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Winter Prep | Lower Valley's Citizen Emergency team readies for the 'big one'
The rain and wind didn’t stop disaster preparations in Tolt-MacDonald Park in Carnation.
During the morning of Sept. 28, the radio call came in—“Injuries at the park”—setting in motion the Carnation-Duvall Citizen Corps response exercise.
The exercise integrated Community Emergency Response Teams, Carnation-Duvall Medical Reserve Corps, and Snoqualmie Valley Amateur Radio Club, with King County Duvall Fire District 45, Eastside Fire & Rescue, Snoqualmie Valley Hospital and Valley General Hospital. Evaluators from the King County Office of Emergency Management said, “Good job.” Yes, there were some procedures with rough edges, but they will be smoother next time. Exercises help identify needed improvements.
Carnation-Duvall Community Emergency Response Team—CERT, volunteers exercised their skills in light search and rescue, triage, disaster medical response and disaster psychology in as close to the real thing as could be simulated. Volunteers were moulaged—made up to look like they had suffered injuries. Eastside Fire & Rescue helped CERT practice cribbing, a technique of building a fulcrum and then lifting and stabilizing a heavy object, to free a trapped person.
Carnation-Duvall Medical Reserve Corps—CDMRC volunteers accepted patients, performed a second triage, and provided treatment in a simulated Field Treatment Center. There are five Citizen Corps Field Treatment Centers in the community.
Snoqualmie Valley Amateur Radio Club—SnoVARC volunteers coordinated radio communications between CERT and CDMRC at the disaster site with the Emergency Operations Center in Duvall FD45 headquarters. Other hams at the operations center radioed local hospitals to expect the injured. In response, Snoqualmie Valley Hospital exercised its patient surge plan.
A video of the exercise is available on YouTube at http://youtu.be/pHGs6hf3RZY, courtesy of Ric Eittreim, Far North Productions.
An exercise is being planned for next summer. If you are a CERT, a member of CDMRC or a SnoVARC ham, or want to become one, answer the call. Sign up with Citizen Corps. Make contact by sending e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (425) 844-9470.
Carnation-Duvall Citizen Corps Council brings all these programs together for community safety. Check out Citizen Corps on the Web at www.carnationduvallcitizencorps.org. You will also find links to CERT, CDMRC and SnoVARC.
Prepare yourself and your home. Go to www.ready.gov for tips on what to set aside for that ‘dark and stormy morning’; it might last a few days or more. Start now. Make a plan; make a kit; be informed. Be prepared. And join Citizen Corps.