Thank you, Coastsiders!
Firefighters, Medics, Sheriffs, and Harbor Patrol are the usual suspects when you think of first responders and of course we continue to serve, but COVID-19 has evoked a much broader citizen response as so many of you have taken individual actions big and small to help our community stay safe, healthy, and resilient. Coastside generosity, ingenuity, kindness, and compassion are evident everywhere – giving us hope, supporting public health, and literally putting food on local tables. We thank you!
In addition to contacting your neighbors to check-in on their well-being, I am impressed with how CERTs and CERTs-in-Training are using their own initiative, professional expertise, and commitment to serve the greater good. You are making a positive difference throughout the Coastside community and beyond.
Respect and gratitude to our Coastside CERT medical professionals who are serving on the front lines of Coronavirus response and maintaining medical care for all patients in a stressful climate of potential infection. Thank you to our doctors, nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, nurses, radiology specialists, toxicologists, medical IT & records personnel, mental health and trauma counselors, social workers, medical building engineers, and retired medical CERTs of all sorts who have volunteered to step back in to help – all Coastside residents showing courage and stamina as they go to work to do their part during this pandemic.
To the CERTs providing leadership as Half Moon Bay City Councilmembers, Midcoast Community Councilmember, Community Emergency Action Program Chair, Coastside Buzz originator, and the publisher of the Half Moon Bay Review – Thank you all for providing clear, useful information and connections to critical resources during this public emergency.
From home, CERTs have been leading and contributing generously to local COVID-19 fundraising relief efforts, preparing and delivering meals to seniors, supporting food distribution efforts, 3D printing ventilator splitters, making masks, shields, and more masks. You are lifting spirits with painted rocks, inspirational photography, trailside messages, music, organizing applause for caregivers and howls of community gratitude – I’m talkin’ to you, El Granada!
While under the shelter in place order, we are grateful to our Coastside Neighborhood, Zone, and Block Leads (Captains) and Data Managers for coordinating the phone/email/texts/Zoom outreach to your neighbors. 1,300 thanks to you! You are helping to relieve isolation, especially among seniors, and sharing useful information about evolving local resource availability. Your feedback has kept me in touch with grassroots needs and enabled me to connect people with appropriate resources. Ham radio leaders are working hard on their Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) plan in preparation for a disaster when Coastside telecommunications might not be working as well as during this emergency. You have done exactly what we trained to do – respond calmly in an emergency, assist your family and your neighbors as needed, stay informed, be resourceful problem solvers, communicate clearly with first responders, and stay in your neighborhoods – this time in the interest of public health. Well done. Now, together, we prepare to move forward into the next phase.
It always seems to me that when traveling (for work or vacation), the trip back home takes forever and is the most tedious and frustrating part of the trip! Even when on the most enjoyable vacation and looking forward to getting back into the normal routine, a flight delay or missed connection always seems to have more impact.
This trip has definitely not been a vacation but I have finished my taxes, refinanced my mortgage at a lower rate and I’m 2 months into a prepared meal plan and lost 25 pounds… (I heard that! Be nice!) I’m also learning to cook with an air fryer/ pressure cooker/sous vide device that I got as a gift…. so I put 5 pounds back on! I hope you have all been able to find ways to advance during trying times.
But now there is talk of “starting back up” or “getting back to business” so it feels like we are starting to travel back. We do not have our travel plans in hand yet. We do not know how long will it take or how many stops along the way. But there is always something special about returning home. When we get home we kind of take inventory of what changed while we were gone. (If any of your plants died, that is on you this time!)
We will continue to have health orders that we are required to follow but most of your new routine is yet to be determined by YOU. Your risk tolerance and exposure protective needs will be weighed against the activities you engage in.
Another risk we should all consider are the opportunists that take advantage of every vulnerability. Watch for telemarketers, texts, and emails using this situation to obtain identity information or sell you scams.
California’s Stay at Home order is “until further notice” and will be revisited the first week of May. Some states have extended their Stay at Home order to May 15th – 20th while others are planning on starting their transition May 1st… We are in a wait-and-see mode.
When the order is lifted, or modified, we will still be taking the preventative steps to avoid exposure or exposing others to the Coronavirus and it will continue to threaten us. Testing and tracking will continue to improve, treatments are moving forward with constant evaluations, but a vaccine is still not within reach.
Those who came to the CERT Skills Refresher (Rodeo) & BBQ last summer were able to see the effects of gravity with the earthquake shake trailer and got information on securing your space.
Here is a link to hazards near you: https://myhazards.caloes.ca.gov/
Like you really need more hazards right now.
This will be a review for those who have been through the CERT Basic Training including the 41 Spring CERT 2020 students whose Day 3 of training had to be postponed by the need to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We will be finishing Day 3 with the last 2 modules, final drill and graduation as soon as we can offer scheduling options. Summer CERT is still tentatively set for July 15, 18 & 19. We will also be setting new dates for those on the waitlist as soon as we can.
Stay healthy and safe…. And thank you again for all you are doing to keep our community calm, together, and strong.
Fire Battalion Chief David Cosgrave
San Mateo County Battalion 10
Serving Coastside Fire Protection District
San Mateo/Santa Cruz Unit Battalion 10-A
Cell (650) 740-7247
or call the
On-Duty Coastside Battalion Chief (877) 298-1712