Safety fair brings together first responders

Alexandra Felton
Staff Writer

Not every Californian knows what to do if an emergency strikes.

Thanks to certain student organizations, faculty and emergency services, the University of La Verne community devised a plan for everyone to stay safe.

The safety fair Wednesday in Sneaky Park was geared for students, faculty and families interested in knowing how to make a survival kit or talking to professionals in the emergency management field about what to do to survive a disaster.

Alex Soto, director of risk management, with Justin Czerniak, assistant director of physical assets and life safety systems, ran the event. The Associated Students of the University of La Verne were also involved.

“Everyone needs to know that a disaster will happen in their lifetime and there needs to be a plan for everyone, because emergencies can happen in an instant,” Czerniak said.

Third Street was lined with emergency vehicles from local police and fire departments.

The La Verne Fire Department also offered pamphlets and safety advice.

“Be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours with medical equipment, food, water and a plan with your loved ones,” said Fire Apprentice Cory Whitworth.

Laura Avalos, lead campus safety officer, worked the campus safety booth next. She talked about the kind of emergencies her department is ready to handle.

“A campus safety officer’s schedule varies day by day,” Avalos said. “We could get someone stuck in an elevator all the way to a training on an active shooter.”

Pomona Valley Hospital staff gave tours of their emergency response vehicle specifically designated to pick people up during medical emergencies after a disaster.

The truck also had communication equipment to respond to directions through the Incident Command System.

“One hospital can’t do everything during a disaster, so we would be here for those in need out in the field with medical problems,” said Ken Barto, one of the hospital volunteers at the fair.

The University of La Verne has a Community Emergency Response Team that teaches community members how to be an emergency responder.

To learn more about this program or for other safety questions, email Soto at asoto@laverne.edu.

Alexandra Felton can be reached at alexandra.felton@laverne.edu.

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