State - CA (California)

Grade Fire (Mendocino County) Started 7/16/2017, updated 9/19/2017

State - California - CALFIRE - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 00:24
Fire crews will remain on scene for patrol, to extinguish interior hot spots and strengthen control lines.

Quail Fire (Calaveras County) Started 7/12/2017, updated 9/19/2017

State - California - CALFIRE - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 00:17
Fire equipment in the area please use caution. Citizens returning to the area are asked to not impede the ongoing fire fighting operations.

Loma Fire (Santa Clara County) Started 9/26/2016, updated 9/19/2017

State - California - CALFIRE - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 12:30
Fire crews remain throughout the fire perimeter to provide fire suppression repair, remove firefighting equipment, mop up and patrol. Please drive slowly and use caution as emergency crews and equipment are still working in the area. See the State's Post Fire Watershed Emergency Response Report. (October 2016) Loma Fire WERT Report - Storm Damage Response (February 2017)

Captain Pace Stokes Takes the Helm on the Ghost Ship Fire

State - California - CALOES - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 12:07

Captain Pace Stokes, Alameda County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, sat down with Shawn Boyd at the Alameda County Emergency Operations Center in Dublin, California. Their recording session took place on day-1 of Urban Shield. For this year’s exercise Capt. Stokes was the deputy incident commander, where he said this was the first year that CERT was actively involved in the exercise and that there was a competitive element to their training. Capt. Stokes also talks about what helps him manage a large-scale training exercise like Urban Shield (there were 63 sites across five counties involved,) and about the ghost ship warehouse fire that killed 36 people on December 2, 2016 in Oakland.


Alameda County Sheriff

Alameda County OES

Urban Shield

Cal OES Video Blog on Urban Shield and CERT

CERT Takes Center Stage at Urban Shield for First Time

State - California - CALOES - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 12:00

The Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) from the Bay Area actively participated in the training exercise Urban Shield for the first time.  CERT was always present for support but this year was different – they trained front and center under the Green Command moniker.

The exercising personnel were separated into two groups: the victims/patients and the rescuers. Whatever team individual CERT members were assigned to, they all were put to the test and gained important knowledge, skills and understanding of what it takes to perform under pressure when lives are at stake.  CERT can always use more volunteers, and as you’ll see in the video you do have what it takes to become a CERT member; it’s up to you to decide whether you can or want to join.

According to their website, the CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs.  Since 1993 when this training was made available nationally by FEMA, communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico have conducted CERT training. FEMA supports CERT by conducting or sponsoring Train-the-Trainer and Program Manager courses for members of the fire, medical and emergency management community.  There are over 2,700 local CERT programs nationwide, with more than 600,000 individuals trained since CERT became a national program.

Urban Shield says it’s grown into a comprehensive, full-scale regional preparedness exercise assessing the overall Bay Area UASI Region’s response capabilities related to multi-discipline planning, policies, procedures, organization, equipment and training. Urban Shield continues to test regional integrated systems for prevention, protection, response and recovery in our high-threat, high-density urban area. The exercise evaluates our existing level of preparedness and capabilities, identifying not only what we do well, but areas in need of improvement. The previous years’ After Action Reports are referenced and used to assist in prioritizing upcoming expenditures possible for the region so we may become more prepared for any type of critical event or incident in our area.  The overarching goals of Urban Shield include striving for the capability to present a multi-layered training exercise to enhance the skills and abilities of regional first responders, as well as those responsible for coordinating and managing large scale events. Urban Shield is implemented to identify and stretch regional resources to their limits, while expanding regional collaboration and building positive relationships. In addition, this exercise provides increased local business and critical infrastructure collaboration. Urban Shield challenges the skills, knowledge and abilities of all who participate. It not only improves regional disaster response capabilities, but provides a platform for national and international first responders, as well as the private sector, to work efficiently and effectively together when critical incidents occur.

Map of Urban Shield Sites Links

California Volunteers & CERT

Community Emergency Response Team

Urban Shield

Swedish Group Comes To California To Observe And Learn

State - California - CALOES - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 17:30

When members from various Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) from across Northern California gathered for a training exercise at the Alameda County Fairgrounds recently, a small group of observers there to watch the drills stood out.  Most of the group of nine were wearing shirts with the word, ‘Sweden’ across the front.

“We’re excited to be here and learn a lot about the Urban Shield exercise,” said the group’s organizer, Tove Frykmer.

Frykmer, a PhD student at Lund University in Lund, Sweden, spent six months as a visiting scholar at the University of California in Berkley.  It was during those six months stateside she first heard about Urban Shield, a training exercise involving local, national, and international first responder agencies.  She went back to her home country and immediately began plans to bring a group back to the states in time to observe as many Urban Shield exercises as possible.

“I collected a group of nine Swedes,” Frykmer said.  “It’s very diverse.  We have two fire and rescue service folks.  We have two policemen.  We have one from the Swedish Armed Forces.  We have one person from the Swedish FEMA and two representing the cities and counties in Sweden. ”

Watching And Learning

On this day, the Swedish delegation spent the afternoon watching CERT team members practice search and rescue drills.  They also spent the day talking with the dozens of law enforcement and first responders on hand.

“In the recent disasters we’ve had, we’ve seen that volunteers are the first ones to the scene in many cases and they’re the ones that are doing those roles that professional responders otherwise would be,” said Nathan Rainey with the Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services.

“We hope to learn how you develop an organized incident command system,” Frykmer explained.  “We’re also interested in learning if you have the same problems and issues in crisis management that we have in Sweden.  We hope to learn how you handle things and also to create this network to meet people from different organizations here and maybe bring some contacts back to Sweden.”

California is known for having one of the best mutual aid systems in the world, so it’s not uncommon for other countries to use the emergency programs here as a model.

“One thing that I’ve noticed is that you have a very organized system in California with the standardized emergency management system and the mutual aid agreement,” said Frykmer.    “In Sweden we work more on the next door municipality.  You have some agreements but in general it’s not as organized.  That’s a big difference between us and you here in California. ”




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