Edison gives CERT $5,000 grant

Ann Cousineau

Edison gives CERT $5,000 grantThe Indian Wells Valley Community Emergency Response Team has received a $5,000 grant from Edison International to support CERT’s Emergency Prepared-ness programs. For more than six years, CERT has been offering a wide variety of disaster preparedness programs under the umbrella of the Ridgecrest Police Depart-ment and the city of Ridgecrest. The team also reports to Kern County Office of Emergency Services.

According to Tammy Tumbling, philanthropy and community investment director for Edison International/Southern California Edison, the grant is part of SCE’s effort to partner with nonprofit organizations.

By making commitments that invest in programs such as IWV CERT’s Emergency Preparedness Program, SCE hopes to help make the strongest impact, especially in these economically challenged times.

In addition to disaster preparedness training, CERT follows up with emergency drills every month. CERT volunteers also assist RPD with traffic control for special events and police-assigned emergency situations.

“CERT is an invaluable organization. They are a gigantic help to the police department, but also to the city of Ridgecrest and other nearby cities,” said RPD Sgt. Ryan Marrone, who oversees CERT operations.

“This grant money is well deserved. CERT is a nonprofit group that jumps at any opportunity to serve the police and the city. This money will go to assist with emergency preparedness programs and equipment.

“CERT is a truly amazing group of people that is prepared as a smooth operation, ready to respond at a moment’s notice.”

“We want to help empower people to be prepared for disasters of all kinds. The more people who are prepared, the better it will be for everyone,” said Kathy Uetz, IWV CERT coordinator.

“We want to see folks be part of the solution instead of being part of the problem.”

CERT operations throughout the year include a training program that prepares people to help themselves, their families and their neighbors in the event of a disaster. During critical incidents, emergency services personnel may not be able to reach everyone right away. By getting trained in CERT, people will have the skills to help emergency responders save lives and protect property.

“People do not have to sign up to be on our team to get disaster preparedness training,” said Uetz. “Every year we offer basic CERT training in May. These sessions include how to identify and anticipate hazards, reduce fire hazards in the home and workplace, extinguish small fires, assist emergency responders, conduct light search and rescue, set up medical treatment areas, apply basic medical techniques and more.” The next training weekend will be held in May.

CERT is among several local organizations participating in the annual “The Great California ShakeOut,” an earthquake drill designed to help people in homes, schools and organizations practice how to be safe during big earthquakes.

CERT actively encourages everyone to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared. To learn more call 769-499-5100 or Kathy Uetz at 760-760-977-1297.

Story First Published: 2013-11-27