November 4th, 2003 - 6:30 p.m.

Billy’s Deli 

5160 W. 190th St., Torrance, CA.



Board Members Present:

Board Members Absent:


Jared Van Sloten

John Moawad

Captain Scott Clegg

Randy Stacy


Michael Vaccaro

Valerie Heath


Lisa Burke

Garth McWhorter

Fire Department Liaison:

Michelle Clevenger

Mike Grady

Division Chief Bob Engler


Bob Heil



Margot Hoffman



Michelle Sayre



Paul Weavers



Alisa Zells






Meeting called to order by President Jared Von Sloten at 6:30 p.m. (10 board members present.)


Role call done by secretary, member absent:  John Moawad.


Motion to approve minutes for October 7th, 2003 was made by Mike second by Michelle, passed by 10 board members present. 


Introductions of our guest:  Our newly promoted Division Chief Robert Engler, Captain Scott Clegg from the Long Beach Fire Department, Lisa Burke and Michael Vaccaro who just completed the LA CERT bi-annual drill and received his level 2 rocker.


 Old Business:


Treasurer’s Report:  Original Balance $3,316.48. Monies deposited this month:  $457 on 10/22, $88 on 11/4.  Monies paid at this meeting $305.00 for color stickers printing. Balance available:  $3,556.48.  Motion to approve reimburse Margot $34.68 for purchasing pizza at CERT class made by Mike, second by Alisa, passed by all 10 members.


Per Mike, CERT baseball caps will be reimbursed to Independent Repair on a semi-annual basis.


Asset reports are done quarterly, Garth will present one in January 2004.  We need to have an inventory of all equipment and apparel items since they have been stored at various locations.


Motion to approve the November 4th, 2003 financial report made by Randy, second by Valerie. Passed by all 10 members.


Master Calendar: No changes since last month.  We still have a citywide disaster drill scheduled on November 13th and have our last training drill for 2003 on December 6th on CSDI/Psychology.


Drills & Trainings:  Division Chief Engler stated that the November drill is not just city wide, but county wide now.  Employees from various city departments including Police, Fire, Public Works and Parks and Recreation will be involved.  The city’s E.O.C. will be activated.  Victims are not needed at this time. The scenario is an explosion and chemical cloud rising from the North East side of AES and we have to evacuate residents from that area.  CERT will work the shelter for the evacuees and assist the American Red Cross and work into teams at the Knob Hill Community Center.  We will have a simulated call out with Phone Tree activation to see who is available.  After the drill, they will have a critique on how things went for the entire city; lunch will be served for all participants at the Main Library.


Mike requested that we email the CERT members so people will be able to take the time off if they wish to participate.  He will work on the content directly with Chief Engler.  He also asked for dispatch to call in a pre-written message of exactly what the Fire Department wants.  Call will come in via dispatch to Mike.  Mike will in turn contact Randy and Valerie.


December 6th drill will be a lecture held at the library.  A psychology nurse will give us some idea how to deal with a critical incident stress.  She will address before and after. 


Jared introduces an additional guest: Michelle Clevenger who recently graduated from class 23.


LA CERT Bi-annual drill:  The Drill was held at Fire Station 88 in Sherman Oaks, October 25th.  LA Fire under-estimated how many people were going to show up. Training was hampered at bit by the nearly 100 degree temperatures and the shear volume of CERT members.  Usually there is one instructor for a group of 10, this time it was approximately one instructor per 50.  Mayor Hann came to speak and some of his speech was televised on Channel 7.


Last week, Mike was working the American Red Cross shelter in Moorpark (for the wild fires) and spent two hours with two of LA-CERT Battalion Coordinators (BC).  In the future when the South Bay is recognized as a Battalion if something happens the BC will contact our CERT person, so our members can help out.  LA has about 6000 CERT members.  If needed, we could ask them for help as well.  The Mayor was impressed with the huge turnout and how far CERT has come along. CERT members from LA, Orange County and the South Bay were used for evacuation and sheltering during the recent wild fires.


Some RBCERT members were able to get their official badge (some waited over 3 hours in line for it). LA CERT would not come to our drills, but they will allow our members to participate in their events and drills.  We have 383 active RBCERT people; about 15 of them are LA CERT members as well.


Communications:  Bob Heil distributed all the possibilities available for communications. Some groups are very hard to talk to.  Mike mentioned the last time he saw American Red Cross (ARC) working the shelters; they had their own radio people there. They are very organized and informative.  Maybe we could associate with them?  Torrance CERT has a few family radios, they also have a class to teach graduates how to handle them, talk and communicate at drills.  It’s been quite successful.


At this time we don’t have enough Ham Radios to communicate, Bob suggested to have a one-day extensive Ham Radio training included in our CERT drills next year.


Newsletter:  We will have a 2003 yearly recap published in December.  Articles must be submitted to Jared for final editing by November 26th.  


