Culver City CERT

Community Emergency Response Team


For more information on how The City of Culver City is responding the current COVID19 / Corona Virus please visit

Culver City CERT Election 2020 Candidate Statements

Barbara Vineis

Member At Large


I am interested in running for the position of Member At Large.


I am a Registered Nurse and have been a member and instructor of CERT for 20 years.  As an instructor,  I have had the pleasure of co-teaching the Med Ops modules and assisting with other modules. 


Most recently, I have been serving as Member At Large on the CERT          Executive Board and assisting with various projects as needed.


I would like to continue sharing my expertise in this capacity.


Thank you for your consideration.


Barbara Vineis 


Carol Kramer

Member At Large


My name is Carol Kramer, and I have lived in Culver City for the past 30 years. Several misconceptions about what I would learn in the CERT class, i.e. only basic first aid and  search/rescue, prevented me from taking the CERT class prior to the first quarter of 2019.  I am now a firm believer that as many people as possible should take the class to learn how to take care of themselves and possibly neighbors after a major disaster.   


My Experience:

1) Co-coordinator of my NERT (East Sunkist)

2) Volunteered at the 2019 Fire Service Day CERT table  

3) Volunteered at the National Cemetery’s first aid table during the 2019 Memorial Day

     weekend when scouts placed flags on each of the graves

4) Through CERT’s Emergency Food Program, delivering groceries to a senior citizen

5) Coordinating the efforts of approximately 250 city volunteers in response to COVID    

6) Volunteer Liaison for CCPD’s volunteer program


I am running for Member-at-Large because I want to increase participation in CERT classes.  One way is to have a CET board member speak to each of the city’s Neighborhood Watch groups to explain what CERT does, what is taught, and allay common misconceptions.  I also would like to see an  increase in the number of      general meetings each year for existing CERT members. Necessary skills could be reinforced at some of the general meetings as well as during the annual refresher class.  I am a proponent of the “use it or lose it” theory.  If skills are not used or practiced on a regular basis, they are forgotten. I am running for a position on CERT’s Executive Board to increase my participation in an organization I completely believe in.  Thank you for your  support.



Running Unopposed

Steve O’Donnell


My name is Steve O’Donnell.  I am the current Treasurer of Culver City CERT and I am running for re-election.


I have been an active member of CERT for 12 years.  During this time I have participated in a majority of the CERT drills.  I received my Ham license and have been  active in CCARES.  I am also a NERT co-coordinator.  In April 2011 I became the Treasurer of CERT.


When I applied for the position of Treasurer I saw an opportunity to use my professional skills to contribute to CERT in a new way.  I am an accountant and have held various management positions.  My  experience allows me to effectively manage CERT’s funds, prepare meaningful financial reports, and contribute to the management of CERT. I’d like to continue working with the CERT Board as we grow and move this great organization forward.


Thank you. If you elect me as your Treasurer, I will continue to actively support our community’s emergency      response   capabilities.



Running Unopposed

Mia Cramer



Hiya, I'm Mia and I'm the current Secretary for Culver City CERT. I'm running for the position of Secretary because I would like to continue giving back to my community. I volunteered for the role in November 2019 when the current Secretary had to cut their term short. I'm a long term resident of Culver City and I currently work at a local studio. I have 18 years of experience in Business Operations/HR. I'm certified in CPR, Stop The Bleed, and recently graduated from the Culver City Citizen Police Academy. 


I've been a member of Culver City CERT for 15 years, and I am currently the Co-Manager for NERT 33. In the past I have also volunteered as a first aid provider at the Memorial Flag Placing at the National Cemetery, and routinely attended final drills to take part as a scribe for the Incident Commander. 


Most recently I have assisted CC CERT’s efforts during the Covid 19 pandemic by helping senior citizens sign up for online delivery of groceries.


You may see me and my dog, Obi, out exercising around the neighborhood or at a Front Yard Friends event ready with a ‘Hiya.'






Vice President

Running Unopposed

Mike Landau


My Fellow CERTizens,


I have been nominated to run again as your CC CERT Vice President. And, I accept that nomination.


