Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween, Keep your Little Ghosts and Goblins Safe

We want to make help your prepare for a fun and safe Halloween.  Here are some easy tips for you and your family for the trick-or-treat festivities. 

  • Check your local newspaper, municipality’s website, or social media feed to get updates on times for trick-or-treating (many locations offer indoor options).
  • Make sure you have several working flashlights and so that everyone can see and be seen, glow sticks and other self illuminated products are widely available. 
  • Only visit houses with porch lights that are turned on!
  • Be vigilant while crossing streets, look both ways before you cross and try to cross only at corners.
  • Stay in groups and keep an eye out for each other while trick-or-treating.
  • Consider costumes that are bright and reflective.
  • Your costumes accessories should be made from soft pliable materials.
  • Do not eat any candy until you return home to your parents.
  • All parents should inspect and review all candy collected before allowing children to consume.  (feel free to collect a candy inspection tax).
  • Discard any candy that show signs of tampering and throw away any candy that is not sealed or in the original packaging.
  • After eating candy don’t forget to brush your teeth (consider a new fun Halloween themed toothbrush).

If you are driving this Halloween season, DRIVE SLOWLY! Never text while driving – it is a distraction and likely illegal in many cities. Children will be out and about – so keep a sharp eye for everyone on the street.
 We've also included the Official Halloween Safety Game below.  Take a turn and let your little ones also test their Halloween Safety Knowledge.  
Hope you have a fun yet safe Halloween this year!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Significant Weather Advisory for SE Clark County / Washougal until 3:15 PM Today

National Weather Services has issued the following urgent weather advisory:

At 236 pm PDT...national weather service doppler radar was tracking a Strong thunderstorm over boring...or 8 miles west of sandy...moving Northeast at 35 mph. Wind gusts up to 50 mph will be possible with this storm.

Locations impacted include...
Valley...Damascus...Eagle Creek...Bull Run and Shortys Corner.

This includes the following highways in Oregon...interstate 84 between mile markers 19 and 22.US highway 26 east of Portland between mile markers 15 and 27.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

Rotation has been observed on radar in this storm. This storm may be Capable of producing a funnel cloud. If you observe a funnel cloud or tornado take cover. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

CRESA Participated in the Great ShakeOut... Did You

At 10:16 this morning, CRESA took part in the Great ShakeOut, in an effort to promote Earthquake Preparedness Awareness.    As you can tell from the pictures, we had some fun taking part in the Great ShakeOut,  This fun approach in reminding everyone the importance to Drop, Cover and Hold On in an Earthquake.   Southwest Washington and the Portland Metro Area lie in what is known as the Cascadia Subduction Earthquake Zone  


Even though this years ShakeOut is officially over, being prepared for an earthquake in something we all need to take seriously.  If you weren't able to take part this year, we challenge you to take a few moments to practice Earthquake Safety for you and your  family.  As a bonus, we would love to see your photos!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

It's Fire Prevention Week... But Do You Know Why?

The first week of October just happens to be Fire Prevention week.  In Fact, Oct 9th is actually referred to as Fire Prevention Day...  But do you know why?

Well, according to legend... It all goes back to 1871 and Mrs. O'Leary was in her milk barn, milking her milk cow.  The cow kicked over a lamp, which started the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  The fire burned for over 27 hours killing over 300 people, and leaving over 100,000 homeless.  Over 17,000 structures were destroyed!!

Over the next forty years, efforts ignited to improve fire prevention leading to the first Fire Prevention Day proclaimed by the Fire Marshall's Association of North America.   In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Fire Prevention Week!!

During this Fire Prevention Week, many of our Fire Agencies throughout the region will be holding events to recognize the importance of fire safety and some tidbits on prevention.  Even if you are unable to attend one of these events in your neighborhood, there are a couple easy things you can do at home that will only take a few moments.

We want to encourage everyone to test your smoke alarm.  In fact we encourage they be tested monthly.  Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives!!  The National Fire Protection Association has created a great Fire Prevention Quiz for you and your family.

We also encourage everyone to Remember "EDITH", which stands for "Exit Drills In The Home." Sometime this week would be a good time to have a practice fire drill with your family!!   The three leading causes of residential fires in Vancouver and Clark County are; 
  • Candles
  • Cooking
  • Smoking 

 Take a look at this video from Vancouver Fire Marshal's office about how you can make your home safer from residential fires, and as Smokey would say... "Only You Can Prevent Fires!"

