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Inside Lake Havasu City’s C.E.R.T. Team

Inside Lake Havasu City’s C.E.R.T. Team
Janet Cruz / 22 Oct 2022 / 1 Comment » Comments

By Janet Cruz

October is officially the start of event season in Lake Havasu City, which means when the fire department or police appear at large events, not too far behind is the volunteer Citizen Emergency Response Team or C.E.R.T. Team.

“You often see us at large scale events such as the Run to the Sun Relics and Rods event, the Balloon Festival and bike races at SARA Park. The team assists by administering basic first aid when needed,” said Bob MacMillan, C.E.R.T Team Leader in Lake Havasu City.

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Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

This dedicated group of volunteers is often the first point of contact and spends most of its time assisting in the community when professional responders are not immediately available. C.E.R.T members are active in emergency preparedness assignments as well.

The C.E.R.T team is also tasked with running rehab stations to rehydrate and assist members of the fire or police department when they are out in the field for countless hours.

“During a fire, we set up a station and provide snacks to the firefighters. We change their air bottles, give them sports drinks or water to rehab them before they go back into the fire. “This year we have been extremely busy with calls well over 20 to 25 more this year as well,” adds Mac Millan

The first Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T) was created in 1985 and was used by the Los Angeles City Fire Department when one of the major earthquakes, known as The Whittier Narrows earthquake, rocked California in 1987 and was marked as an areawide threat of a major disaster in California. Soon, other cities and towns across the United States started to form their own C. E. R.T. teams.

Arleen MacMillan works on a scene for C.E.R.T. Photo courtesy Bob MacMillan

The Mohave County C.E.R.T program  started their own team in the fall of 1997, soon teams in Bullhead City, Mohave Valley and Lake Havasu City followed. Since July, the Lake Havasu City C.E.R.T team is now managed under the control of The Lake Havasu City Fire Department. Previously it was managed by Mohave County Emergency Response Team.

C.E.R.T members are constantly training to be prepared for any disaster that may take place in the community. From helping out during monsoon and event season, to making sure first responders are refreshed and constantly ready.

To get involved with the C.E.R.T team, members complete classroom training offered by a local fire department or agency. Members are trained for fire hazard, first aid, hazardous material, terrorist incidents, search and rescue and disaster medical operations.

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The C.E.R.T trailer is ready and available for any emergency in Lake Havasu City. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

“Volunteers must take refresher courses and attend meetings,” said MacMillian. “or they are out of the group.”

In early January of 2015, the C.E.R.T team helped with the recovery operation of pieces of the London Bridge that were forced onto the Bridgewater Channel after a car crashed into the Bridge and damaged part of it.

In October 2014, the group also responded to an RV fire that claimed the life of one Havasu resident in the 1600 block of Cactus Drive.  C.E.R.T volunteers kept the neighborhood residents informed and provided water bottles, towels and lots of support for firefighters on the scene who needed their assistance.

Photo courtesy Bob MacMillan

“We are so lucky to have such a very open fire department here who is receptive to all we do,” says MacMillan. “If there is a scene or job that is above the C.E.R.T teams level, that’s when we definitely in turn, hand it over to the fire department.”

MacMillan also said he believes that everyone on the C.E.R.T team are just individuals who are dedicated to do a job they all really love to do.

Members of the C.E.R.T. team pose for a photo while working the Bluegrass Festival in March. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

C.E.R.T. members Clayton and Coriene Maier pose for a photo while working at the Bluegrass Festival this past March. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

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Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

C.E.R.T. volunteers and Jeff Kemp of the Lake Havasu Fire Department are on hand at the Havasu Balloon Festival to help keep balloon pilots, crew, volunteers, and attendees safe during the event. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

 

1 Comment » Comments:

One Response to “Inside Lake Havasu City’s C.E.R.T. Team”

  1. Janet Jankowski says:

    I am part of CERT Team and really am proud of our group! Thanks to Bob and Arleen Team Leaders for their hard work!

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