Category Archives: Newsletter 2019.06

Who Wants Pancakes For Breakfast Tomorrow?

Looking for something fun to do Saturday morning – breakfast included?

From the CFA Alumni Association:

Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser this Saturday, June 8th – 8am – 10am given by Alexis Estates Gracious Retirement Living to honor our firefighters. Donations will go through CFA to help support the fire department and our community through various programs CFA Alumni assist with through the year. Please come on out Saturday morning and support CFA, the Fire Department, and our community. Address is: 680 N Watters Rd, Allen, TX 75013. A huge thanks to the staff at Alexis Estates for putting together this fundraiser!! Please share with your family, friends and neighbors so we can give them a huge crowd!!!!!

New Reasons to Attend Ham-Com

Ham-Com is this weekend!

It starts today (Friday) at noon and runs through Saturday at 5:00 PM and takes place at the Plano Convention Center. In addition to the same great information and sales, new classes are being offered this year – some of them are very practical for CERTs.

New classes include Stop the Bleed, Baofeng Radio Programming, Air Force MARS, Advances in Severe Weather Detection, and ARES/Skywarn training.

Admission is just $10 at the door and gets you access to all events, classes, and exhibits.

For more information on Ham-Com 2019, read the flyer or visit them on Facebook.


How to Store All That Cribbing

We have a ton of cribbing.

When we had 44 students go through Basic Training in 2017, we had to upscale much of our hands-on activities to accommodate the largest class we’ve ever seen. Part of that was acquiring and cutting more 4×4 treated lumber to ensure every student would have a chance to practice cribbing procedures.

More cribbing is a great thing but it takes up quite a bit of space; Seven large boxes-worth of space, to be exact. Plus, we all know those boxes aren’t fun to carry when they’re loaded down with lumber. On top of that, we cannot fill up the boxes completely so there is a lot of dead space wasted. So do we really have “a ton of cribbing” or are we storing it inefficiently?

Enter the “Crib Pack”, an innovative way of optimizing cribbing storage and transportation. Mike Pruden proposed the idea earlier this year and – during our most recent trailer exercise – William Ingram built a prototype that wowed everyone.

Last week, several members got together in a garage to turn proof-of-concept into reality. In less than two hours, all of our cribbing was converted into the new Crib Packs.

The result is a >60% reduction in storage footprint and seven empty boxes that can be re-purposed. Additionally, the Crib Packs make it much easier to carry the cribbing. The rounded handles at the top allow one person to carry two Packs easily – the equivalent of two boxes. The Packs are held together by two cam-buckle straps, making deployment and cleanup a cinch (literally). The cherry on top: These Packs have a cutout at the bottom that allow them to stack on top of each other for a reduced footprint.

Look for these next time you’re around the trailer, and expect us to deploy these at community events for display and conversation-starters.


Credit to for the idea. Thanks to Mike Pruden for submitting the idea. Thank you to William Ingram for building the prototype. Thank you to William Ingram, Neal van der Upwich, Kenneth Spock, and Ty Westfall for assisting with the build. And thank you to Greg Evans for stopping by and taking some pictures.

Free CPR Training

The free CPR training program launched by the Allen Fire Department early this year has been a big hit across town. AFD’s Tony Cooper has been very busy hosting classes on weeknights and weekends – sometimes multiple classes a week.

Tony will be hosting a class just for CERT & CFA July 18th at 6:30 PM. The class will be held in the Community Room at the Parks & Recreation office (where you vote). Family is welcome so bring ’em along. Don’t miss this chance to receive free CPR training – register today!


Note: Click the submit button only once, even if it appears unsuccessful. Check the “Registered” section below within a couple hours to verify your RSVP.

Although CPR is not a skill we teach in CERT, we certainly promote it as supplemental learning as it is proven to save lives. Most Allen CERT members have received formal CPR training in the past but taking subsequent classes helps keep the procedures fresh in your mind. Additionally, CPR science is constantly evolving as case studies result in simpler methods and improved techniques.


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Extra! Extra!

Congratulations to Jackie Sword for passing her Extra-class amateur radio license exam. Securing and Extra license is no easy feat with many operators studying for months before taking the test. Jackie has been working toward this goal for some time and passed the Extra exam last month.

With Jackie’s accomplishment, Allen CERT now has 11 Extra-class radio operators on the roster.

Way to go Jackie! We all look forward to hearing you on the air soon.