Sunday, October 24, 2010


Done. I finished my CORE (Communities of Oakland Respond to Emergencies) training. Yesterday was the final hands-on training with the Firefighters at their Oakland Training Center. Amazing. We got to practice what we've been learning over the past month: disaster first aid, search and rescue, putting out fires, "cribbing," lifts...and then we got to go through a post-earthquake simulation exercise.
There were about 8 volunteers playing victims of the disaster, made up in some pretty gross bloody-type makeup. I happened to get assigned to the First Aid tent and was to perform triage and first aid as best I could on those that got brought in. The guy pictured was all bandaged up rocking in a corner for most of the time.

Its hard to explain how cool it is to be training by the city to help in an emergency. These firefighters were amazing, fun, funny, super smart....and so generous with their time.
During the classroom training, there was a whole lot of information shared and most of it was stressful. Learning about how to take care of the most number of people rather than one individual. Leaving people for dead if they aren't breathing within a few tries. Learning that in a major earthquake, there will be dead people and that we will probably see them. Dealing with so much pain and destruction...but also, learning how to organize with neighbors in advance so that for most situations, you are pretty prepared.

The hands-on training felt pretty empowering. I was pretty good at putting out fires and search and rescue. Not sure how it would play out in real life though. I still have lots of reviewing to do. And although I don't have an extra minute, I find this all very energizing. I can't wait for graduation on November 17th. We each get a bright green CORE hardhat, vest and name tag to make it official. Yes, completely geeky, but I can't wait.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Several strong reasons to VOTE in November

I just returned from a Barbara Boxer Fundraising event. It inspired me. I got to hear from:
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from New York, awesome progressive, young and aggressive, is one of the key supporters of LBGT rights legislation
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, my new heroine-she's just a rock star-funny, a natural speaker, holds no punches, you may have heard her on the Rachel Maddow show
  • Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington- I'm embarassed to say, I wasn't familiar with her but now I know to look out for her, I liked her a lot.
  • Senator Mark Begich of Alaska (yes, he's a Democrat and fights for Global Warming legislation)
  • Host and Senator Dianne Feinstein, California,
got to meet her and although I've often shake my fist at her lack of progressive stances on issues, she has been a staunch supporter of a woman's right to choose, environmental protection legislation, corporate regulations and most of the areas that I support. It was an honor to meet her.

Here is why I support Senator Barbara Boxer:
  • Chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee- has fought on all fronts to end off shore drilling, continue to block drilling from the coast of CA, has passed legislation to increase Wilderness Areas....on and on
  • Strongly supports the repeal of DADT
  • Supports ending tax breaks for offshoring jobs
  • Supported and helped pass the biggest middle class tax cuts bill in our country's history
  • Supports the small business jobs bill, which is currently being blocked by Republicans
  • Continually supports a woman's right to controlling her own body and health care needs, in fact she said that she would fight for a woman's right to choose, "as long as there is a breathe in my body..."
  • She recently helped pass a bill adding thousands of teachers back into the school systems, paid for by ending those tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas

I always vote, but now I am inspired to vote-will you vote? Will your family and friends vote? Its the most American thing we can do.