Sat10252014

News

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

A flyer is being distributed across Los Altos that looks like it is from the Los Altos Town Crier but was neither created nor distributed by the community’s weekly newspaper. The flyer, pictured at right, is being distributed by workers from Pyrami...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Journey through CERT: Week 3


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Santa Clara County firefighters participate in a cribbing demonstration during last week’s CERT class in Los Altos Hills.

Town Crier staff writer and photographer Ellie Van Houtte chronicles her Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training in Los Altos Hills. Following is the third in her six-part series.

 

Movies and TV series make burning fires look dangerous but not impossible to extinguish. But unlike staged sequences – manipulated by controlled factors and performed by trained stunt actors – real fires can be quite lethal, both to firefighters and victims.

The lungs are among the most delicate parts of the body, and a single breath of hot air from a blazing fire can cause immediate death, according to El Monte Fire Station firefighters who serve as CERT class instructors in Los Altos Hills.

Week three of CERT training addressed how firefighters respond to emergencies and how volunteer disaster service workers like me should react when faced with crisis situations within our control. Although knowing how to use a fire extinguisher or lift a heavy object off an injured person may seem intuitive, CERT exercises provide those with little experience an opportunity to learn the ropes.

Wearing a green helmet and goggles (protective gear is key for CERT participants), I navigated my way into and out of an emergency scenario last week. In addition to learning how to shut off a gas valve, I paired up with a classmate to extinguish a small fire.

Using the PASS technique – Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep – I deployed an air-pressurized water extinguisher to douse a staged fire that simulated burning wood or a similar solid material. The intense experience required my full attention as I tried to follow the instructions in my training manual. For a kitchen fire or industrial fire with additional hazards, the method for putting out the fire would differ.

Cribbing – stabilizing a person or object so that it cannot slide, fall or move – was also a new concept. Although CERT trailers are equipped with wedges, blocks and two-by-fours that are ideal for cribbing, tree limbs and objects found in a garage or backyard could be substituted. The primary objective of the exercise is to create a stable foundation for distributing weight and to use leveraging to elevate the impeding object off a trapped element.

Regardless of how dire, I learned that I should never attempt to respond to a situation that exceeds my capacity – the risk just doesn’t match the reward. My preparedness and resourcefulness may never meet that of firefighters staffing the medically equipped Rescue 14 engine in Los Altos Hills, trained to mobilize from arrival on site within 60 seconds.

According to one of the El Monte Fire Station firefighters, Rescue 14 is always staffed with at least one certified emergency medical services firefighter, who can provide “early intervention in medical emergency to complement the limited ambulance system.”

Van Houtte’s report on disaster psychology and light search and rescue is scheduled to appear in next week’s Town Crier. To read Week 1 and Week 2 in the series, click through to the links.

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