Please take a moment to read this important message from Fire Battalion Chief David Cosgrave about changes that will allow Coastside CERT to respond more efficiently to local conditions.
Background to the Chief’s message. To become a fully functional emergency preparedness and response program, Coastside CERT needed three things:
- Sponsorship – That happened May 2, 2019 thanks to the Coastside Fire Protection District
- Funding – California for All CERT/Listos Capacity Building Grant awarded end of May 20, 2019
- Activation – Great News! (read on)
Please note: CERT activation is entirely voluntary. No one has to activate unless they choose to. Coastside CERT emergency preparedness training and neighborhood networks are valuable in their own right whether or not one chooses to activate.
Message from Chief Cosgrave
Despite our commitment to CERT training for the past 20 years, we have lacked the authorization to activate CERT members through our local Fire Battalion Chiefs.
Today I’m happy to inform you that on September 19, 2019, The San Mateo County Emergency Services Council approved a resolution to: “Allow for the San Mateo County Emergency Services Council (ESC), acting as the County of San Mateo’s Accredited Disaster Council (ADC), to make the following CERT Host/Sponsor Agencies an Authorized Designee of the Disaster Service Worker (DSW) program in support of CERT teams in unincorporated San Mateo County: Coastside Fire Protection District; San Mateo County Fire Department; Kings Mountain Fire Brigade; and La Honda Fire Brigade.”
This accomplishes 3 things:
- Coastside CERTs can be sworn-in locally and will have DSW coverage for training and approved drills.
- Scheduling of CERT-related drills and training is localized and streamlined.
- The four agencies listed in the resolution (Battalion Chief level and above) have been delegated the authority to activate CERTs when there are activities necessary to mitigate an imminent threat of extreme peril to life, property, and resources. The four agencies will be able to activate their CERT teams in accordance with local, County, and State regulations, or in the event of a proclaimed emergency (to include retroactive proclamations). Activated CERTs will have DSW insurance coverage.
The motto of CERT is to “Do the Greatest Good for the Greatest Number.” With these changes, CERT members can now start the process of rallying their neighborhood teams much sooner following a disaster when their training can make the biggest impact.
A big “Thanks for the support!” goes out equally to everyone from neighborhood leaders to State-level officials. The Council vote was unanimous in its approval.
Coastside CERT Program Manager and Lead Instructor
San Mateo County Battalion 10
Serving Coastside Fire Protection District
San Mateo/Santa Cruz Unit Battalion 10-A