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

County Technical Services Outage Not impacting CRESA Priority Services

   UPDATE:  3:15 pm  All Non-critical systems at CRESA are slowly coming back online.  
                     Contact:  Eric Frank

Date  10/08/2014                                                        Information Officer
Time 1:00 pm                                                     (360) 992-6289 ext. 3940

The flooding incident at the County Server room on Wednesday afternoon has not affected CRESA priority 9-1-1 services.  This is what we know regarding CRESA:
  • ·        Dispatchers are using alternate protocols in which they practice regularly. 
  • ·        To Callers, service should be seamless and those needing 9-1-1 should not see any difference.
  • ·        We will be updating information as we receive it. 
  • ·        Please follow CRESA at @CRESAtalk on Twitter and us on Facebook for more information.
  • ·        Concerns regarding the County Technical Services outage should be directed to the Clark County Public Information  and Outreach Office at 360-397-6012

Eric Frank
CRESA Public Information Officer


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

CRESA Celebrates Four Life Saving Awards

Here at CRESA we are very proud of our dedicated and highly professional team.  From time to time we get the opportunity to spotlight a few of those individuals who do an amazing job daily and in these cases, helped save a life.

The Life Saving Award is given to a 9-1-1 Dispatcher who use Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) Protocols to give lifesaving instructions to a caller and the patient survives.  In the cases highlighted here,  Dispatchers quickly recognize the need for CPR and instructed the callers on how to start chest compression's while keeping them calm, reassured and focused until paramedics arrive. 

During last week's CRESA Board of Directors Meeting, three 9-1-1 dispatchers were awarded the Life Saving Award... 

Sally Dexter:  
Pictured Left to Right: Sally Dexter; CRESA Board Chair,
Don Cheney; CRESA Director, Anna Pendergrass 

Sally answered a 9-1-1 call from a male subject who stated he needed and ambulance for his friend who is down on the ground and blue.  l   After some time in the hospital the patient was released from the hospital and sent home independently.  

Pictured Left to Right: Kira Yager; CRESA Board Chair, 
Don Cheney; CRESA Director, Anna Pendergrass 
Kira Yager:

Kira answered a 9-1-1 call with woman who was very upset trying to report her 16 year old son was unconscious and not breathing.

Jackie Piggot:  (Receiving two awards)
Pictured Left to Right: Jackie Piggot; CRESA Board Chair, 
Don Cheney; CRESA Director, Anna Pendergrass 

1st Award:
Jackie answered a 9-1-1 call  with a male caller who was reporting his 48 year old girlfriend unconscious and not breathing.  .

2nd Award: 
Jackie answered a 9-1-1 call with a female caller who was reporting her boyfriend was unconscious and not breathing normally.  The patient was transported to the hospital and then left the hospital against medical advice, he did have relatively normal neuro functioning upon leaving.

These four awards highlight the importance of early CPR in saving lives in Clark County!!  We continue to encourage everyone to be trained in Hands Only CPR.  Take a minute to watch the Hands-Only Demo  below,  your knowledge could save a life!! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

CRESA Achieves Clean Audit Report Once Again

September 23, 2014

Contact:  Eric Frank, Public Information Officer, (360) 992-6289

CRESA:  Always Here, Always Ready!
Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA 9-1-1), is pleased to report that CRESA received a clean audit with no findings by the State of Washington for 2013. This marks the 21st  year CRESA has received a clean audit which is something not many agencies can boast about. 

The Washington State Auditor’s Office was on-site at CRESA this summer. During the audit it was noted CRESA has internal controls that safeguard public assets, and we complied with state laws and regulations.  The Accountability Audit Report and the Financial Statements and Federal Single Audit Report are available on the Washington State Auditor's Office web site.  They are located under Report Link 1012461 and Report Link 1012460.

The 21 years of clean audits can be attributed to our dedicated staff being diligent with documentation and their attention to detail.  Here at CRESA we are proud of our staff and the agency’s clean audit history

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

It's Time For the CRESA Community EXPO

Each year, the first Saturday after Labor Day, CRESA closes the street and opens the doors and invites everyone to join us. On Sept 6th from 11am -2pm the tradition continues for the CRESA Community EXPO!! 

Some fun activities planned for children of all ages include face painting, creative button making, games, exploring homeland-security & emergency vehicles, meeting firefighters, police officers, search and rescue dogs and horses.  Kids can stop by the information booth to receive a passport on which they can collect stickers from a variety of booths. Rumor has it even Smokey Bear will be making a visit this year!! 

Enjoy lively demonstrations from Sheriff’s K-9 team, and the Regions Technical Rescue Team repelling off of the Public Service Center.  Learn hands only CPR!  SWAT, Fire, and many local skilled Search and Rescue Groups will all be on hand.   Explore the latest in specialized public safety vehicles including an Armored Personnel Carrier, a Heavy Rescue Vehicle, Fire Engines, Ambulances, Police Command Vehicles, and much more.   

The public will have the unique opportunity to tour the 9-1-1 center and see dispatchers in action taking emergency calls.  Sneak a peek inside the workings of our Emergency Operations Center.  Interact with representatives from our Homeland Security Program, a National Weather Service Meteorologist, and Amateur Radio technical experts. 

September always has a special time for emergency response agencies.  For 9-1-1 dispatchers, it contains the 9-1-1 date of 9/11 and for emergency responders, it signals National Preparedness Month which is celebrated annually throughout this coming month.   