Over the past 4 years, I have been available as a back up to CC CERT President Joel   Falter. On at least one occasion, when Joel was not reachable, I was tasked by the CCFD to organize a group of CC CERT members to assist our CCPD in its efforts to search for an infant believed to have been dumped in a landfill. Although we didn't actually get in the thick of it, I was impressed by the interest of our membership to help in such a difficult situation. And, a few times, I have stepped in to deliver the CC CERT President weekly   report on the CCARES Sunday nite net. I have attended almost every Board meeting unless I was out of town or busy at work.


Being a part of CC CERT has been a passion ever since I took my training back in last quarter of 1999...yes back then there were 4 classes per year. I have done my best to do what ever I could to help our CCFD and the CC CERT organization.


I hope to continue being an asset to CC CERT and offer what I can as your Vice President.


Respectively, Michael D. "Dr. Mike" Landau, M.D., CC CERT VP



Running Unopposed

Stephanie Benjamin


My Name is Stephanie Benjamin and I'm running for Culver City CERT President. I am a self motivated, resourceful, and clever small business operator with an  accomplished and demonstrated history of working in the public safety industry. I believe I can bring a re-imagined, collaborative, and experience based perspective to CERT, to help the organization grow. I will be able to draw upon 22 years of education, training and experience including: Masters in Emergency           Management, Fire Investigation & Law Enforcement, numerous certifications in the field of Emergency Management and 22+ years as an EMT. I have taught, responded to emergencies and served communities ranging from providing medical aid, disaster planning, research and program development, project and volunteer management, training communities in emergency preparedness to disaster response; including responding to Louisiana after Hurricanes Katrina/Rita for ~5 months. 


For the last 12 years I've spent my time training businesses, new parents, police officers, neighborhoods, in CPR, First Aid, AED, Emergency Preparedness and designing and selling earthquake kits/first aid kits for homes, offices, and entire neighborhoods. As well as designing emergency plans for neighborhoods, speaking at community events and hiring out as an emergency manager for large events. My background in CERT includes 17 years teaching for CC CERT, volunteering as a member of CERT (managing events, and providing first aid), and holding various roles within the executive and    managing board. This election cycle I felt it was time to take on a larger role to pump some new ideas into the program. Recent activities I have managed and brought to the table include revamping the CERT website, active shooter training in Nov 2019 and the Stop The Bleed Training in Feb 2020, including coordinating the distribution of the STB kits. I have also been managing the CERT response to the Covid19 pandemic; an ongoing assignment I've held since March.


I look forward to serving in a capacity that will bring more opportunities to CERT members to learn and be involved in the program so we all feel safer in our abilities and knowledge to respond and feel safe in an emergency. Thank you for your consideration.



About Us

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program was started by the Culver City Fire
Department in November 1997. The Culver City Community Emergency Response Team is an active part of the Culver City’s Emergency

Response Plan. Along with maintaining the skills necessary to assist our community in times of need, Culver City CERT proudly volunteers at events in an effort to support our community and

raise awareness of our Mission.

While the main purpose of CERT is to train citizens to take care of themselves, their families, and neighbors in the event of a disaster, many CERT Members in Culver City decide to volunteer to assist the city in times of emergency as well as disaster. Culver City CERT is under the control of the Culver City Fire Department and is run by a Board of Directors which serve a two year term.


The CERT Program educates people about disaster preparedness and response in order to take care of

their families and neighborhood in case of a disaster. The training includes basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. 

Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can also decide to assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response

agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

  In the event of an emergency the Culver City Fire Department can “activate” CERT to assist the city when needed. Members do not self “activate” unless there is a major earthquake effecting the city. They are contacted by the Culver City Fire Department to assist in the emergency.  


CERT Members also comprise the Culver City Amateur Radio Emergency Service (CCARES), which maintains all HAM Radios in the CERT VEhicle and CIty Emergency Operations Center. These members hold FCC licenses for operating amateur radio.  CCARES members operate Emergency Communications (E-COMM) during Drills and Emergencies in the city. 

Visit the CCARES website here:

Sign Up

If you are interested in taking the CERT training please click the link below to get your FREE tickets.

Please make sure you will be able to commit yourself to attend ALL 3 Days of training
If you do not complete ALL of the training components you will need to make up the
Modules that you did not complete during a later class.

