"We live in a 911 society today. During a major earthquake, we need to be able to have citizens ready to help themselves. Paramedics, police and firefighters will be overwhelmed, and help won't always be available during a major earthquake." — said Steve Rhyner, emergency management and coordinator of the O.C. Sheriff's Department during the 2011Community Emergency Preparedness Academy
Registration for Aliso Viejo's seventh Community Emergency Preparedness Academy began two weeks ago and two-thirds of the class has already been filled.
The eight-week program is designed to educate residents in emergency preparedness and provide them with the proper training to help themselves and those around them when emergency services are overwhelmed. Members of the academy will learn:
- Local hazards and planning
- Earthquake preparedness
- Proper use of disaster supplies
- Fire safety, fire extinguishers and wildfire preparedness
- First Aid, CPR and defibrillators use
This year also includes a Citizen's Leadership Academy, which provides an overview of the city's municipal operations and services.
Rhyner said in previous years, the leadership academy was a separate class from the emergency preparedness course. This year they are combined. Representatives from the city's various departments will introduce themselves to academy attendees and answer questions about the services they provide.
The City of Aliso Viejo is partnering with the Orange County Sheriff's Department, Orange County Fire Authority and American Red Cross to present the academy. Doctor's Ambulance is sponsoring the event.
Space is limited. According to Rhyner, 20 spots have already been filled, leaving about 10 open spaces. Adults and teenagers (accompanied by a parent) are encouraged to register soon.
The academy takes place on consecutive Tuesdays (March 6 to April 24) from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Contact Aliso Viejo's Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Rhyner at 949-635-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register for the class.
An Aliso Viejo Patch columnist covered the academy last year. See the .