Last week’s wintery snow storm was a wonderland for some, but for others it was a burden and a danger. Though some would not call a foot of snow and temperatures in the single digits an emergency, for some residents it was.

When an emergency of any level hits Keizer, the volunteers of Keizer Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) race into action. That’s what happened last week in one of the grids the 16 CERT  teams serve.

In a central Keizer neighborhood seven CERT volunteers knocked on more than 200 doors to do a welfare check on the residents. It wasn’t just the freezing temperatures but also the snow that prompted the checks.

Most of the residents were just fine but the CERT volunteers helped in small ways such as retrieving mail from street-side mailboxes, bringing in garbage cans and newspapers.

They cleared snow from porches, driveways and sidewalks. A second group of CERT volunteers cleared snow at Simonka Place and two senior living facilities in Keizer.


At one stop the volunteers discovered there was no heat for the 97-year old resident who was using several small space heaters. More heaters were brought in until the furnace could be repaired.

The CERT team included Skyler Crenshaw, Trish Crenshaw, Bonnie Dunn, Malcolm Mespelt, Paul Pfinister, Jerry Wade and Sheba Wooddel. At the request of Salem CERT and Marion County, Paul Pfinister helped man a warming station at Marion Square Park during the depths of last week’s freeze.

There are more than 150 Keizer CERT team members, all of whom have attended training classes led by Greg Biben of the Keizer Fire District.  The volunteers take their duties very seriously; they are ready to jump into action and be at the front lines in case of emergencies. Should Keizer be hit by an earthquake, major windstorm and flooding, the CERT team is ready to help Keizerites deal with the immediate aftermath.

It is good to know that Keizer CERT is helping even if some don’t think it’s an emergency.