Chinese city leaders visit Costa Mesa to learn more about CERT


City and Fire Department leaders were pleased this week to host a contingent of Chinese government leaders from the city of Chengdu, who visited Costa Mesa as part of a multi-week, fact-finding mission on the best practices of Community Emergency Response Teams or CERT.

Brenda Emrick, the city’s CERT manager who has visited Chengdu several times last year for training purposes, said the group was in the United States on a study tour sponsored by The Asia Foundation. 

Welcoming the group to Costa Mesa along with Emrick was Mayor Steve Mensinger, CEO Tom Hatch, Police Chief Rob Sharpnack and CERT leaders from the State of California and the cities of Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Downey and Irvine as well as members of The Asia Foundation.

Chen Liuting, who represented The Asia Foundation, said the visitors from Chengdu were all emergency managers who had prior training from the Federal Emergency Management Association. She said the city of Chengdu in the Sichuan Province of China has a population of 13 million people.

“It is a big city with lots of responsibilities,” she said. “That’s why there are here to learn more about CERT.”

The past two weeks the group has been studying at the University of Maryland, before winding up in Costa Mesa on Tuesday and Wednesday. During their visit to Costa Mesa, the group got a tour of the city’s Emergency Operations Center as well as a visit to Orange Coast College to learn about campus-based CERT.

The trip also included workplace seminar as well as a visit to South Coast Plaza for lunch at Lawry’s and dinner at Maggiano’s.