Many local businesses like NW Natural Gas, Corwin, and Frito Lay, have generously donated hot dogs, chips and beverages available on a first-come, first-served basis.

CRESA and the participating agencies and volunteers are proud to offer this free and educational community event!  We look forward to sharing our special day with our community!! Be sure to tag CRESA in your pictures by using #CRESAExpo and check us out more by finding our CRESA Community EXPO Facebook Event!!  

Friday, August 29, 2014

CRESA Kicks Off 5th Year of #30Days30Ways Challenge

September is the 11th Annual National Preparedness Month which means that public safety agencies are busy working on a number of events to ensure that their communities are educated, informed and ready to face any type of crisis situation.  This year’s national theme is “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare!” 

This year, CRESA will  help You take action as we launch the fifth year of our huge online social media game called the 30 Days, 30 Ways Preparedness Challenge which has its own website. Game rules can be found at www.30days30ways.com.    

Being prepared for emergencies should be as common as wearing your seatbelt, and yet nearly every emergency preparedness survey conducted over the past 11 years indicates that 40-80% of people are unprepared to face certain hazards. 

Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA) created this 30-day contest in September 2010 and have, in the last 4 years, recorded the completion of over 10,000 readiness tasks from players in 36 states, 1 territory and 13 countries.    

Players are given a daily challenge at 7:00 a.m. PDT each morning.  Players may submit replies to each of the tasks involved throughout the month to either Facebook, Twitter, commenting on the 3O Days Blog or by email.  Players can choose to play as many days as they would like throughout the month. Players may also catch up and complete past tasks for the month if they miss a day.  All tasks will be short and will not require a significant amount of time to complete.   

CRESA’s primary goal is for people to share information about emergency preparedness, on social media, to reach people who may not otherwise think about being ready for disasters.  Through sharing and re-sharing information, it is vital for people to think about these interesting themes.         

Submissions will be reviewed for their creativity, relativity to the task and its evident popularity online.  Thanks to generous sponsors, winners will be selected and rewarded with gift cards to Amazon.  There will also be 2 Grand Prize winners, based on overall play and creativity selected in October, who will win a $50 Amazon card.

This game sparks great conversations and is a wonderful platform for neighborhoods, scouts, schools and workplaces.  Let it help you “Be Disaster Aware...”  to “Take Action to Prepare!”

Thursday, August 7, 2014

What's On Your List Today?

As September quickly approaches it is time to start thinking about getting those kids back to school.  I know, I know it's still August and it feels like Summer has just began, but before we know it we will trade these 90 degree days for leaf clogged street drains.

As I prepare my daughter for first grade I quickly become overwhelmed with the assortment of supplies kids need for school these days.  I remember walking to school with a Dixon Ticonderoga # 2 pencil above my ear and a copy of The Mouse and the Motorcycle in my back pocket.  Clearly times have changed and it is important to ensure our kids are setup to succeed in school.

As I was making my list I started to get separation anxiety and worry about my daughter's ability to cope with unpredictable circumstances.  Did I teach her about stranger danger?  Does she know what to do if she starts choking?  Does she know my phone number?  I wouldn't say I freaked out, but I began to question my efforts in preparing her for increased independence in this world.  I do this for a living, why hadn't I thought about her individual preparedness?  We have a fantastic family plan and kit, my car is a preppers paradise, and I generally feel I "walk the walk".  But for some reason I never thought about my daughter's level of preparedness when she was not with her Mother or myself.

With a little "Google Therapy" my anxiety quickly eased.  Even though the idea of "kids kits" hadn't hit me before, it was clear that a lot of people had put great thought into the topic.  I found numerous lists of recommended items to include in your child's school bag.  Do a quick Google of "kids preparedness kits" and you'll see what I'm talking about.

After reviewing a few lists I narrowed down what I thought was most necessary and reasonable for a 7 year old to carry with them.  Obviously a 7 year old's kit is going to look quite different then a 14 year old's.  Use your best judgement and really think about what your child may need if there were no adults around to guide them in an emergency situation.

Here's the list I came up with for my first grader:
  • Disposable rain poncho (we do live in the Pacific NW)
  • Assorted waterproof  band-aids
  • Emergency phone numbers on the back of my business card
  • Pencil and small notebook
  • $5.00 in $1.00 bills
  • Light stick
  • Energy bar
  • Whistle 
  • Water bottle ( one with a large opening so all items can be stored in it) 
The kit can adjusted seasonally to add things like sunscreen and lip balm in the summer.  My daughter helped me pick out the items for her kit and then helped me assemble it.  I think she thinks this is what I do at work, I can't break it to her that I sit in front of a computer most of the time.  Please feel free to share your Kids Kit suggestions in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.  I'd love to see some different ideas.
Every year I see numerous back to school drive buckets and always pick up extra supplies to help fill the bucket.  Please help fill these buckets throughout the county.  I think this year I might make a few extra kits and drop them in the bucket with the supplies.

I am done talking about fall, you may return to your Regularly Programmed Summer now.