Emergency Response Training, July 10 and 17, 2012

I was sent this flyer today, for the San Francisco Fire Department’s Neighborhood Emergency Response Training being held at UCSF at Parnassus.  It’s for July 10 AND 17th – anyone can attend, but they have to attend both sessions. Here’s the flyer (clicking on it will yield a larger version):

West Portal Mystery

We went to West Portal last evening with a couple of simple errands that would take us to St Francis Market or Eezy Freezy and Walgreens. When we got there, we found several fire-trucks, lights flashing, on the first block near the Chase Bank branch.

There was no sign of fire or smoke, but there were half a dozen emergency response vehicles out there, and fire-crew. Someone came out of the Chase branch, talked to them, went back in.

It looked quite normal. Soon, he came out accompanied by another person, probably another bank employee. Meanwhile, the crew had placed a ladder against the other side of the building, between Bookshop West Portal and the Chase building.

I asked the bank person what happened. “Someone smelled something,” he said. “Something burning. We called 911 just to be careful. They have it all under control now.”

We left to do our errands, with a small detour via the Bookshop. (It’s difficult to avoid small detours via bookstores.) I headed for St Francis Market.

That’s when the lights went out. The whole of the first block went dark.

“It’s like the beginning of a mystery story,” my companion said. “When the lights come back on, there’s a corpse.”

“There’s an author who writes West Portal mysteries,” I said. “Maybe she could use this.”

It looked like the rest of the street had lights, so we went on to Walgreens, in the middle of the second block. Despite the fact that stores on either side had power, Walgreens was dark. Curiouser and curiouser.

Over coffee (and a gingerbread man) at West Portal Bakery, we decided to go to the Safeway at Taraval. It turned out that several blocks of homes were also powerless. But from about 14th avenue and Taraval, the lights returned.

Except, Safeway was also dark. Curiouser and curiouser and curiouser yet.

We couldn’t figure out whether the power loss was incidental to whatever brought the firetrucks, or if it was part of the same problem. We couldn’t understand the pattern of power failure, either: Why Walgreens and Safeway, both standing amid buildings that apparently had normal power?

If it were a novel, this would be the Coincidence that was Not a Coincidence.

In the event, nothing happened. A couple of hours later, we drove through again. The lights were back on. I presume there was no corpse.


Edited to Add: The story has an interesting coda. Since Bookshop West Portal was in darkness after our failed errand, we went to Borders at Stonestown. We bought one or two books (or it might have been three or four), then went home.

This morning, my email in-box had a message from Bruce Black (not someone I know) headed “Your wallet.” Someone had turned in my wallet that I’d apparently dropped or abandoned at Borders.

They tracked me down by my Borders membership card.  I got my wallet back intact, and they wouldn’t accept a reward.

Thanks, Bruce (and whoever turned it in). You’re terrific.

Signal Boost: Free Safety Classes

This was in the Park Station Police newsletter, and was looking for a signal boost. It’s of interest to all of us, living as we do in earthquake country. The SF Fire Department is offering classes in January through early March 2011. Most of them are six-session evening courses; but they also offer a couple of intensive weekend options. The classes are held all over the city. The one closest to our neighborhood is probably in the Sunset, at 5th and Irving. According to the newsletter, more classes will be added later on.

# # #


Subject: Free NERT preparedness and response training by the San Francisco Fire Department

My name is Erica and I am the current program coordinator for NERT, the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team.  This program provides instructor-lead classroom training with hands-on components included to prepare San Franciscans for a disaster no matter how big or small.

Earthquake? Power Outage? Flooding on Shotwell Street?  This all hazards approach begins with caring for oneself and family and includes training to become a volunteer emergency responder in your neighborhood.

I am writing to request your assistance to get the word out about this free training opportunity.  We do not have an advertising budget and rely on word of mouth to spread this important information.  We are now celebrating over 20 years of consistent emergency response team training and I still often meet people who are not aware of this opportunity.

New NERT classes are coming up and people should take the training that best fits their schedule.  People can join their neighborhood team upon completion of the training.  Participants should plan to attend all sessions of the training to gain the full scope and benefit.  New students may begin no later than the 2nd week of a six week class and must begin on the 1st day of a two-day intensive class.

There is also a three hour introductory workshop that focuses on personal preparedness.

Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide in telling people about NERT training.

Lt. Erica Arteseros, NERT Program Coordinator
San Francisco Fire Department
2310 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA  94110
phone (415) 970-2022
fax (415) 970-2020

Seven new classes are beginning in the new year. More will be added through the spring.  Check back to the website if the scheduling does not fit your needs. Click the link or type in the following URL: http://www.sf-fire.org/index.aspx?page=859


Inner Richmond: Zion Church and School,  495 9th Ave @ Anza

Wednesdays 6:30pm-9:30pm

  • Class session 1: January 5
  • Class session 2: January 12
  • Class session 3: January 19
  • Class session 4: January 26
  • Class session 5: February 2
  • Class session 6: February 9

Bayview:  Bayview Police Station Community Rm
201 Williams @ Newhall

Two Day Intensive!
Saturdays 8:30am-5:30pm

  • Class sessions 1, 2, 3: January 8
  • Class session 4, 5, 6: January 22

Sunset: St. John of God Church Hall
1290 5th Ave @ Irving

Thursday evenings, 6:30pm-9:30pm

  • Class session 1: January 13
  • Class session 2: January 20
  • Class session 3: January 27
  • Class session 4: February 3
  • Class session 5: February 10
  • Class session 6: February 17

Civic Center/South of Market: San Francisco Federal Building
90 7th Street @ Market

Wednesdays 9am-4pm

  • Class sessions 1 and 2: January 26
  • Class sessions 3 and 4: February 2
  • Class sessions 5 and 6: February 9

South Beach/Mission Bay: SFFD Headquarters
698 – 2nd Street, Commission Room

Tuesdays, 6:30pm-9:30pm

  • Class session 1: February 1
  • Class session 2: February 8
  • Class session 3: February 15
  • Class session 4: February 22
  • Class session 5: March 1
  • Class session 6: March 8

North of Panhandle/Lone Mountain: USF Campus, use main entrance on Golden Gate Ave
McLaren Conference Center, room 250

Two Day Intensive!
Saturdays 8:30am-5:30pm

  • Class sessions 1, 2, and 3: February 12
  • Class sessions 4, 5, and 6: February 26

Fisherman’s Wharf: Radisson Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf
250 Beach Street

Two Day Intensive!
Fridays 8:30am-5:30pm

  • Class sessions 1, 2, and 3: February 25
  • Class sessions 4, 5, and 6: March 4

Resilient Community Workshop
SFFD NERT and SF SAFE  (sfsafe.org) want you to have skills to be  prepared for emergencies big or small, and know your neighbors to maximize resiliency after disaster.

  • Risk Awareness
  • Disaster Supplies
  • Personal/Family Disaster Plan
  • Utilities Overview
  • NERT Overview
  • Community, block by block

San Francisco Jewish Community Center (JCC) 3200 California @ Parnassus
(Paid parking is available in JCC lot)
Tuesday February 4, 7pm-9pm

Disaster Preparedness Class

This is being circulated in another Group. It’s reproduced here in case anyone wants to go.



Offered by SF SAFE and the San Francisco Fire Department’s

Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT)

WHO: For everyone – bring your friends, family and neighbors!

WHAT: Free Two-Hour Preparedness Workshop

This workshop will cover what everyone should know to prepare personally, as a business and as a community for a disaster, large or small.
Topics Include:

  • Risk Awareness
  • Disaster Supplies
  • Personal Disaster Planning
  • Utilities Overview
  • NERT Overview
  • Disaster Pre-Planning with NERT and SF SAFE

WHERE: Park Police Station Community Room, 1899 Waller Street

WHEN: Wednesday May 5, 6:30 to 9 PM

HOW: RSVP to sffdnert@sfgov.org or call 415-970-2024 to register

For more information about NERT, visit www.sfgov.org/sfnert

And about SF SAFE and Neighborhood Watch, visit www.sfsafe.org

WHY: For your safety in times of emergency, it matters what you do today!

QUESTIONS?: Please contact Bill Lafferty (415-661-1750) if you have any questions.

We encourage participation from people with disabilities and seniors.  The location is wheelchair accessible, and Assisted Listening Devices will be available by request.  For real-time captioning, sign language interpretation, or any other accommodation, please contact Erica Arteseros at ph: 415-970-2022 email: sffdnert@sfgov.org.