You will not be able to participate in CERT activities until you make up the missed training component(s).

CLICK HERE - CERT Spring 2020 Class Sign Up Link (March 7, 14, 21) 

CLICK HERE - CERT Fall 2020 Class Sign Up Link (October 3, 10, 17)

I took CERT / I'm a member of Culver City CERT, Now What?

There are several things you do once you have completed your CERT training. While there is no requirement for additional training,  we highly recommend you continue training; if you don't use it, you lose it. We have linked some ways for you to continue your preparedness efforts below. There are also 2-4 events per year where we need volunteers to help promote CC CERT and to talk about becoming disaster ready, these opportunities are emailed out or posted to Facebook.  

Culver City CERT General Meetings - FREE  

There are 4 General Meetings per year - February, May, September, and November. These meetings are listed in the Calendar on this site, and we do mini-refreshers and have guest speakers during these meetings, to help keep your skills sharp.

Thursday February 6, 2020 - 7pm-9pm ( Must have a ticket for this meeting, to sign up see the calendar)

Thursday May 7, 2020 - 7pm-9pm

Thursday September 3, 2020 - 7pm-9pm   

Thursday November 5, 2020 - 7pm-9pm

Culver City CERT Drills / Refresher - FREE

Each year CERT has two final drill, one each of our Spring, and Fall CERT classes. Graduates are always invited back to participate in the drill as volunteer victims to help provide realism to our students, volunteer responders to gain extra experience, or to be the Incident Commander to further your CERT abilities. 

Since 2017 we have been having an annual refresher usually in June, but sometimes in September. This is not required but it is highly encouraged that you attend. This is a one-day refresher 9am - 130pm, filled with minimal lectures, and lots of skills practice.

The 2020 Refresher will be Saturday September 12, 2020.  We will have a sign up form posted shortly.

The Great California Shake Out - FREE

This is an annual event in October, you can sign up using the link below and participate at work, at school, or anywhere you are at 10:17AM. Culver City CERT also participates in a drill on this day as well. The Great California Shake Out will be Thursday October 15, 2020

The Great California Shake Out Home Page

Follow us on Social Media to stay updated - FREE

 The easiest way to stay connected and continue to train is to follow Culver City CERT on Social Media. We often post opportunities to volunteer as well as information about upcoming drills and events in the city and with our partner cities on Facebook. 

Culver City CERT on Twitter

Culver City CERT on Instagram

Culver City CERT on Facebook

Incident Command Training - FREE - Online Courses through FEMA

Introduction to the Incident Command System, ICS 100

Basic Incident Command System for Initial Response, ICS 200

Stop The Bleed - FREE

Stop The Bleed - Class Finder

CPR/AED/Basic First Aid Classes - $$

American Heart Association - Class Finder

American Red Cross - Class Finder

American Safety and Health Institute - Class Finder

District 1

Eastside NERT(10) 

Rancho Higuera NERT (11) 

Downtown NERT (area 12)

Carlson Park East NERT (13) 

 North of Sony (NOS) NERT

 Blair Hills NERT (14) 

 Raintree NERT (15)

 Tara Hill NERT (16) 

 Lakeside Village NERT (17)

 Windsor Fountains NERT (18) 

 Carlson Park NERT (19)


City Hall BERT

Kathleen O'Donnell   

District 1 Manager

District 2

Studio Estates NERT (21) 

Coombs Park NERT (22) 

Westside NERT (23) 

Tellefson Park NERT (24)    
Vet’s Park NERT (25) 
DMV NERT (26) 

Little Culver NERT (27)

 School District BERT    

Martin Zisner

District 2 Manager

Distrait 3

Lindberg Park NERT (31) 

Culver Crest NERT (32)

East Sunkist NERT (33) 

Blanco Park NERT (34) 

Canterbury NERT (35) 

Green Valley NERT (36) 

West Sunkist NERT (37)

Lakeside Villas NERT (38) 

Heritage Park NERT (39)

Michael Landau

District 3 Manager

To Download the NERT maps please click the link below, or email us at and place "NERT Maps" in the email subject line.

