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Simi Valley CERT, or Lack Thereof

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Long before, during and after the 2010 City Council election I brought up the issue that Simi Valley does not have a real CERT program like many other communities.



Update: I again brought up the issue of the lack of a CERT program in Simi Valley and the redefined "CERT" that Simi Valley uses. After I spoke, the Council asked Police Chief Mike Lewis to speak about some of the issues that I raised. Chief Lewis claimed that CERT member had not been called up and that CERT graduates were communicated with. The Council would not allow me to respond to the false/deceptive statements that Chief Lewis made. I spoke to Chief Lewis outside and he admitted that he had no idea of what had occurred during the 2005, in which the City could not get enough DSW volunteers nor CERT graduates and had to resort to having people who were in the CERT class to volunteer. So much for the 900+ CERT volunteers. Also, I received a response back regarding communication to CERT graduates and was told that (for some reason) the City only communicates with CERT graduates who have taken the class within the last 3 years.

Also, I was informed that the Ventura County Fire Department was not updated in 2010 for the CERT refresher.

So far, Council Member Steve Sojka has failed to state what additional training is available for CERT graduates. I personally don't consider a refresher to be additional training as it is just going over the previous taught materials.

Mayor Huber has shown his true colors and that while the name has changed, the people have not changed, when he instead of wanting to discuss this issue, he told me that I could come back at the next meeting to respond. This is one of the major problems with our government, the elected people really don't want to listen or hear from the people. Mayor Huber could have requested to have this issue listed as an agenda item. It is also important to realize that they CAN allow for additional discussion on the matter and not just limit people to 3 minutes. The Council chooses not to and does not want to hear from the people. I am also disappointed that Council Member Mike Judge does not seem to be willing to speak out on this or any other matter and instead seems to have become just another one of them.



I have sent email and even brought it up at a Council meeting, but it seems that the Council members don't really listen. I explained the issues to Council Member Judge, but Council Member Steve Sojka said that there was additional training, the reality is there is only the Ventura County Fire Department refresher. In August 2010, Mayor Miller said that there were 970 CERT graduates, but on December 13, 2010 Steve Sojka said that there were 965 CERT graduates. So, which is it? Also ignored was the fact that Simi Valley does not maintain (update) the list of CERT graduates. This means that where there is a need, the City has NO idea of how many people they will be able to actually contact. There is no updates for people who die, divorce or move.

The only thing on the Simi Valley CERT Calendar is the classes, nothing more. There are no monthly meetings, no monthly or quarterly training. The City of Simi Valley has a "CERT Refresher Training" web page, but there are no details, no links to the Ventura County Fire Department, which actually organizes the CERT Refresher. I sent email to the address listed, but so far I have not received any response.

Compare the
LAFD Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training to the City of Simi Valley Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) . Notice the name difference? CERT is defined as "Community Emergency Response Team", yet Simi Valley redefines it it as "Community Emergency Response Training" instead. This is because there is NO team. Look at the CERT Logo at the top of the page, notice what it says?

Then check out CERT Los Angeles web site, especially the calendar. Look at all the events.

Check out Santa Paula CERT and notice that they have montly meetings and on-going training.

The list of examples could go on and on. The simple fact is that the City of Simi Valley has no real CERT program and that seems to violate the City of Simi Valley Municipal Code.

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Written: 14-Dec-2010

Updated: 24-Jan-2011

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