Hardhat Light Upgrade

Always amazing how you think you’re all set and don’t need anything, then you go to Costco…well that happened to me today and resulted in upgrading our hardhat lights.  Since joining CERT in 2008, we have used the Pelican #2620 light and have had no issues.  The light output was adequate and we would always have additional lighting with us.  Then I saw the Coast FL72 at Costco (two-pack for $28).  It is brighter (53/230/405 lumens vs 14/26), lighter (3.7 oz vs 4.8 oz), and smaller (see photo).  Runtime at full power is 2.5 hours or 17 hours at low, and there is also the option of using the red LEDs.  The Costco set also included the hardhat clips which made it so convenient.  The light also has a rotating bezel to switch  from flood to spot beam.  Power source is the same, three AAA batteries.  I think we’ll be pleased with this for a while (unless something better shows up at Costco…)


FBI Operation Seasick

Firefighters, medics and FBI agents swarmed a normally quiet stretch of the Alameda waterfront next to the USS Hornet Museum on Wednesday morning, maneuvering around people lying on the ground as an ominous orange smoke filled the air and brightly colored emergency vehicles crowded the road.

The alarming scene was part of a two-day exercise called “Operation Seasick” — six months in the making and organized by the FBI — to practice how local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies and emergency responders would work together in the event of a complex terror attack involving weapons of mass destruction in an area like the Port of Oakland.

Our own Belmont CERT member Cindy B. was one of the volunteer victims for this large scale exercise.  She can be seen in the photo below being rescued from the scene. Link to full SFGate article.

Hoping Cindy will be able to present her experience at an upcoming CERT meeting.920x920.jpg


Menlo Park Community Emergency Drill

The Menlo Park Fire District’s Community Crisis Management Program (CCM) will be hosting a community emergency drill, with support from the City of Menlo Park, the Menlo Park Police Department, and our CCM CERT (Community Emergency Response Team).  CERT members from other cities are invited to participate.

This will be a participation opportunity for the community, as well as a live demonstration for all to see first-hand how Menlo Park’s first responders operate in a major disaster. Fremont Park will be transformed into a working emergency headquarters with a command post set-up, radio center, and medical triage. CERT members will practice simulated emergency response, reconnaissance, and light search and rescue of the nearby neighborhoods.

No prior training needed. This inaugural event will happen, Saturday, June 24th, 8am-1pm, in Fremont Park located at the corner of University Street and Santa Cruz Avenue, in downtown Menlo Park.
Information flyer


New Hardware: Clakit

A vendor that drew much attention at this year’s Disaster Preparedness Day event at the San Mateo County Fair was Clakit.  This is a product from a local (Half Moon Bay) entrepreneur that is fairly innovative.

Backpacks, by definition, allow us to carry lots of gear on our back.  But how often have we needed something that required us to remove the backpack and dig out what we needed?  The Clakit clip provides a universal means of attaching accessories to the backpack straps, keeping things in front where it can be accessed easily.  Clakit is also compatible with most existing belt pouches, camera, packs and purses we already own.  Clakit can also be used on purses and any other type of strap.

I have their tactical bottle holder and love it.  We have also bought several of their kits as gifts.  They have a good selection of utility pouches/cases that can be attached.  A shoulder harness is also available to allow the use of Clakit without a backpack, this was popular among the HAM folks for secure carry of radio gear.  There was also a very cool gear vest that they have which is aimed at search & rescue folks but I’m sure they could be convinced to make a CERT green one could be if there was enough interest.

Here is the Clakit website.   Some of their gear can also be found on Amazon.


2017 Disaster Preparedness Day

Another Disaster Preparedness Day is in the books now after a smooth uneventful day at the fair.  This year was different with some distinguished guests visiting the Belmont CERT booth.  State Senator Jerry Hill stopped to visit with the team, commented on how all public officials should have CERT training and provided an update on the State’s seismic detection system.  San Mateo County Supervisor Carole Groom also stopped by to show her support for preparedness, this was her first year hosting the Disaster Preparedness Day at the county fair. We also got a peek at Menlo Park CERT and their firefighter rehab station that was set up outside next to their support vehicle.  Some impressive tech with their solar powered computer systems.

Thanks to all the CERT members that volunteered their time to work the event.  Photos have been uploaded to the CERT Photo Album.

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. www.tour.diabetes.org

Contact George Kranen by email at kg6yir@earthlink.net 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.