Very informative Fire Prevention & Disaster Preparedness Training Academy & Fair

Bookmark this for future reference

By George Miller

The Oxnard Fire Dept. hosted a very useful event and open house on Saturday, October 3, at the shiny new $24 million Fire Station 8. It was intended to educate and inform residents about emergency risks and how to best deal with them. These risks included earthquakes, fires, floods, tsunamis, storms, health emergencies and more. The odds of at least one of these occurring in Oxnard are fairly high. Public safety departments might be overwhelmed and will need civilian help. Hundreds of people came, but there are hundreds of thousands in Oxnard, so we hope to get this information out to more here- please share.

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Oxnard FD Station 8, site of the Training Academy and Open House. Photo:

Station 8 filled a big service hole in South Oxnard, to speed up response time and house additional equipment and personnel.

Interim Fire Chief and permanent Police Chief Jeri Williams was right out in front to greet us when walking in past shiny, immaculately maintained engines, as was Battalion Chief Sergio Martinez.

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Interim Fire Chief and permanent Police Chief Jeri Williams greets participants to Training Academy and Fair. Photo:

In summary, the academy offered:

– CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)- training, information about capabilities & courses- first aid, fire suppression & safety, working with public safety departments, Search  & Rescue Techniques, preparing emergency kits.

– Sign up for VC Alert emergency notifications on your phone.

– Sign up as an online Damage Reporter, using your phone or computer.

– Maps of potential earthquake, tsunami and flood hazards along with advice on what to do.

– How to: CPR, utility shutoff, household hazards, pet preparedness.

– Ride in a scary earthquake simulator- fairly realistic.

– Info and display on Fire Dept. Search and Rescue and Hazardous spill response and equipment

– Red Cross info on family emergency supplies kit- http://redcrossla.org

–  NOAA Weather forecast info.

– Displays of emergency supplies for sale and advice on preparing emrgency kits

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CERT member Carol Miller ran training sessions on victim assessment steps- repeat after me: first call 9-1-1, check airway, bleeding and shock. She demonstrates technique for opening airways. Photo:

CERTFDOxnardCall for next CERT/Fire Dept.-conducted classes:

Oxnard Community Emergency Response Team
(CERT) Training
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is taught by Oxnard Firefighters. It focuses on
teaching you how to be self sufficient during a disaster. Hands-on skills taught in this series of classes includes:
fire extinguisher training (You’ll get to put out a real fire under the watchful eyes of firefighting professionals!).
You’ll learn how to do disaster first aid and triage. You’ll even learn some basic search and rescue techniques.
At the end of the class room portion of the training, participants will participate in a full scale disaster exercise.
No special skills are needed.

Session #1: Disaster Preparedness
Learn about disasters and their impact on the community; personal preparedness; emergency kits.
Session #2: Disaster Fire Suppression
Fire chemistry, hazards, and hands-on training in fire extinguisher use.
Session #3: Disaster Medical Operations Part 1
Triage, head to toe assessments, establishing a treatment site and simple first aid procedures.
Session # 4: Disaster Medical Operations Part 2
First aid treatment strategies, establishing a treatment site and continuation of Session #3 topics
Session #5: Light Search and Rescue
Rescuer safety, search patterns, lifting and cribbing techniques.
Session #6: Disaster Psychology /Terrorism
Terrorism awareness and disaster psychology for the rescuer.
Session #7: FINAL EXERCISE – Disaster simulation with YOU as the rescuer!


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“Cheat sheets” on what to do: get them from Fire Dept.. Better yet, take a CERT Disaster Preparedness course- FREE. Photo:

Quakehold brought people into its truly scary, but reputedly safe, earthquake simulator:

Oxnard has two large, well-equipped specialty vehicles for Urban Search & Rescue and Hazardous Materials response, both obtained through grants and collectively worth about $1 million, fully equipped.Capt. Donald Hudson (left below), a 4o year firefighting veteran, showed us the SAR truck.  He told us that Oxnard is part of a task force which also includes Ventura County, Ventura, Santa Barbara County and Santa Barbara City. They did play an important role in the big train wreck on Rose Ave. a few months ago, along with other elements of the task force and more depts.

Engineer Brian Maloney, a former navy man,  is assigned to the Hazardous Material vehicle, when needed. His regular job is on a standard engine. They do joint training with a wider area task force.

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Oxnard has two large, well-equipped specialty vehicles for Urban Search & Rescue and Hazardous Materials response, both obtained through grants and collectively worth about $1 million, fully equipped. Photo:


Become an Oxnard damage reporter and feed info to the Oxnard Emergency Operations Center, in the event of a disaster. You can do it by phone, iPad, Android, tablet, or email account, but must first complete a one-hour training course and have an app installed. training Oct 21 & 28 6-7 PM- call: 805-385-7717, or email [email protected]

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To sign up for VC Alert and get emergency warning messages on your phone, email, text, fax, IM, just text “VCALERT” to 313131 and you will receive a text back which enables you to register. Call Susan at 805-385-7717 for assistance, if needed. Or do it via Ventura County: 805-648-9283

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At the FD Academy, These ladies made a convincing pitch on signing up for VC Alerts to learn of emergencies. Photo:


There was plenty of information on flood and tsunami inundation and evacuation maps. Basically, they advise you to quickly evacuate away from flood zones and the ocean, mostly along Gonzales, Wooley, Fifth, Ventura and Hueneme/Pleasant Valley Road routes. People have worked hard to provide this info for us. Don’t wait until we’re underwater to consult the maps and prepare your emergency evacuation plans and supplies kit. More info on this and more: Ventura County Office of Emergency Services:

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This could save your life:

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NOAA had an informative table on weather information and an even more informative actual Meteorologist Joe Sirard, of NOAA National Weather Service right here in Oxnard.

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Meteorologist Joe Sirard of NOAA National Weather Service right here in Oxnard at Training Academy and Fair 10-3-15. Photo:

Local Weather: National Weather Service Los Angeles/Oxnard

NOAA: Coastal Marine Weather Forecasts

NOAA Climate Prediction Center: El Nino Diagnostic Discussion

SoCal Weather Radar: Accuweather

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Gold Coast ambulance, which responds to calls with the Fire Dept., was giving instruction on CPR. Photo:

Recommended Grab ‘n Go Bag emergency kit- download, print and use.

Southern California Earthquake Center

Red Cross fire prevention and safety checklist

Red cross also recommends that you put sealed  plastic-bagged copies of drivers’ licenses, emergency contacts info, passports, birth certificates, Social Security cards, medical insurance cards,k immunization records, prescription lists, insurance policies, bank account numbers, credit card and company numbers, actual spare cash, in a safe place.  –  Lots of good disaster prep info.


Radio stations for emergency broadcasts:

KVEN 1450 AM

KHAY 100.7 FM

KMLA 103.7 FM (Spanish)

Oxnard Disaster Preparedness Coordinator, Susan Dueñas- 805-385-7717, [email protected]

Oxnard Fire Dept.: 805-385-7717



George Miller is Publisher of and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

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