At the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (VANC) 2018 Awards on March 8, 2018, North Hills East received the following award:
“Best of…working together to address Community Emergency Response”
The program to train Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) is a critical part of the City’s preparedness program. CERT volunteers provide local help in an emergency when first responders are overwhelmed. The Los Angeles Fire Department provides this training for volunteers for free.
Three Neighborhood Councils serve an area of the Valley that has many Spanish-speaking families. They partnered to plan and recruit volunteers for CERT classes that would be taught in both English and Spanish. The English class has graduated (with perfect attendance) and the Spanish class will begin soon. The Spanish class will be an innovative partnership between the LA Fire Department and a newly trained Sergeant from the LA Police Department’s Mission Division.
The Fire Department no longer has funds to provide graduates with a “CERT kit” to hold their emergency equipment. These three Neighborhood Councils worked with a non-profit organization, the Southern California Preparedness Foundation, to pool funds to provide these CERT kits to benefit their communities. The Foundation, which sponsors the annual Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair, obtained a grant from the Southern California Gas Company. This grant was used to match City funds provided by the three Neighborhood Councils through Neighborhood Purposes Grants. CERT kits have been distributed to the English class graduates and the kits for the upcoming Spanish class have been reserved.
The Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (VANC) is pleased to present this award for the best example of a creative partnership with a private organization to enhance City funding for community benefits and for local Neighborhood Council teamwork to the Panorama City Neighborhood Council, the North Hills West Neighborhood Council, and the North Hills East Neighborhood Council.