Time Certain: Gary Pons and George Alfaro -- 9:19 a.m.
Gary Pons, Assistant Director of Safety and Risk Management, and George Alfaro, Environmental Compliance Manager of Safety and Risk Management, presented an informative and valuable PowerPoint presentation on CSULB Urban Search and Rescue Training. The USAR team's primary mission during an emergency or disaster is to search, locate, triage, and prioritize the removal of victims to a designated triage area where they will be given further and appropriate assistance. This team is run by the University Police Department, and the program intends, as stated by George Alfaro and quoted in Shayne Schroeder's article published on the CSULB website, "to give volunteers a higher level of skills and basic skills for emergency preparedness, search and rescue, light firefighting, and disaster medicine," to use at home and on-campus to survive and assist others during an emergency or disaster. If team members are at home when a disaster or emergency hits, it is hoped that, after they have seen to their own and family needs, the responders will come to the campus to help out. The first priority is to triage victims to further assess needs to quickly prioritize for further medical attention.
The training matches actual events as closely as possible and the teams do some real or simulated going through and clearing of structurally sound buildings. It is training by following a very precise system, and volunteers have to perform several somewhat physically demanding tasks which require a minimum level of fitness. Pulling, pushing, and lifting are required. Backpack kits containing preparedness equipment such as the 5-in-1 hand tool are issued to those who complete the training and get certified.
A new class is planned for August or September, and those interested should contact George Alfaro at 562.985.2378.