A Santa Paula Police Officer teaches children how to do CPR.

Ready Santa Paula! 5th Annual Emergency Preparedness Fair a lifesaver

September 19, 2012
Santa Paula News

Visitors to the September 1 Cruise Nite got more than they bargained for when they wandered into the Ready Santa Paula Emergency Preparedness Fair, where they learned not how to not only deal with disaster before it strikes but also how to save a life with Hands-Only Sidewalk CPR. “We have a good turnout, I’m really happy,” said Santa Paula Fire Captain Steve Lazenby, the city’s emergency preparedness coordinator.

The 5th Annual Ready Santa Paula, sponsored by Santa Paula Citizens Corps, drew an array of emergency responders to the area featuring demonstrations, displays and informational materials on how to be prepared. “It’s not if a disaster is going to happen,” said Santa Paula Fire Captain Steve Lazenby, “it’s when it’s going to happen.”

This year’s fair drew participants from the Ventura County Amateur Radio/Ham Radio Auxiliary Communications Services/ACS, Santa Paula CERT, Santa Paula Police and Fire departments, the city’s Building and Safety personnel, the National Search Dog Foundation, America Red Cross, Ventura County Office of Emergency Services and Public Health Department, Ventura County Medical Center/Santa Paula Hospital, American Medical Response (AMR), and Ojai Search & Rescue. 

Fire and AMR personnel showed Cruise Nite visitors the new Hand-Only Sidewalk CPR, and Lazenby said the effort had a goal of teaching 200 people how to revive an unconscious person while keeping time to the Bee Gees hit, “Staying Alive,” which has the required 100 beats per minute the CPR requires. Sidewalk CPR, he added, has eliminated mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Near the intersection of East Main and 8th streets, the city’s Mobile Command Post and the Multi Casualty Incident trailer were not only on display but the curious could tour the latter, which Lazenby said contains “all the tools” of emergency response including a hi-tech communications center. Santa Paula Fire personnel did an extrication demo cutting into a wrecked car, while SPPD K-9 officers introduced children to their dog partners. Susan Lazenby was at her usual post, a table laden with all that should be included in an emergency kit - from a flashlight and radio to spare batteries and bottled water and everything in between.

Said Captain Lazenby, “Our goal also this evening is to hand out 2,000 Great California ShakeOut business cards,” urging people to register and participate in the October 18, 2012 earthquake preparedness event. Lazenby said that at 10:18 a.m. Great ShakeOut participants will be asked to drop, cover and hold on during the drill that has registered almost eight million Californians so far.   

Lazenby expressed thanks to Cruise Nite: “The fact that there are so many folks here gave us the opportunity to encounter people on a regular basis” and encourage them to think of safety not only first, but before disaster strikes.... People have a wonderful time at Cruise Nite,” he added, “and I think we’ve found a way of telling people to be prepared and how to be prepared in a fun way also.”

For more information and to register for the Great California ShakeOut, visit www.shakeout.org.

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