CERT “kennel,” using either the Kevin Moran Park or Azule Park enclosed tennis courts, offers a good solution and location. Oversight of the “kennel” could be delegated to a responsible non-CERT community member or a CERT member, if available. Further discussion was held on what documentation and photographic could be maintained to facilitate tracking of accepted stray dogs and reuniting them with their owners. All of these inputs will be used to formulate an appendix to the divisional EOP.
  • A detailed discussion was also held on CERT interaction with deceased community members, post-disaster. There are two circumstances that require consideration: (1) deceased found during post-earthquake neighborhood assessments, and (2) those who pass away while under treatment/observation at a CERT field medical treatment site. It was agreed that further research needs to conducted to fully understand the legal ramifications of this question, along with gaining an understanding of how professional first responders (SCCFD, SCC Sheriff’s Office, SCC Office of the Medical Examiner-Coroner, Federal DMORT, and California Army National Guard) would react/assist in this situation.
  • A lively discussion was held on what CERT field neighborhood assessment teams should do when a victim is encountered with one of the “three killers,” is medically treated for one or multiple of these potentially fatal conditions, and the CERT team must proceed on with their neighborhood assessment duties. It was generally agreed that the CERT team should find a non-CERT community member to stay with the victim to both comfort that individual as well as to continue or maintain watch on the first aid rendered by CERT to the victim. As a critical medical incident, this situation would be radioed in by the CERT team to the local Incident Command Post. Typically, a victim in this condition would remain in-situ and not be moved to a neighborhood CERT medical treatment site for consolidation/mass observation.
  • Due to a lack of time, the first session of focused training on key elements of the Cox CERT Division Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) were deferred to the next monthly Cox CERT divisional meeting.


  • Brad Silveria to research how stray/displaced dogs were addressed during the recent Camp Fire (November 2018) in Paradise, CA.
  • Chuck Rader to research the role the Santa Clara County Office of the Medical Examiner-Coroner and federal DMORT resources have in addressing the deceased after a major-magnitude earthquake.
  • Chuck Rader to research the possibility of using Church of the Ascension Catholic Church and Congregation Beth David Jewish Synagogue as an inclement weather CERT medical treatment site.
  • Chuck Rader to pursue discussion with the City of Saratoga on establishing a “subset” cache of immediate response CERT materials and equipment on the grounds of Kevin Moran Park.


        Thursday, 07 March 2019, from 6:00 p.m. to approximately 7:45 p.m.

        location: Lori Stafford’s house at 19850 Kane Court, Saratoga, CA