District and NERT Maps


March 2020

CERT Class

(Lifts and Carries)

March 2020

CERT Class

(Fire Suppression)

February General Meeting 2020 Stop The Bleed Training

Public Information Officer Stephanie Benjamin Receiving Fire Department Award for dedication to the Community

Operations Manager

Erik Mayer

Receiving Fire Department Award for dedication to the Community

Chief White Addresses CERT Membership 2019

November General Meeting CCPD Active Shooter Lecture 2019


Shake Out Drill 2019

Fall CERT Class 2019


CERT Refresher 2019


Fiesta La Ballona 2019


Fire Service Day 2019

May General Meeting 2019 Woolsey Fire Review


Who is eligible to take the training?

The training is free and available to residents of Culver City and those who work in Culver City. Non-Culver City residents may also attend if they live in an area with a CERT Program and space is available.  

What is involved in the Training?

The 21 hours of training, divided into three classes, includes an Introduction to Disaster Response, Disaster Medical Operations, Fire Suppression, Light Search and Rescue, Disaster Psychology, Hazardous Materials, Terrorism Awareness and Incident Command. The training is “hands on” requiring students to apply what they learn in class. There is a “mock earthquake” drill on the last day where students practice everything they learned in training.

The course is conducted Saturdays; 9am to 4pm.

Is there an age minimum?

Participants must be a minimum of 16 years of age. 

Executive Board


Joel Falter is the President of the Culver City CERT Executive Board.

Vice President

Michael Landau is the Vice President of the Culver City CERT Executive Board.  


Steven O'Donnell is the Treasurer of the Culver City CERT Executive Board.


Barbara Vineis is the Member At Large of the Culver City CERT

Executive Board.  


Mia Cramer is the Secretary of the Culver City CERT Executive Board.  

Operations Manager

Erik Mayer is the Operations Manager.  

Logistics Manager

Ian Cousineau is the Logistics Manager.  

Public Information Officer (PIO)

Stephanie Benjamin is the Public Information Officer (PIO).

District 1 Manager

Kathleen O'Donnell is the District 1 Manager.

District 2 Manager

Marty Zisner is the District 2 Manager.  

District 3 Manager

Michael Landau is the District 3 Manager.  

Training Manager

Earle Hartling is the Training Manager.  

Fundraising Manager

Valerie Hernandez is the Fundraising Manager.  


Culver City Amateur Radio Emergency Service

 About Us

The Culver City Amateur Radio Emergency Service (CCARES) is a volunteer organization of area residents who have obtained an FCC amateur radio license. CCARES works with the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), whom they are directly affiliated with, the Culver City Fire Department, and the Culver City Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to provide communication in case of emergencies that might disable telephone or cellular service. Community members are encouraged to study for and take the 35 question test required for this FCC radio license, acquire a radio and join us in assisting with vital inter-neighborhood and Culver City wide communications in cases of widespread disaster or emergency.  

Culver City Amateur Radio Emergency Service (CCARES) - Website


February 1, 2020

Our latest and greatest activity is yet to be named but for now let’s call it HF Days.  The aim is to provide time at the Radio Room at Fire Station 1 for CCARES members, regardless of license class, can learn and experience the operation of our equipment.  Attendees are encouraged to review the “HF Weak Signal” page, and it’s linked pages, under CCARES 101 prior to attending an HF Day  


February 15, 2020

Location: 9600 Culver Blvd. For more information please check the calendar.

How do I get involved?

Contact us at if you are or would like to become a licensed Amateur Radio Operator and will agree to support CCARES during disaster operations.


The K6CCR repeater is located near the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook and is on:

445.6 MHz, CTCSS code 131.8, standard offset of -5 MHz.

Club Day Activity plan:

  • 10a – 10:30a: General housekeeping & check of the systems in the radio room.
  • 10:30a – 10:45a: A short check-in Net utilizing members who are on hand to conduct the net. We will announce any activities we have planned for the day and invite folks to join us. We might also have variants of the net exploring Simplex, Winlink & ARDEN check-ins as time goes on.
  • The focus of club day and subjects covered will change from month to month, some days we will perform hands-on work with equipment, some days will involve field work with radios & some with outside presenters.

For more info please visit:

or email




Call or email us with any questions you may have.

Culver City Community Emergency Response Team - Home


Culver City Community Emergency Response Team - Home