Thursday, July 24, 2014

Relay For Life This Weekend


Relay for Life will be this weekend and this year there are about 79 Teams and over 639 individuals participating.  To date, over $140,000 has been raised locally.  

WHAT IS RELAY?

Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.

Relay For Life events are held overnight as individuals and teams camp out at an athletic track, park or other gathering area, with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track at all times throughout the evening. Vancouver's Relay for Life will be held at McLoughlin Middle School at 5802 MacAurthur Blvd.   Teams do most of their fundraising prior to the event, but some teams also hold creative fundraisers at their camp sites during Relay. Relay celebrates people who have battled cancer, remembers loved ones lost, and provides participants with an opportunity to fight back against the disease – all aimed at furthering the American Cancer Society’s efforts to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

JOIN US!

A part of Vancouver’s Relay For Life event is the Luminaria Ceremony, in which illuminated bags line the track, each bearing the name of someone who has fought cancer, to light the way for walkers.  Anyone that has particpated can tell you how heart-wrenching this visual is.  The Luminaria Ceremony will start at 10:00 pm on Saturday.  

A special Fight Back Ceremony, held during the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Vancouver, will provide everyone in all of Clark County the opportunity to make a pledge to take personal action in the fight against cancer. The ceremony will be held at 5:00 pm.

Its not too late to participate or even donate.  Check out the Relay for Life of Vancouver for more information on what you can do to help support this great cause!!  For more information you can also check out Relay for Life.Org.

We hope everyone stops out to this amazing event.  If you do, please stop by the CRESA booth and say hi!  We will be located on the north end of the track almost directly below the scoreboard.  Look for our Bright Blue CRESA Canopy!!

Let's Relay!!

Information for Relay for Life - Vancouver USA can be found here.  

National Relay for Life:   http://www.relayforlife.org/index

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Accreditation Assessment Team Invites Public Comment


CRESA Press Release
 
A team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®) will arrive August 2, 2014 to examine all aspects of the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency's policy and procedures, management, operations and support services, Director Anna Pendergrass announced today.

 The Assessment Team is comprised of Team Leader Commander Cheri Akselsen, Johns Creek Police Department (GA) and Team Member Ms. Michelle Provencher, Goffstown Police Department (NH).  Verification by the team that Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA) meets the Commission's state-of-the-art standards is part of a voluntary process to gain re-accreditation – a highly prized recognition of public safety communications excellence, Pendergrass stated.

 As part of the on-site assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments by calling (360) 992-6274 on Monday, August 4, 2014 between the hours of 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM.  Comments will be taken by the assessment team.    Telephone comments are limited to 10 minutes and must address the Agency's ability to comply with CALEA standards. 

Persons wishing to submit written comment about CRESA's ability to comply with the standards for accreditation may send them to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA®), 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite #320, Gainsville, Virginia 20155.

The Agency has to comply with 219 standards in order to retain accredited status, Director Anna Pendergrass stated.  Pendergrass further explained that accreditation will provide official recognition of the dedication and hard work of the professionals at CRESA who work tirelessly 24-hours a day, 7-days a week to assist community members in emergency situations.

 Accreditation is for three years, during which the agency must submit annual reports attesting continued compliance with those standards under which it was initially accredited.

 For more information regarding the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., please write the Commission at 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite #320, Gainsville, Virginia 20155; or call (800) 368-3757 or email calea@calea.org.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Take precautions during upcoming heat wave

Please enjoy these tips from our good partners at Clark County Public Health. 
With an extended period of heat and humidity predicted for our region, health officials are advising residents to take steps to protect themselves from the heat.

“Heat-related problems are preventable,“ said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Health Officer. “We are encouraging people to avoid or limit physical activity outdoors, take shelter in air-conditioned buildings, and drink plenty of fluids. Elderly people and the very young are especially vulnerable during periods of intense or prolonged heat.”

Residents are encouraged to observe the following tips to help prevent heat-related problems: 

§   Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. If your doctor limits the amount of fluid you drink, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot. 

