Calling All HAMs- 2017 Tour de Cure

The 2017 Tour de Cure bicycle event is a fund raiser for the American Diabetes Association and will be held on Sunday 6/11/17.  The event uses amateur radio to communicate between rest stops and along the route.  George Kranen is helping to coordinate the radio operators and the support will run from 7am-3pm.  A link to the event is here.

Contact George Kranen by email at for more info and to sign-up.

NOTE: this is not a Belmont CERT event, any amateur radio operators who participate are doing so as individuals, not as part of Belmont CERTlogo2.png

May Belmont CERT Meeting

Capt. Halleran presented a recap of the busy April we had:
> Welcomed new members; Jim, Jenni and Frank
> Participation in Silver Dragon XI, first time working with San Mateo and Foster City CERT teams
> Participation in Sober Prom event at NDHS, view the video
> Participation in Community Shield 2017 event
> Plans for Disaster Preparedness Day at the S.M. County Fair, June 10, 2017
> Plans for National Night Out, August 1, 2017
> Plans for Urban Shield CERT competition September 9, 2017
> Community CPR training, September 23, 2017
> New FEMA training course that Capt Halleran will present at June meeting: “You Are the Help- Until Help Arrives”
> San Mateo CERT is conducting a First Aid refresher course May 24?
> Highlands has a first aid refresher course on May 28?
> Meeting presentation content available on our CERT Photo Album

NEWS- The 2016 CERT Volunteer of the Year was revealed: Mr Robert Gorran!!
All are invited to the presentation ceremony on May 23, 2017 at Belmont City Hall.

Spanish CERT Class Skills Day

The first ever Spanish-language CERT class graduated today after completing Skills Day training at Redwood City Fire Station 9.  We had multi-lingual firefighters and Red Cross volunteers on hand to interpret at each skills station and everything went smoothly.

Felicitaciones a todos los nuevos graduados del CERT (Congratulations to all the new CERT graduates) and Thank You to the firefighters and volunteers that helped make this happen.

Redwood City CERT, Skills Day,Redwood City CERT, Skills Day,Redwood City CERT, Skills Day,Redwood City CERT, Skills Day,

Sober Prom 2017

This year’s Sober Prom DUI awareness event was held at Notre Dame High School.  As before, a traffic accident was staged (this time off campus) with Belmont Fire and Police response.  Belmont CERT was on hand to perform crowd and traffic control duties.IMG_1643.jpgHere is the video of the event.  Photos have been posted to the CERT Photo Album.

Community Shield II (2017)

A typical busy day at the Millbrae BART station with folks milling about on the platform and other sitting on benches. A SamTrans bus sits nearby.  Someone on the platform puts down his backpack and extracts a device from it while an undercover agent nearby springs into action, but its too late and a cloud of toxic sarin sprays out of the device. Meanwhile a special assault team races onto the scene and engages the terrorists (two more were mixed in with the crowd) in a blaze of gunfire and flash-bang detonations.

This was the scenario for this year’s Community Shield counter-terrorism demonstration put on for our local elected officials.  This was a full-scale exercise with simulated victims who were exposed to a simulated toxic agent and underwent decontamination procedures.  Belmont FD put on a full demonstration of hazmat equipment and procedures followed by American Medical Response with their triage and transport demonstration.  Then a BBQ lunch from Franks, while other toured the many vehicle/organizational exhibits in the San Mateo Expo Hall.  Members of TCAT were on hand for hands-on weapons demonstrations, allowing attendees to fire weapons with blanks or rubber projectiles.

Teams from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, Terrorism Counter Assault Team (T-CAT), Belmont Fire Department, and the Belmont Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) participated in this exercise.

A collection of photos have been posted to the CERT Photo Album.

Keychain Flashlight, Are You Carrying One?

Today’s big blackout in San Francisco highlights the utility of having a flashlight with you at all times. The Nitecore TIP is my current everyday carry light source.  Small, lightweight and powerful- highly recommended. 

Silver Dragon XI

This year’s Silver Dragon exercise focused on the theme of mosquito awareness and took place in various neighborhoods of Foster City.  Under sunny skies and pleasant temperatures, approximately 50 CERT volunteers from Foster City and neighboring cities were on hand to support the event.  As in previous years, shopping bags containing various information flyers were distributed door-to-door by twelve teams working from two field command posts.  The Countywide goal was to distribute to 16,000 homes.

The main command center was Foster City FD Station 28, where breakfast and lunch were also served.   HAM and FRS radio communications were employed for the exercise, Belmont personnel also did more field testing with MURS radios.

Additional photos have been posted to the CERT Photo Album.

Oracle Disaster Drill

This week I, along with 16 others, volunteered to be a victim for a disaster drill conducted on the Oracle campus.  This was my first time as a victim, and the moulaging was interesting.  I was made up with a broken leg, head laceration and a screwdriver sticking out of my arm.  Michele Richards was the person running this exercise, along with her colleagues from FIRST IN Emergency Response Training.

Oracle fed us a nice breakfast, and got us where we needed to be for the 0900 start time of the exercise.  Exercise locations were spread across different buildings on the Oracle campus.  We “rearranged” furniture in several offices and proceeded to wait for our rescuers.  Search & Rescue teams showed up at our location around 10:15 for size up and triage of victims, but medical evacuation teams did not show up until 12:30.  I had been classified as Delayed but the SAR team missed my broken leg since they skipped the head-to-toe assessment.  This surprised the evacuation team but luckily they brought a backboard with them which they were able to place under me despite the fact that I was underneath a desk.  Interesting tip: regarding my protruding screwdriver, a SAM splint was rolled into a short cylinder, placed over the screwdriver, and then bandaged in place.

Four folks carried me out of the building, using the elevator, and loaded me into an Oracle bobtail truck for the ride over to the medical treatment area (Oracle indoor basketball court).  Interestingly they had cots set up on the triage tarps, so they had to transfer me from the backboard to the cot.  At that point the exercise ended and we were all treated to a fajita bar with all the trimmings.

More photos have been posted to the CERT Photo Album.

April Belmont CERT Meeting

This month’s meeting covered the following topics:
>Capt. Halleran presented the Belmont/Foster City/San Mateo Fire Annual Report 2016  that was just released, our CERT activities were highlighted in the document.
>the upcoming Silver Dragon XI exercise on 4/20/17 which will be held in Foster City this year- CDC observers to be in attendance
> the Community Shield II event on 5/2-5/3 at S.M. Expo Center
>Sober Prom to be held 4/26
>Disaster Preparedness Day on 6/10, free admission as before but no free parking
>the introduction of Brad Davis, the new Foster City CERT Coordinator
-formerly of Malibu CERT, proponent of enhanced medical training for CERT members
>Hayman and Al participated as victims in the Oracle Disaster Drill conducted Tuesday

Photos have been posted to the CERT Photo Album.

San Mateo County Morgue Tour

It took a while but Belmont CERT finally had a tour of the San Mateo County Morgue.  One of the autopsy technicians took our small group through the facility, explaining the various processes, roles and responsibilities, and answering all of our questions.  Easiest way to sum it up: it’s not the way its portrayed on TV shows.  Thanks to Capt. Halleran and the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office for making this happen.

NOTE: these are generic photos from the web since photos were not permitted on the tour.