Pine Mountain Club CERT

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Who are we?

The Pine Mountain Club CERT team is comprised of community members, organized under the umbrella of the Kern County Fire Department and Federal Department of Homeland Security, trained for community disaster response, with training in First Aid, Urban Search, Fire Suppression and other basic emergency skills.

Where are we located?

Pine Mountain Club (PMC) is a private Property Owners Association (PMCPOA) community with a population of about 2,300 people in southwestern Kern County, California. Elevations range from 4,000 to 6,000 ft. above sea level. It is in the Los Padres National Forest and is one of the Mountain Communities of the Tejon Pass.

What other tools do we have?

PMC CERT working with the Kern County Communications Department and other CERTs determined that a Federal Communications Commission VHF Land Mobile Radio Service License would best meet our needs for a communications system. This is the same radio band that the Kern County Fire Dept. and other Emergency Response agencies use. The Pine Mountain Club Property Owners Association provided the Team with funding for a repeater and County gave permission to have the repeater installed in the County Sawmill Radio Site. The repeater covers a 40 Km radius around PMC. Kern Office of Emergency Services (OES) then obtained a grant to provide the Team with 40 handheld radios. The radios are issued to members in good standing. PMC Kern Fire Station 58 is issued a CERT radio for communications with the Team. We have purchased additional radios for backup and for issue to other responders such as Search and Rescue should they need to use the CERT repeater for incidents in our area. Every Sunday morning at 0900 hrs a CERT radio net is conducted where CERT members check in with CERT Command (CMD) (net control). CERT CMD is a member who has volunteered to conduct the net that Sunday. The number of check-ins is recorded for service time and reported to the Kern Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) net on Monday night. We currently have eight CERT members with Amateur Radio Licenses. Amateur radio training and testing is provided through the Pine Mountain Amateur Radio Club (PMARC). Future plans include a CERT Communications and Command Post trailer. The trailer will provide a backup in the event of a repeater failure, a command post, shelter for radio equipment and a link to OES via amateur radio. Kern OES has an ARES amateur radio station in the facility.

How does PMC CERT get activated?

PMC CERT is activated through the Kern County Office of Emergency Services. OES collects emergency data, contacts the Coordinator(s) or any member available who in turn utilizes the Radio system to contact the other CERT members. All CERT members in good standing have two way radios that they use to monitor the CERT channel 24/7. The Team has the ability and training to respond directly to pre-designated locations for initiation of the Team.

How can I help or assist the CERT in PMC?

The Team is voluntary and members are not paid. The supplies in the caches are provided through an annual budget from the PMC POA Emergency Preparedness Committee. The budget covers emergency supplies, water for the caches and emergency packs and supplies that each CERT member carries. Supplies require rotation and do expire from time to time. There are supplies, such as first Aid and Medical supplies, donations, tools and equipment needed. PMC CERT conducts fund raisers at community events such as the annual Community Yard Sale. Kern County OES and California Volunteers donate supplies and equipment obtained through grants. How can I contact CERT to become involved? The best ways to contact Pine Mountain CERT is through the Contact us tab.

Conclusion

CERT is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety, and doing “the greatest good for the greatest number”. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can make a difference. Through training, citizens can manage utilities and put out small fires; treat the three killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock; provide basic medical aid; search for and rescue victims safely; and organize a team in order to assist emergency responders.

For more information contact: Tom Yancey (661) 242-1094, tom1yancey@gmail.com