§   Limit intake of drinks with caffeine, alcohol, or lots of sugar; these can cause you to lose more body fluid.

§   Stay indoors, in an air-conditioned location if possible. If your home is not air-conditioned, go to the shopping mall or public library for a few hours. This can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.  

§   NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially young children. This applies to pets as well.

§   Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature reaches the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. 

§   Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
 
If you must be out in the heat: 

§   Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. 

§   Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, avoid the midday hours and drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.  A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. 

§   Try to rest often in shady areas. 

§   Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.  

Heat related illnesses 
Although any one can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on Infants and young children, people aged 65 or older, and those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure .  

 Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. Warning signs of heat stroke may include a body temperature above 103°F; red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating); rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; and unconsciousness.

If you see any of these signs, have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim. Place the victim in a tub of cool water or in a cool shower, or spray the victim with cool water from a garden hose. Do not give the victim fluids to drink.

Less severe heat related illnesses include heat exhaustion and heat cramps. Heat exhaustion can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures. It is the body's response to an excessive loss of the water and salt contained in sweat.

Heat cramps usually affect people who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body's salt and moisture. The low salt level in the muscles causes painful cramps.

For more information, visit http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.asp.

 

 


 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Burning Ban Begins July 15th


** The following information is shared on behalf of Clark County Fire Marshal


July 7, 2014

Contact: Jon Dunaway, Fire Marshal, (360) 397-2186 ext. 3324,
               jon.dunaway@clark.wa.gov

 

Outdoor burning ban from Tuesday, July 15, through Sept. 30


Vancouver, WA – As of 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, July 15, all land clearing and residential burning in Clark County will be restricted until further notice.

Also, the Fire Marshal is rescinding all burning permits issued prior to the ban. Permits can be reissued or extended when the ban is lifted. The burning restrictions do not apply to federally managed lands.

In an effort to have predictable and consistent burn bans, Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania counties jointly implement a policy to ban outdoor burning from July 15 through Sept. 30 each year. Designating this period was based on years of information about fuel conditions. However, in extreme fire hazard conditions, a ban can begin sooner or end later.

“We want the public to know about the annual burn ban dates so they can plan to burn during safer times of the year,” said Fire Marshal Jon Dunaway. “After Sept. 30, please contact the Fire Marshal’s Office to be sure the ban has been lifted before burning.”

Recreational campfires on forest lands are allowed only if built in improved fire pits in designated campgrounds, such as commercial campgrounds and local, county and state parks. On private land, recreational fires are permitted when built according to the following regulations:

·         Recreational fires must be in a metal-, stone- or masonry-lined fire pit such as those in improved campgrounds or available at home and garden stores.
·         Size may not exceed 3 feet in diameter by 2 feet in height.
·         Fires must be at least 25 feet from a structure or other combustible material and have at least 20 feet of clearance from overhead fuels such as tree limbs, patio covers or carports.
·         Fires must be attended at all times by a responsible person at least 16 years old with the ability and tools to extinguish the fire. Tools include a shovel and either five gallons of water or a connected and charged water hose.
·         Portable outdoor fireplaces, also known as patio fireplaces, designed to burn solid fuel (wood) should not be operated within 15 feet of a structure or combustible material and must always be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
·         Completely extinguish recreational fires by covering them with water or moist soil and stirring with a shovel until all parts are cool to the touch.

Self-contained camp stoves are a safe and easy alternative to camp fires.


For more information, please contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at (360) 397-2186 or visit the county’s website at http://www.clark.wa.gov/development/fire/burning.html.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

There's An App For That!

     

It seems like nowadays there is mobile app for just about everything.  You want to track your daily jog, there’s an app for that.  Want to test you simulated farm skills, there’s an app for that.  Want to track your bowel movements, yes, believe it or not there’s actually an app for that.  With all of this energy, money, and resources dedicated being to creating smart phone apps it is nice to know some apps are actually useful, and could even save a life.

