Last week, Lakewood Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) tackled their second deployment. A large, long-burning commercial fire involving three businesses on Monday, Jan 18 lasted so long that water had started to accumulate and flood outside areas. CERTs were called to fill sandbags and deliver them to the fire site to control the water flow. Joane Hatch, a CERT member recounts their activities:
“At 4:35 PM on Monday, Jan. 18th, our Lakewood CERT team was called to action to help fill sandbags for the recent commercial fire that occurred on 84th and South Tacoma Way.
When Colleen Adler of Lakewood Fire put out the text message, 5 CERT members responded: Nancieann Anderson, Theresa Karayianes, Roger Ansteth, Michelle Klemetson and myself. We also had 4 non-CERT members recruited for the job.
Roger was already filling sandbags when Michelle, myself, and our volunteer group showed up. Then came Theresa, and behind her Nanciann and her husband. Thank goodness Theresa had a truck, as we were not sure how we were going to get the sandbags to the sight once we got them filled.
We dug right in and within about 25 minutes we had over 30 sandbags filled and ready for delivery.
We contacted Charles Peiffer, Battalion Chief in charge of the scene, and he stated that the situation had changed and they would not need delivery and to please leave the bags at the fire station and they would get them if they needed.
With this being our first call-out for duty, I feel we did pretty good. We worked as a team and got the job done.
Joane Hatch, Lakewood CERT Member“
Luckily, Lakewood Fire personnel found pre-filled sandbags and were able to use those for the response. But as Captain Mark Tinsley stated, “the bags the CERT team filled won’t go unneeded and will be greatly appreciated at an event when time counts.”
Lakewood CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training is sponsored by Lakewood Fire District 2. The program started last year and has over 70 registered members. The next class session is scheduled to begin March 1, 2010. Classes are held at Lakewood Fire Station 21 on 5000 Steilacoom Blvd. SW every Monday and Wednesday for three weeks. Class times are from 6:30 – 9:00pm, with a final drill on Saturday March 20 from 10:00am-2:00pm. Please contact Colleen Adler, Disaster Preparedness Coordinator, for more information or to register for this class.