By Councilman Bob Kellar
One of the reasons I fell in love with Santa Clarita is the community. Our residents care for one another and get involved in a variety of programs that benefit us all. I am proud to live in a city where parents are active in our schools, people take part in non-profit organizations to help others and residents make their voices heard at City Council meetings. If you have not done so already, I highly encourage you to register as a volunteer with our City so you too can spread the love this Valentine’s Day and make a difference in Santa Clarita.
The City offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, allowing residents to give back in a meaningful way while doing something they enjoy. Whether it is by helping guests find their way around the Cowboy Festival in William S. Hart Park or serving as a water station volunteer during the Santa Clarita Marathon, the City’s event calendar is filled with ways to help out.
In addition, special events like the annual Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count and the River Rally allow volunteers to participate in critical programs that directly affect each and every resident in Santa Clarita. To learn more about ways to volunteer at events in Santa Clarita, please visit SantaClaritaVolunteers.com or “like” Santa Clarita Volunteers on Facebook.
Volunteers are truly life savers when they get certified as a member of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). As we’ve unfortunately seen in our City in the past and in other cities more recently, natural disasters can strike unexpectedly.
When that happens, the community relies on its trained CERT volunteers to respond when emergency services are not immediately available. CERT volunteers are trained to be able to assist their families, schools, neighborhoods and businesses with disaster and emergency preparedness to help mitigate the impact of a situation and potentially save lives.
As a former law enforcement official, I can’t begin to tell you how critical it is to have CERT volunteers in the community that can assist people until first responders arrive.
The City of Santa Clarita offers a CERT training program, where participants will take a seven-week course certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Those enrolled will learn how to effectively respond in the event of earthquakes, fires, floods, hazardous incidents and other life-threatening situations.
You will be trained on how to recognize the potential hazards associated with each situation so you can take the appropriate action. The program runs for seven consecutive Thursdays from 6-9 p.m. at The Centre (20880 Centre Pointe Parkway) and the spring 2018 CERT Session begins on March 8.
Take the time now to read more about Santa Clarita’s CERT training program in your copy of Seasons or by visiting Santa-Clarita.com/CERT. Whether you decide to sign-up for the CERT program or choose to volunteer for one of the City’s many events, now is the perfect time to get involved in our community and make a difference. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Bob Kellar is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].