By Miriam Boon
The triage trailer stocked with supplies
(Photo by Steve Mahaley)
In almost every community across the Bay Area, citizens
stand ready to cope with emergencies when and if they should occur. SLAC
is no different in this regard—we have a team called the SLAC Emergency
Response Team (SERT).
"SERT is all about disaster preparedness, people helping
people, rescuer safety and doing the greatest good for the greatest number
of people," said Nimfa Santos (SHA), a Registered Nurse in the Medical
Department who coordinates SERT along with Steve Mahaley (SHA). The team
consists of 40 volunteers, 30 of whom have completed Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) training. Some also serve on their hometown
teams. One is a member of the National Ski Patrol.
The team’s training is achieved through a course designed
by FEMA. The 18-hour course has been taught for the last two years by Paul
Staudenmaier (SEM), who leads the Morgan Hill Community Emergency Response
Team (CERT), and Mahaley, the SLAC Emergency Management Coordinator. The
course’s eight modules include first aid, disaster preparedness, hazardous
material and fireproofing, disaster medical, disaster psychology, search
and rescue, and terrorism. Last month, Mahaley went to the FEMA Emergency
Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland to attend the "CERT Train the
SERT has yet to be activated, but they stand ready. To
stay in practice and prevent important skills from falling into disuse,
SERT has quarterly meetings and yearly drills.
Emergency response teams are very popular in this area
because of the proximity to the San Andreas fault. For that reason, SLAC’s
team tends to focus on being prepared for earthquakes.
SERT has a trailer located between the A&E building (Bldg.
41) and the Test Lab (Bldg. 44) that contains medical and other emergency
supplies. This is where a triage area would be set up in case of disaster.
There is also a trailer at the Fire Station with emergency rescue