Hawaii Civil Defense hosts CERT Leadership conference


Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency held its 2012 Community Emergency Response Team Leadership Conference recently at Kilauea Military Camp. The conference drew the leaders of the 24 Hawaii County teams.

“With the recent tsunami and the terrible destruction wrought on the East Coast of the United States by Sandy, the capabilities of community-based emergency training has never been more important. In the recent tsunami here in Hawaii, CERTs activated and helped with the evacuation of their communities,” said Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Ben Fuata.

This year’s conference included visiting CERT and Civil Defense officials from Kauai and Maui and Marsha Tamura, director of the Citizen Corps State Civil Defense Program. Tamura, Mark Marshall, John Cornell from Kauai County CERT and Charnan Carroll from Maui County CERT led a panel discussion to review operations and future direction of Hawaii’s CERT program.

In addition, Glen Honda of the Hawaii Fire Department reviewed the upcoming 2013 CERT training schedule; CERT members gave presentations on triage, forming a 501(c)(3), CERT communications, and building a CERT cache and phone tree.

Hawaii Eagle Scout candidate Inoke Mills discussed his Eagle Scout spineboard project. Inoke organized materials and manpower crafting spineboards, which he will present later this year to Hawaii County CERTs, showing off two of the 60 spineboards.

“It is amazing how much the CERT program has developed in the last four years. We (the Hawaii Fire Department) now have trained 730 Hawaii Island residents on how to respond in an emergency and protect their families and communities. CERT members on the island number approximately 400 strong. As we move forward, CERTs will play an important role in Hawaii’s consolidated disaster response efforts,” said Bill Hanson, Hawaii Civil Defense Agency administrative officer who oversees the county CERT program.

For more information, contact Hanson at 935-0031.