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Stories about people and events in the community. AL
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After the fall A year after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Japanese firefighters are back in Menlo Park honing their skills at disaster response Almanac photos and reporting by Michelle Le
group of Japanese firefighters was in Menlo Park last week to receive training from one of the Bay Area’s elite disaster-response agencies. A little more than a year after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami disaster, eight Japanese firefighters were practicing basic search-and-rescue skills at a training facility operated by the California Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 3. Since 2003, Japan has sent small groups of firefighters for weeklong training sessions with Task Force 3, made up of fire and rescue personnel
from 16 Bay Area agencies. It is one of 28 National Urban Search and Rescue teams, said Harold Schapelhouman, chief of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. In March 2011, 12 Japanese fire personnel were in Menlo Park when the earthquake and tsunami devastated their home country. Chief Schapelhouman said it was an emotional experience trying to get the firefighters back to Japan to reconnect with Continued on next page
At right: Battalion Chief Ben Marra of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District exchanges glances with Kohei Okita, while Hiroshi Nishio records Mr. Marra’s game plan for the next drill. Below: Japan Task Force members learn how to lift “victim” Hiroyuki Hayakawa out of the window of an overturned bus during an earthquake response drill.
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C O M M U N I T Y Continued from previous page
their families and help in the rescue effort. Training at the Task Force 3 facility includes an earthquakescenario response drill involving a massive pile of collapsed debris, training with canines, and learning about the psychological impacts of search-and-rescue efforts on rescuers and victims. Teams from around the world come to Menlo Park’s training facility, the Baylands Structural Collapse Training Center, located on the northern side of the Bayfront Expressway, along the western side of the Dumbarton Bridge behind a PG&E electrical substation. Trainees are sometimes awakened in the middle of the night to respond to simulated disasters. “It’s dark, there are things on fire, we have live victims,” Chief Schapelhouman said. In Japan
Among the Japanese firefighters in Menlo Park last week was Kohei Okita, who worked to find survivors during the Japanese quake and tsunami a year ago. He said through a translator that when he arrived at his assigned town in Japan, he had only a conventional map to guide him, which complicated
Aided by local fire district Captain Seth Johnson, left, Japanese firefighters gently lower their “victim” to the ground during the drill. Securing the rescue basket to a 14-foot ladder allows firefighters to move the victim safely and efficiently.
the rescue effort. “Everything was wiped out,” he said. Firefighters had to abandon their engines and walk
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for two hours with all the equipment they could carry. Once on the scene, they had to guess where the victims were
by focusing on major landmarks. One improvement that he would like to see in Japan is a grid system for search and
rescue, similar to that used by the Incident Command System in the United States. Takahiro Sato, another Japa-
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Taking a quick break between drill sessions are, from left, Hodaka Komiya, Yusuke Kiso, Hiroshi Nishio and Yuki Murata. The wall behind them bears signatures from past Japanese firefighters who trained with Task Force 3. Below, left: Takahiro Sato, who co-founded the Japan Task Force in August 2011 as a response to the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan.
nese firefighter in Menlo Park last week, co-founded the Japan Task Force last year to improve response capabilities. It has 27 members, including firefighters, doctors and nurses. They, in turn, have trained more than 200 firefighters in Japan. The Japanese firefighters took vacation days to come to Menlo Park and paid out of their own pockets to participate in the program. Japan and the U.S. have some similarities but many differences in the way they handle disaster response, Mr. Sato said. In the U.S., he said, the federal govern-
ment provides more financial support for emergency response. In Japan, most rescue equipment comes from local funding. “At that moment in Japan (when the earthquake occurred), we didn’t have good training or an education system for rescue training,” he said. The California task force, he said, offers some of the best training systems and facilities in the nation. While Japanese cities had invested significant resources into training equipment, he said, their responses to the earthquake and tsunami
Captain Seth Johnson and firefighter Yusuke Kiso say goodbye and have their photo taken by Hodaka Komiya.
were hampered by poor communication between defense forces, police departments, fire departments and doctors. The government, he said, did not respond efficiently, and individual fire stations had to act independently. The Japanese firefighters are
just one of many teams around the world that come to the Menlo Park training facility. Task Force 3 has trained teams from Australia, China, Canada, France, Germany and Taiwan, many of whom go back to teach search-and-rescue crews in their native countries. A
On the cover: Japanese firefighters, aided by Captain Seth Johnson of Menlo Park Fire Protection District, carry a “victim” through a massive pile of collapsed debris during a March 21 earthquake response drill. Almanac photo by Michelle Le.
