Carlsbad, a coastal community in southern California, has seen its share of disasters. With a semi-arid climate and seaside location, it is particularly prone to wild fires, flooding and, like most of California, earthquakes and blackouts. In order to make sure that every citizen is safe and accounted for, the Carlsbad Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT was created.
CERT is a training program that prepares resident volunteers to help themselves, their family, their neighbors and the city in the event of a large-scale emergency. Carlsbad residents are trained to assist their families and neighbors during an emergency helping the city to be better prepared to handle emergencies, reducing the burden on public safety and shortening the time it takes city residents to recover from an emergency.
Carlsbad CERT began in 2008 with 25 members. After eight academies, more than 200 volunteers are trained with current membership at 179.
Jeff Murdock, today’s Daily Point of Light Award winner, is a CERT instructor who has gone above and beyond to ensure safety of Carlsbad’s residents.
During the 2011 blackout and the 2014 Poinsettia fire, he was in the Emergency Operation Center coordinating the CERT response to the incident. This included coordinating a CERT-run Temporary Evacuation Point for Carlsbad residents displaced by the fire and providing both shelter and base camp support
Murdock also participates in numerous outreach programs like street fairs, festivals and sidewalk CPR demonstrations to help Carlsbad residents prepare for emergencies and disasters. Along with assisting the City of Carlsbad, Murdock is a valued member of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Team.
Murdock’s efforts result in a superbly trained team of volunteers ready to be activated during an emergency and eager to share emergency preparedness information with the public. These elements are vital to the City of Carlsbad’s ability to prepare for and respond to emergencies.
He continues to build the capacity of the emergency response network through new member recruitment and ongoing training and communications with CERT members.
Do you know someone who goes above and beyond for their community? If so, nominate them for a Daily Point of Light Award!