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CERTs from across the region will hold emergency rescue training in Eugene this Saturday

In a 2019 training session, members of the Eugene-Springfield Fire Dept. instruct CERT members on search and rescue methods.
Photo from Eugene/Springfield CERT's Facebook page.
In a 2019 training session, members of the Eugene-Springfield Fire Dept. instruct CERT members on search and rescue methods.

A regional earthquake response exercise will be held Saturday morning in downtown Eugene. 

Sierra Anderson is the emergency manager for the City of Eugene. She told KLCC that several Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTS) will be across the street from Fire Station 2 on 1705 West 2nd Avenue.

It’ll be a search and rescue scenario for a commercial building following a Cascadian event, which Anderson said is important training.

“It's a good place for folks to start when they're looking at this big preparedness pie and how to start eating it, right?” said Anderson. “It gives folks kind of the basic skills for emergency response. CERT is also neighborhood based.

“So what it does is it helps to connect folks within the neighborhood that they live in and kind of assess how they can help each other during major disasters.”

Other community emergency response teams will be present including from Benton and Linn counties, and Cottage Grove.

People can also observe and ask questions during the exercise from 10am to noon.

Amateur radio to play big part in post-quake communications

When a major earthquake hits the Pacific Northwest, officials say ham radio operators will be part of their response.

Anderson said their CERT has a group that works with amateur radio, to assist in keeping communications going with the Emergency Operations Center once an anticipated Cascadian event occurs.

“It's a very robust, very well put together team and they assist us in times of emergency with our ham radios if needed,” added Anderson. “They work in our City Emergency Operation Center, doing ham radio call outs.

“We had an exercise last month and it was really interesting to see how well the neighborhood's work together and their processes for radio communication through times of emergency.”

With an anticipated intensity of 9.0 on the Richter scale, a Cascadian quake is expected to disrupt transportation, power, and supply chains for weeks, if not longer.

Communication is seen as a vital way to keep people and responders connected in times of disaster.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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