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C O M M U N I T Y
ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS
TOWN OF ATHERTON STATE OF CALIFORNIA 2012 CAPE/SLURRY PROJECT PROJECT NO. 56052 Notice is hereby given that SEALED BIDS will be received at the ofﬁce of the City Clerk, 91 Ashﬁeld Road, Atherton, California 94027, until 2:00 p.m. APRIL 10, 2012, at which time they will be publicly opened and read, for performing the following work: Performing of Cape seals and Type II micro-surfacing per Town speciﬁcations on the listed streets, which includes notiﬁcations, trafﬁc control, prep work, oil and chip installation, compaction, sweeping, and re-striping/pavement markings (as needed) with a 1-year guarantee. The Engineer’s Estimate for the project is: $510,165.00 Per Section 6.01 of the Town of Atherton’s Standard Speciﬁcations, the General Contractor shall perform, with his own organization, work of a value amounting to not less than 50% of the total contract, excluding specialty items as indicated on the bid schedule. Bids must be for the entire work, and shall be submitted in sealed envelopes clearly marked: “Bid of (Contractor) for 2012 CAPE/SLURRY PROJECT, Project No. 56052”, along with date and time of bid opening. Plans and speciﬁcations may be obtained at the Town of Atherton’s website at www.ci.atherton. ca.us under Bid Solicitation at no cost. Additional important information is contained in Town of Atherton Standard Speciﬁcations, which are available on line at www.ci.atherton.ca.us/publicworks.html . Contractor shall be responsible for any addendums that may be posted on the Town’s website. No Planholders list shall be available. Bids must be accompanied by a bid security in the form of cash, a cashier’s or certiﬁed check or bid bond for not less than ten percent (10%) of the amount of the bid, as a guarantee that the bidder, if awarded the Contract, will fulﬁll the terms of the bid. The Town of Atherton, The City, reserves the right to reject any or all bids; to make any awards or any rejections in what it alone considers to be in the best interest of the City, and waive any informalities or irregularities in the bids. The contract will be awarded, if at all, to the responsible bidder that submits the lowest responsive bid. [NOTE: If there are alternates in the bid, the City will need to state how the low bid will be determined, as required by PCC 20103.8.] Bidders are hereby notiﬁed that, pursuant to California Civil Code Sections 3247 and 3248 and Standard Speciﬁcations Section 3.02, the successful bidder will be required to provide payment and performance bonds in the amounts of 100% of the contract price. Bidders are hereby notiﬁed that provisions of California Labor Code regarding prevailing wages and apprentices are applicable to the work to be performed under this contract. Pursuant to Section 1773 et seq. the general prevailing wage rates have been determined by the Director of the California Department of Industrial Relations and appear in the California Prevailing Wage Rates. Copies are on ﬁle at the ofﬁce of the City Engineer and are available to interested parties upon request. The successful bidder shall post a copy of the wage rates at the job site. The Contractor may elect to receive 100 percent of payments due under the contract, without retention of any portion of the payment by the Town of Atherton, by depositing securities of equivalent value to the retention amount in accordance with the provisions of Section 22300 of the California Public Contract Code. All bidders shall be licensed under the provisions of the Business and Professions Code to do the type of work contemplated in the project. The City has determined that the Contractor shall possess a valid Class A license at the time the bid is submitted. Failure to possess the speciﬁed license shall render the bid nonresponsive. Each bidder shall submit with this bid a statement setting forth his/her/its experience and qualiﬁcations. The statement shall be made on the forms provided by the Town and must accompany each bid. The three lowest bidders will be required to submit subcontractor’s experience and qualiﬁcations statements within 48 hours of the bid opening, on forms provided by the Town. By submitting a bid in response to this advertisement for bids, the bidder shall be conclusively deemed to have read, understood and agreed with all of the information and materials contained in the bid documents, including but not limited to the construction contract, the standard speciﬁcations, the special provisions, the required nature and amount of insurance and the documentation evidencing said insurance. Any questions regarding the project should be directed to David Huynh, Project Engineer, telephone: (650) 752-0555 or by written Requests for Information (RFI) to: Public Works Department, 91 Ashﬁeld Road, Atherton, CA 94027, no later than ten (10) business days before bid opening. RFIs may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to (650) 688-6539. Responses shall be posted on the Town’s website no later than ﬁve (5) days prior to bid opening.
By: ________________________________________ Michael Kashiwagi, P.E., City Engineer Date: ______________________________________ 28 N The Almanac N March 28, 2012
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