SOQUEL — Sunday’s fourth annual Dangers in Paradise Safety Fair provided a plethora of information about how to respond to dangers, from what to include in a first aid kit to how to protect your home and animals from a wildland fire.
The fair, held in the Home Depot parking lot on 41st Avenue, included information booths manned by several county fire agencies, the California Highway Patrol, emergency dispatchers, county Animal Services officers, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the American Red Cross and others.
Next to the fair, trainees went through several mock-disaster stations as they completed a refresher course for Community Emergency Response Team training.
The stations included search and rescue techniques, fighting fire and first aid.
Regina Martinez of Soquel said she and her 12-year-old daughter, Nicole, took the training last year in part because her husband works in San Jose and wanted them to have the skills to take care of themselves during an emergency if he was not home.
The training helps people provide emergency help to neighbors and others during a major disaster. Instruction topics include disaster preparedness, fire suppression, medical aid, search and rescue, disaster psychology and terrorism response.
The training was well-organized and professional, Martinez said.
“It’s a very good thing,” she said. “I wish more people would consider doing it.”
At the fair, people milled
about gathering brochures and free pencils.
One toddler met Smokey the Bear, apparently for the first time.
Nicholas Turiello, 3, of Aromas, got somewhat round-eyed at the suited-up bear and decided he wasn’t ready to shake hands with the furry creature and ducked behind his dad.
Nicholas did seem to like being hoisted up behind the wheel of a fire engine, though.
Toni Alldredge of Soquel picked up some earthquake preparedness information at the Red Cross table.
Her 20-year-old daughter, Ayla, lives on her own now, and her mom was encouraging her to think about how to protect herself during an unforeseen natural disaster.
“After that 1989 quake, we all need to be prepared,” Alldredge said.
Mike DeMars, spokesman for the Central Fire Protection District, said it is crucial to be able to be self-reliant for three days and have enough food, water and medical supplies to survive a major disaster.
“I always use the Loma Prieta quake as an example,” he said. “People were without power for several days, emergency services were overwhelmed and roads were blocked.
“We in the fire service field feel it is important to spread the word about disaster preparedness — it is fire season and we do live in an earthquake area.”
For more information, visit www.santacruzcountycert.org or call 685-6690.