November 15, 2002  


SERT-ainly Prepared for Disaster

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 Trainer Course."

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 equipment.



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Last update Friday November 15, 2002 by Kathy B