What is DART?
The Thousand Oaks Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) is a well-organized group of trained, local citizens who volunteer their time and energy to being prepared to assist local government and public safety agencies in serving the Conejo Valley and Ventura County of Southern California.
DART receives major 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.
A Brief History of DART
Conceptually introduced in the Thousand Oaks area in late 1992, the DART program was adopted by the City Council in early 1993. Initial core training began in May 1993. Today DART has more than 40 active members who meet and train monthly.
The cities of Camarillo and Westlake Village and the community of Bell Canyon also have their own versions of DART at different levels of readiness. The Mutual Aid Network assures that the cities will support one another in an emergency.
DART Mission Statement
DART is a volunteer disaster response and community action team dedicated to training its members and educating the citizens of the community in emergency preparation and response. DART is funded by the City of Thousand Oaks (CTO), certified by the Ventura County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services (VCSOES) and Ventura County Disaster Council and is administered by the City of Thousand Oaks Police Department (TOPD).
DART trains in a variety of emergency techniques. It is prepared to respond to authorized disaster Call outs or community requirements occurring within its area of operation. DART is proficient in Public Safety techniques enabling members to assist with community needs.
DART Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of DART are to have knowledgeable and trained members in Earthquake Preparedness, Basic Disaster Psychology, Basic First Aid, CPR for the Professional Rescuer, AED, Urban Search and Rescue, Fire Suppression Techniques, Hazardous Material Awareness, Radio Communications, Traffic Control Techniques, and ATC-20 Safety Assessment.
- To establish, maintain, promote and educate the community with a disaster preparedness awareness program.
- To provide community service to the City of Thousand Oaks and/or the Thousand Oaks Police Department through direction of the DART Liaison.
- To recruit, train and maintain an active membership as necessary to accomplish these goals.
The full core course consists of the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) course, designed by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) which lasts seven weeks and is taught by the Ventura County Fire Department and an additional five weeks of DART Core classes taught by Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, Thousand Oaks Police Department, Ventura County Fire Department and DART members.. To be a member of DART you must have taken the seven week CERT course plus the additional DART Core classes, go through an interview process and you must pass a police department background check.
To learn more about the City of Thousand Oaks CERT Training Program, Click Here. What type of training do DART members receive?
- ATC-20 Damage Assessment
- First Aid / AED / CPR for the Professional Rescuer Certification
- Critical Incident Stress Debriefing
- Urban Search and Rescue
- Hazardous Materials Awareness
- Media and PIO Operations
- Radio and Communications Procedures
- Traffic and Crowd Control
- Incident Command System
DART General Meeting
The fourth Thursday of every month, from 7 to 9 pm, is the General Meeting, and is the only DART meeting open to the public. The meeting is usually held in the Community Room at the Thousand Oaks Police Department, East County Sheriff's Station located at 2101 East Olsen Road in Thousand Oaks. This is the main meeting for DART members, in which general DART business is addressed; participation plans and other important subjects are discussed. Guest speakers or training exercises are also part of the monthly general meetings.
You are invited to participate in the Thousand Oaks Disaster Assistance Response Team. If you can volunteer your time, and you are over 18 years of age, the community needs you! If you would like to make a donation of money or materials - or if you would appreciate more information on DART operations - contact us today at (805) 373-2316. Thank you!
For more information, visit our website at www.todart.org.