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The Thousand Oaks Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) is a well-organized group of trained, local citizen volunteers. Members volunteer their time and energy in being prepared to assist local government and public safety agencies in serving the Conejo Valley and Ventura County of Southern California.

DART receives funding from the City of Thousand Oaks and is administered by the Thousand Oaks Police Department. DART is called upon by the Police, Sheriff, and Fire Departments to assist in both emergency and non-emergency situations.

Learn more by looking at our Volunteer page!

Westlake Village Community Fair

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It looks like our new format really works. As DART evolves we have been trying to figure out new and unique ways of getting the message out, and I think we have finally hit the nail on the head.

In addition to the new signage (left and right) and our typical documentation, we have added an LED TV, a speaker system, and a dvd player that plays 911 footage. In this case, we used a 15 minute reel of recorded 911 calls from the Napa earthquake.

Interesting enough, we would ask people if they were prepared for a disaster or had a disaster kit. Many actually answered “Ill just call 911″. Well guess what. If we learned anything from our latest disasters, your not the only one that will be calling. Get in line with everyone who is trying to call in, and overtaxed 911 operators being taxed with everything from life threatening situations to someone who can’t turn their lights on.

The only solution is to BE PREPARED.

Quarterly Mock Callout

The DART team recently conducted a quarterly mock callout, not only for the learning experience, but a critique in procedures and equipment requirements. The motto for our training is “extreme challenge brings on knowledge”. What started out as a 7pm mobilization, turned into something much more sinister.

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As darkness descended, the team quickly mobilized, distributing radios, flashlights, and assembled according to FEMA ICS protocols.

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A search pattern quickly developed.
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As the teams spread out, evidence of a gunfight started showing up.

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As with all events, sometimes, surprises rear their head. Evidently, there was a another victim, shot in the chest and leg. The DART team quickly responded to not only stabilize the victim but transport him upstairs to emergency transport.

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2014 Chili Cookoff

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Two shifts spent the entire day at Conejo Creek Field (South) and enjoyed the great weather, and a good amount of specialty chili from a dozen different competitors.

With events like this, there are a few lessons learned:

Petting Zoos

Animals, although docile, can hurt small children, ranging from scratches and bites to full on allergic reactions. They stay in farms, love to roll around in the dirt, and especially the furrier varieties, keep all sorts of allergans that can be harmful to small children if breathed in or even touched.

We had more than our share of instances where children came with hives and scratches from animals that would be thought harmless… It is always our recommendation to be gentle when touching these animals but very importantly WASH YOUR HANDS.

ALL DOGS BITE

They are at many events we service, and although they are cuddly and docile in the care of your own home, animals, when put in a situation that they are uncomfortable can react randomly and out of character.

The old adage of “my dog doesn’t bite and loves kids, until he bites a kid” is true, and rather take a risk, we always recommend, to use conventional wisdom and be weary of your child touching an unknown animal. Especially for younger children, then tend to ‘pat’ rather than ‘pet’ and unintentional smacks to the head might anger an animal causing random and abnormal response.

Nextdoor Integrates with the Thousand Oaks Police Department

Today was the formal launch of Nextdoor.com integration with the Thousand Oaks Police Department.

Hello, my name is Commander Tim Hagel, and I am pleased to announce that starting today, the Thousand Oaks Police Department will be utilizing Nextdoor to facilitate virtual neighborhood watch and foster neighbor-to-neighbor communications.

Nextdoor is a tool for us to effectively share information on crime prevention and safety, public events, and emergency notifications. You can expect to receive local crime and safety updates from the Thousand Oaks Police Department on Nextdoor.

We look forward to connecting with you on Nextdoor to build stronger, safer neighborhoods throughout Thousand Oaks.

Tim Hagel
Chief of Police
Thousand Oaks Police Department

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With Nextdoor you can:

  • Get to know your neighbors.
  • Get local recommendations for a great babysitter, plumber or handyman.
  • Look out for each other by sharing advice and reporting suspicious activity.
  • Buy, sell, trade or give away items within your neighborhood.
  • Get updates on community issues, plan neighborhood events and more!

More than likely, if you are in Thousand Oaks, a community is already rolling, all you will need to do is go to the Nextdoor website and create an account.

4th Annual Dining with the Dogs Fundraising Dinner

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The Thousand Oaks Police Charitable Foundation, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation, the VCSO K9 Unit and the VCSO Search and Rescue K9 Team invite you to be a part of this great afternoon in support of our Canine partners. Guests at this year’s event will mingle with the trainers, handlers and their animals, enjoy demonstrations throughout the day, visit with other Sheriff’s Office Units, shop the auctions, listen to live music and enjoy dinner and spirits for a great afternoon in support of the dogs. All entities are 501 C3 non-profits and proceeds from the event will be split between the two canine units.

This year’s event will be held on the grounds of beautiful California State University-Channel Islands on May 3 from 2pm till 6pm. Tickets can be purchase online at www.vcsheriffsfoundation.org.

High Waves, Blackouts, Highway Damage, Follow 8.2 Chile Earthquake

Earthquakes, Tsunami’s and aftershocks, oh  my!

Now is the time to start thinking about home safety..

Remember that after a quake, things you can depend on may not be available like water, power, gas, internet, and information. Stores will be closed and traffic lights will be inoperable. Sanitation will be an issue as well as a higher propensity for unlawful activity.

Four easy rules form our friends at Ready.gov can help make you better prepared:

  1. Be Informed – Emergency preparedness is not only for Californians, Midwesterners and Gulf Coast residents. Most communities may be impacted by several types of hazards during a lifetime. Americans also travel more than ever before to areas with different hazard risks than at home.Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count. Use this site to learn about potential emergencies that can happen and how to prepare for and respond to them.
  2. Make a Plan – Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. Read more about Family Communication during an emergency.
  3. Build a Kit – A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
  4. Get Involved – In the face of disaster, Americans come together with courage, compassion and unity and ask, “How can I help?”There are many ways to Get Involved especially before a disaster occurs.  The whole community can participate in programs and activities to make their families, homes and communities safer from risks and threats.  Community leaders agree the formula for ensuring a safer homeland consists of volunteers, a trained and informed public and increased support of emergency response agencies during disasters. Major disasters can overwhelm first responder agencies, empowering individuals to lend support.

If you need any help assembling a kit, understanding home safety or just need explanation, ask ANY DART member at our upcoming events for more information.

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