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KCFD describes plan used to mobilize in Ridgecrest following earthquake

Posted at 6:49 PM, Jul 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-05 21:51:42-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Officials from the Kern County Fire Department say they were prepared to respond to the natural disaster in Ridgecrest Thursday, but overall many residents are not prepared for earthquakes.

"I think... to be truly honest... I think a lot of people aren't prepared," KCFD Batallion Chief, Brandon Smith said.

Smith said in general many residents are not prepared for a natural disaster like the earthquake in Ridgecrest.

"I think this is just another great reminder how quickly it can happen," Smith said.

More than 7,000 people were without power for several hours, a house burnt down, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital was evacuated along with 20 other people from their homes.

However, Smith said Kern County emergency responders and the City of Ridgecrest were all prepared and had a plan in place.

"We divided it up and then we assign somebody to be in charge of those areas and then we continue to do the rescues, do the search or whatever we need," Smith said.

Smith said year-round KCFD, the county and the Emergency Operations Center train for natural disasters. However, he said once the county and or city departments identify a strain in resources, they turn to their mutual aid agreements for extra support.

"And what that is as counties become overwhelmed you can reach out to the state to bring in more support through those agreements, we felt pretty comfortable once we had things stabilized," Smith said.

Cal State University of Bakersfield (CSUB), Kern County Search and Rescue, Red Cross, local insurance companies, fire departments and county operation emergency services are partnering together to bring more awareness to disaster preparedness to the public for free.

"So we are going to have a variety of things there for them...how to deal with you know [how to] do CPR, how to do stop the bleed if they have an emergency bleed, someone has a major artery cut they are going to teach how to stop that bleed quickly,"Smith said. "So there is a whole range of things that maybe if we have a disaster you may not have a responder there right away to help you and you can maybe help mitigate that or get yourself out of a scenario and that's the whole intent of it."

The one day event at CSUB will take place on September 14.

There will be guest speakers and many people on hand to address questions about disasters, earth quake insurance, how to prepare, how to plan and what items you should have on hand.