Next week the Manteca Community Emergency Response Team – CERT – will go from directing cars to celebrating them.
And it’ll all be in the name of continuing its mission to provide emergency response and disaster preparedness for the community in which its members in reside.
On Sunday, Aug. 6, CERT will be hosting its 23rd annual Car Show at Library Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – expecting to draw more than 50 cars and as many as 2,000 people for the event that according to organizers grows every year.
“Every year it has gotten larger and larger and people really seem to enjoy it,” said CERT Community Relations Lead Stephanie Gippetti, an 8-year CERT member. “We’re hoping to raise money in order to continue the operation of the CERT Team and allow us provide the community with people who are trained in disaster preparedness in order to help the Manteca Fire Department in the event something happens.”
Designed as a civilian force trained to assist local first responders in the event of an emergency, CERT provides training for its members on everything from traffic control to urban search and rescue. Just recently it was CERT members that staffed and operated the cooling center at the Manteca Senior Center during the heat wave that rolled across the valley, and the group was one called up to conduct door-to-door checks on the senior community as part of a coordinated safety check.
With more than 60 active members, the group holds annual certifications and trainings for its members. CERT is routinely searching for new ones – whether it be for ongoing membership in the organization, or people who just want the knowledge about how to conduct emergency management during a crisis or disaster for the benefit of themselves or their family.
That training has saved lives.
According to Gippetti, she was able to put her CERT training to the test during a family outing on Lake Don Pedro when she discovered a boater that had been severely injured and was bleeding profusely more than 10 miles away from the marina. Using what she had learned, Gippetti was able to navigate her jet ski through hundreds of boats that were all tied together, load up the victim, work to stop the bleeding and transport her back to where she could get emergency assistance.
“They said that if I wouldn’t have done those things, that girl would have bled to death,” Gippetti said. “I never would have been able to have done anything like that had it not been for CERT and the training that I received. Whether it’s because you want to volunteer or you just want to know what to do, it’s something that is very beneficial.”
Car show entry is $25 and will be accepted on the day of the event. The group will be selling hot dogs, sodas and waters, and a DJ will be present to play music at the fun, family event. Gippetti is currently seeking businesses willing to donate a prize for a fundraiser raffle. Those interested in making a donation can call her at 408.504.3479.
Immediately following the car show will be a cruise through the streets of Manteca. A route has not yet been mapped.