Volunteers posing as injured earthquake victims awaiting triage will be among the disaster response exercises on display at the San Francisco Neighborhood Emergency Response Team’s annual earthquake drill Saturday.

The public is invited to watch the three-hour drill and attend a nearby disaster response fair, said Lt. Erica Arteseros, NERT’s program coordinator. The event will be at the Marina Green near Marina Middle School.

NERT is a volunteer branch of the San Francisco Fire Department. In addition to conducting simulated triage, the volunteers will practice search and rescue techniques and set up staging areas, event organizers said.

“This is a community building activity,” Arteseros said. “I’m proud that we consistently get volunteers out here.”

The NERT volunteers have undergone 20 hours of emergency response training, Arteseros said. Some of Saturday’s participants only recently completed their training, while others have been certified for 10 years or more.

The city has about 11,000 certified volunteers, and about 200 are expected to participate in Saturday’s drill, Arteseros said.

The program has trained 20,000 volunteers since it was formed after the Loma Prieta earthquake. The first class of volunteers graduated in 1990, and training sessions are held year-round.

NERT holds two main drills each year: a mid-October event commemorating the Loma Prieta earthquake and an April event that roughly coincides with the 1906 earthquake.
The drill will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Marina Green at Marina Boulevard and Scott Street. Parking is available at Marina Middle School.

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