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City News & Announcements

Posted on: August 20, 2019

Volunteers sought for Del Mar’s CERT program

Cap Pinney in EOC

Cap Pinney with communications equipment

Del Mar’s Community Emergency Response Team is looking for volunteers.

In October, a semi-annual CERT training is scheduled at the Del Mar Fire Station. The training covers skills that are important to know during a disaster, when emergency services might not be available: the basics of search and rescue, first aid and the workings of Del Mar’s incident command system.

The CERT program is designed to prepare trainees to help themselves, their families and their neighbors in the event of a wildfire, earthquake or other catastrophic disaster. During a crisis, with emergency responders spread thin, volunteers with CERT training can save lives and protect property.

Within assigned areas, CERT volunteers work in teams to extinguish small fires, turn off natural gas service to damaged homes, perform light search and rescue and render basic first aid. Trained volunteers also can work in emergency shelters and assist with crowd control and evacuations.

Cap Pinney with antenna

CERT programs operate in all 50 states and in many tribal nations and U.S. territories. Nationwide, more than 2,700 local CERT programs have received the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s accreditation.

Del Mar’s CERT covers all of Del Mar and the City of San Diego between Carmel Valley Road and Via de la Valle a portion of the 92014 ZIP code north of Via de la Valle and east of Interstate 5.

About 30 residents are active CERT volunteers.

Del Mar’s CERT leader is Cap Pinney, a retired Marine Corps pilot and amateur radio operator.

Pinney and other ham radio operators on the Del Mar CERT check their equipment regularly. In the event of an emergency, the operators can run their systems off of solar-powered batteries, report upon the status of their neighborhoods and recommend where emergency responders should deploy resources.

The Del Mar CERT is trained to activate the City’s emergency operations center in the Town Hall of the Del Mar Civic Center, where emergency managers and key members of the City’s staff would gather. The facility is equipped with solar power as well as an emergency generator.

An array of communications equipment – including the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network and a retractable, 30-foot-tall antenna – is housed at the facility.

As part of the trainings in October, trainees will participate in the statewide Great Shakeout Drill, an earthquake-preparedness exercise scheduled for 10:17 a.m. Oct. 17.

To learn more about Del Mar CERT and becoming a CERT volunteer, contact Cap Pinney: 858-354-5319 or

Cap Pinney with handheld radio

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