Website Sponsorship: Randy created and posted a web page ad for Nina Murphy’s book release.  She has chosen six-month sponsorship. 


Website:  Valerie has posted all the drill pictures up to October, as well as, the Hoole’s recognitions and certificates located under the section awards and photos.  She still needs to post pictures for the Safety Fair, class 23 & 24 graduations.


Funding & Equipment:  Vons Money, Mike has given the list to Gene Mahoney.  Because Gene is very ill right now, it is difficult for him to confirm and coordinate a delivery of the trauma kits.  I will need volunteers to go to Orange County to help me pick up them up.


Mike made a short presentation at the Public Safety Commission last month and asked for the city to fund the purchase of a 5’x10’ft trailer to store and haul all of our equipments.  The trailer cost is $2,400.  We would need to cover the insurance for it on our own.   Once purchased it will be maintained by Independent Repair and parked at Fire Station #2.  RBCERTAA will own and be responsible for the trailer.


Discussions from the floor such as not seeking board approval for this request to the City Council, perhaps jeopardizing grant money that could have gone to the Fire Department etc… brought the following motion:


The Funding & Equipment Committee shall on behalf of the association negotiate and acquire equipment [trailer(s)] at no cost to the association except for registration and insurance.  All other proposals to acquire equipment where cost is involved shall be brought to the board for approval and authorization, prior to commitment.  Motion made by Mike, second by Randy. Passed by 9 board members, one opposed.


Phone Tree:  Mike confirmed that the phone tree has been updated with most of class 23 & 24 graduates information.  The phone tree has nine branches now.  We have three phone tree coordinators: Mike, Randy & Valerie. A call from Fire Department dispatch will be placed to Mike, he will then contact Randy & Valerie for full activation.   Each phone tree coordinator will contact their three group leaders, the group leaders will in turn call their five team leaders, each team leader will call their six members.   It is a very long process and if one leader becomes unavailable it defaults to the caller to contact this leaders list.


Mike will email each Team Leader their updated list.  He stated that the only way a person’s name or phone number can be deleted is if someone notifies him of a change of address or phone number.


Boutique CERT:  Michelle stated she received $157 in apparel from Class 23: 3 t-shirts, 1 sweatshirt, 1 patch, 8 lanyards, 1 cap, 3 color stickers and 4 small decals.  Michelle brought back the caps from the LA-CERT drill, Mike will contact LA-CERT about money collected for them.


We need an accurate count of all apparel available it is stored at various locations.  Mike will keep a small inventory available for CERT members who wish to purchase them during the week instead of waiting for a drill.  The rest will be stored at Alisa’s home.


Discussion about prices versus what we still have in stock was brought up.  Some items are not being purchased because the price is a bit high.  New prices will be published in our December newsletter and available at our December 6th drill as follows: 

T-shirt - $10 (from $15)           Color CERT logo stickers

Sweatshirt $15 (from $25)       3” color sticker - $5

Lanyards $5                             5” color sticker - $10

Small Decal $3             7” color sticker - $15

Large Decal $5             10” color sticker - $20

Baseball Caps $5


Motion made by Michelle to publish the T-shirt and sweatshirt new prices effective December 1st, second by Alisa.  Passed by all 10 board members.


New Business:


2004 Training:  Besides having eight training drills and three Academy graduations, Mike brought the idea to form two separate teams in 2004: One for North Redondo and one for South Redondo.  The advantage would be to have two separate response centers based on the location of an incident where CERT assistance would be requested.  Each would have a team leader, staging, logistics and triage. Each team would work and train closely together, and perhaps compete with each other.  By practicing in small groups and by having social events such as volley ball game this would help our Alumni to bond and ease their fears. 


Suggestion also was to have a training drill prior to a class graduation where the enrolled students get to play the victims.  This gives them an opportunity to be a victim, reduce their anxiety so they can feel more confident when they go through their own graduation drill.


Fire Department’s corner:  Chief Engler informed us that the Fire Department just purchased some equipment for CERT through a grant obtained by Mike Martinet from Area G. Available are 50 vests to be used at incidents and drills only (no, you don’t get to keep them), a dolly, two 10ft pop-ups, and two sets of tarps for triage.  Jared will mail a thank you letter to Mike Martinet for his continuous efforts of getting us supplies (this is for the orange/yellow jackets in the past and now for the grant money we got the vests etc… through him)


Announcements:  RBCERTAA Board of Directors holiday party will be held on Friday December 12th.  This will be a potluck like last year; Margot will keep track of the menu. We will be sending out email invitations to board members, guests and key personnel from the Fire Department.


Lisa mentioned that the Fire Department will be involved again into a Toy Drive this year.  So please show your support and bring an unwrapped toy to either station 1 or 2.


Having no further business the Board Meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:25pm.


                                                                                          Respectfully submitted,


                                                                                          Valerie Heath,

                                                                                          RBCERTAA Secretary


Minutes approved by Board on: _____________________________________