As an emergency manager I am often asked which mobile apps I recommend for emergency situations.  As an agency we need remain impartial, but there are a few we would recommend or I find personally interesting.  Here are some apps I found that could be helpful in emergency situations.  If you've already proven your farm skill to your friends and are tired of waging war on swine with angry fowl take a couple of minutes to check out these apps.  Please feel free to share your personal emergency related apps or share feedback on the ones I've listed here.

Red Cross Mobile Apps


Download Red Cross Apps!

Our partners at American Red Cross have a whole slough of apps just prime for your next emergency situation.  The apps offered by the Red Cross range in topic from everyday emergencies to major disasters, their Earthquake App is my "go to" earthquake monitoring source.  A number of the Red Cross mobile apps are available in Spanish.

FEMA Mobile APP

Cover art
Say what you want about FEMA, but they actually have a pretty good  mobile app.  The FEMA App contains preparedness information for different types of disasters, an interactive checklist for emergency kits, a section to plan emergency meeting locations, information on how to stay safe and recover after a disaster, a map with FEMA Disaster Recovery Center locations (one-stop centers where disaster survivors can access key relief services) and Shelters, and general ways the public can get involved before and after a disaster.


Pulse Point Mobile App

PulsePoint enables subscribers who are CPR trained to be alerted on their Smart Phone to a cardiac arrest in a public location the same time emergency responders are notified. You only need to be willing to do “Hands-Only” CPR. According to the American Heart Association, Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR in the first minutes of cardiac arrest.  Subscribers can also view active fire and emergency medical incidents and monitor emergency radio traffic.  Currently PulsePoint is only available in Clark County and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue supported areas.
I've included a link above to Mashable reviewing some of the top-rated weather apps.  There are too many weather related apps to mention.  The features and dependability of the apps vary greatly.  Considering most of these apps are free I recommend you compare a couple at a time to ensure you are getting the information that matters most to you.  My current favorite weather app is WeatherBug.  Not only is it a smooth and nice looking app, but it includes resources that others don’t, just last week I used the exclusive Spark real-time lighting tracker.

Knots 3D
Knots 3D
Caution, rope required! This seems like a fun app, I just wish it was around when I was trying to master all these knots in the Boy Scouts.  Knots 3D will give you a whole new perspective on the time honored art of knot tying.  You never know when your life might depend on your ability to tie a double bight figure eight, with this app you can perfect tying complex knots in a couple of minutes.  With a total of 94 knots taught in over a dozen languages I think I might just challenge my coworkers to a "knot off".

Breaker, Breaker this app is Far Out! The Zello app turns your "smart phone" into and old-school CB style radio. You can use it one-on-one with a friend, for a live group call with your family or soccer team. The Zello app can even replace 2-way radios at work.  The free push-to-talk app for mobile devices is easy to use and just plain cool.  Even if you don't use it in a real emergency you are sure to have fun playing around with it.


Emergency Response Guide Mobile App
A fun and interestingalbeit scary app for road trips is the Emergency Response Guide (ERG) mobile app. Ever wonder what those colorful and sometimes graphic labels on semi trucks and trains mean?  Now with the ERG app you can  hold the answer to deciphering those placards in the palm of your hand.  The guidebook includes important safety information about the hazardous materials traveling down our roadways.  This is meant to be an informative and educational app, please leave the response to hazardous material spills to the experts.

As you can see there are many mobile apps that are, useful, informative, and just plane fun.  I only listed a few that I've run across myself or have heard others recommend.  Nowadays our mobile devices are perhaps our most important emergency response tool.  We have the ability to carry a wealth of knowledge in our pocket or purse and it's a matter of understanding the tools before an emergency to starring you down.  As we've become increasingly dependent on these devices I urge you to have backup supplies and a contingency plan for when your device is not available, not charged, or not connected to the rest of the world.  

As I said above we would love to hear from you about your favorite emergency or disaster related mobile apps and thoughts on the ones listed above.