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Education & Training Programs

CERA works with community leaders and Fire Safe Councils to develop and offer community education and training programs geared towards proactive and reactive preparedness for public safety.

Doris Wong K0BEE presents Caldor Fire Animal Rescue lessons learned
Doris Wong K0BEE presents Caldor Fire Animal Rescue lessons learned

Example topics covered in these training programs include:

Introduction to Neighborhood Radio WatchRecommended first course for newbies to learn more about Neighborhood Radio Watch program, its role in local community preparedness, how to join a local NRW group, and an overview of using radios for communications.
Phone, Fires and FailuresLearn about the unreliability of cell and internet services and how we can help ensure communities get timely, life-saving information during fast-moving disasters like wildfires.
Radio Buying and Testing AdviceLearn the best radios to buy for you and your family.
Basic Radio UsageLearn how to use two-way radios.
Scanners 101 WorkshopScanners enable you to monitor local police, fire, and emergency radio communications to help keep you, your family and your neighbors safer. You'll learn how to understand scanner traffic, and how to use the "Fire Tone Out" feature to keep your scanner quiet but alert you whenever there’s activity at your local Fire Station.
Wildfire BehaviorUnderstand wildfire behavior and hear practical advice on how to keep people and property safe before and during disasters.
Caldor Fire Animal Rescue Lessons LearnedHear personal perspectives, stories, and lessons learned of Amateur Radio operators who helped with animal rescue during the Caldor Fire.
Community Radio RepeatersLearn about repeaters to extend radio coverage.
Neighborhood Radio Watch Net Operation Workshop and DemoLearn the Incident Command system used by public agencies during emergencies. Become familiar with conducting "Radio Safety Nets", especially during an event or emergency, with special emphasis on vetting and transmitting accurate information. You'll hear a live simulation of how a Neighborhood Radio Watch Net is conducted during an event to demonstrate these essential Net operations principles in action.
Alert CertificationReceive alert protocol, best practice, and advanced radio training to become certified for triggering alerts during emergencies and before Radio Safety Nets.

Some of our guest speakers include:

  • Linda Kirkbride - Former Calstar Medevac nurse and volunteer fire fighter; Director of Education and Certification, El Dorado County Neighborhood Radio Watch.
  • Todd Crawford - Recently retired El Dorado County Sheriff deputy and Offices of Emergency Services Director; EDC Neighborhood Radio Watch Board Member.
  • Mike Sumersville - Former Nevada US Marshal, First Responder, currently with Marshall Hospital.  Mike was also our primary net control for the Pollock Pines/Camino NRW during the Caldor Fire.
  • Alan Thompson - The "Father of the Neighborhood Radio Watch";  VSat Satellite Installation and Consulting Services; CERA's Public Information Officer.
  • Bob Hess - Former Director of Operations/Engineering, CBS Television and Radio; Communications Consultant; CERA's President and Chairman*.

Other Community Education Programs

CERA also helps promote relevant training classes and events offered by other organizations which we may post and announce on our web site or within our email distribution lists. Examples include:

Topic Description
Fire Prevention & PreparednessLearn what USFS is doing in our area regarding thinning our forests, burning projects, forestry restrictions and more. Learn how to prepare and what we must all do to prepare for fire for ourselves, our neighbors and our community. 
Defensible Space Evaluator TrainingOffered by CAL FIRE through Fire Safe Councils
Smokechasers First Responder EventAn outdoor festival to bring emergency preparedness information to foothill residents. Come meet first responders for a day of giveaways, demonstrations, games and activities, information booths, and more. Learn how to be prepared, all while enjoying craft beer and local wines, great food, live music, meeting K-9 teams and rescued wildlife, and visiting dozens of artisan and preparedness vendors. See