Pine Mountain Club CERT
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Welcome to Pine Mountain Club CERT

 

 

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.

Why become involved?

We are a small mountain community, surrounded by beautiful National Forests. We enjoy a full four seasons with grand snow covered mountains and a self reliance sense of community. Because of our surroundings and weather, we are not immune to fire, flooding, mudslides, inaccessibility, geological, and other un-controllable events. We have faced the facts that in an emergency situation, we may have to respond with our own, community based team and resources. If you are a part of the PMC Community, you have a vested interest in the outcome and success of our training and response efforts. “ Everyone has a dog in this hunt”.

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.

How did we get here?

The Emergency Preparedness (EP) Committee in PMC, has been storing supplies in three separate caches in order to strategically have these supplies available in an Emergency. The EP Committee was able to go a step further in their efforts to assist their community's when Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Randy Coleman recommended starting a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). The first CERT Academy was conducted in 2008. There are currently about 40 personnel on the team, both PMC homeowners and PMCPOA employees, that have completed the 20 hour FEMA course and are ready to respond to an emergency. How do we prepare? PMC CERT meets the second Saturday of each month, from 1000hrs -1200hrs in the Condor Room in PMC. There are both classroom and field trainings conducted at these meetings. Team members are required to maintain proficiency in skills and knowledge. A minimum of 16 hours of training is required annually, along with two disaster drills and/or community service events to maintain member in good standing status. First Aid/CPR & AED training is offered to CERT and community members every year. CERT Academy training is offered every even year depending on student participation. PMC CERT received a trailer stocked with emergency supplies from Kern Office of Emergency Services (OES) in November 2008. February 2016 Kern County and Pine Mountain Club Property Owners Association signed an agreement for the use of the Kern County Fire Department equipment and work shop buildings by PMC CERT

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