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Fire Department Takes on Emergency Preparedness in Northern San Mateo County

Case Story

The Colma Fire Protection District works in the small Town of Colma and in the village of Broadmoor in unincorporated San Mateo County. The district was founded by volunteers in 1925, and continues to involve volunteers from the community in emergency preparedness efforts. Over the past year and a half, the district has provided CERT training to 38 volunteers in Colma, and the town has purchased backpack emergency kits for each of the 461 living units in town. They also have emergency kits, blankets and water stored at the community center.

According to Disaster Preparedness Coordinator Sean O’Connor, the district is currently working to get more residents engaged in personal disaster preparedness. O’Connor is preparing a flier about the two hour preparedness classes and the full CERT training program he leads to be sent out to more than 2000 homes. He also plans to promote emergency preparedness training in partnership with the Town of Colma in the future. The Colma Police Department is planning a Neighborhood Watch program that would involve block captains and block parties, and could create an opportunity for outreach about emergency preparedness training opportunities.

Another goal is to find someone from within the current CERT team willing to take on a leadership role to head up a new network comprised of local CERT-trained volunteers, and to take on some responsibility for the growth and marketing of this network, said O’Connor. “The idea is that the Fire Protection District would train the emergency response team, provide equipment and help coordinate drills, but that volunteers would manage the day-to-day activities themselves. For that we need to find a volunteer team leader as they have in Redwood City and The City of San Mateo.”

For more information, contact Sean O’Connor, Colma Fire Protection District Disaster Preparedness Coordinator at 415-533-4643 or soconnor@colmafd.org.

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