Thank you to the more than 70 Community Emergency Response Team graduates and victim volunteers that spent several hours this past Saturday practicing how to respond in case of a disaster. On October 26, 2019, volunteers participated in an annual countywide CERT Training drill hosted by the City of Goleta using a train derailment as the basis of the drill. The training was held on South La Patera Lane at the former Direct Relief Building near the Goleta Amtrak Station. See the participants in action – view a special video of the training drill here.
The importance of this annual drill is to provide CERT volunteers with skills that will help them know how to respond to an event when professional responders may be delayed. They have also learned psychological first aid to help those who may not be hurt physically but who are traumatized from the event.
Goleta’s Emergency Services Coordinator and Program Manager for Goleta CERT, Michael Baris, was pleased by the turnout for the training and how smoothly it went. He said, “The dedication the CERT graduates show is incredible. They are taking time out of their busy lives to practice the response to a scary ‘what if?’ scenario. By being a part of this exercise, the graduates will be able to take response and safety skills back to their communities and make every neighborhood a little bit safer after a disaster event.”
Goleta CERT volunteer Zachary Naas said he got a lot out of the training. He said, “CERT makes you feel less at the will of what is happening in your environment and empowered to contribute in the event your community needs you.”
Goleta resident, Melody O’Shock who participated as a victim volunteer said she is glad she spent some of her Saturday learning how to be better equipped during a disaster. She said, “The biggest thing I learned today is that you don’t have to be a physician or nurse to respond during a disaster. You can be a lay person and respond to help.”
The program teaches disaster preparedness and skills such as Fire Safety/Extinguisher Use, Triage, Light Search and Rescue, Preparedness at Home and Team Organization.
Goleta is fortunate to have had 400 graduates go through the local CERT program. During the Thomas Fire and Debris Flow, dedicated volunteers spent more than one thousand hours to help support the rescue and recovery effort.
The City of Goleta periodically holds CERT Trainings and due to popularity, they fill up fast. While a date for the next CERT training has not been set, please fill out your contact information here to be added to the wait list and notified when a new class is offered.