The City of Hercules has accumulated insurmountable experience over the years and continues to advocate the importance of emergency preparedness to its staff and community. The City has sent a total of 26 employees and residents to the California Specialized Training Institute, partaking in a basic earthquake training course. In addition, members of City Government and staff have also trained in courses relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism and duties related to the Public Information Officer. The police department consists of officers who have specialized in emergency training, including tactical situations and crowd mitigation. Also, the Rodeo/Hercules Fire Department continually holds C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) training, a program dedicated to providing participants with as much safety preparedness as possible.
Additionally, the Hercules Police Department houses the Emergency Operations Division. City personnel within the division are ultimately responsible for maintaining and updating emergency operations manuals, maps, evacuation routes, supplies and vendor lists.
In 2004, the City’s Emergency Operations Division held a citywide disaster drill in order to test the timeliness of response from participating agencies. It was also held to test the effectiveness of the division. The drill proved to be successful, due to the proficient participation of all City departments, the Hercules/Rodeo Fire District, Pinole Police and Fire Departments, Contra Costa County OES, Red Cross, R.A.C.E.S., WESTCAT, the West Contra Costa County School District, and approximately 200 volunteers. It was found that communication between the agencies was the most important factor in assuring safety in the aftermath of a disaster.
Since communication was found to be a most significant factor in an emergency, the Chief of Police in Contra Costa and Alameda counties are currently executing a back up emergency channel designed to provide effective communication throughout both counties in an emergency. The City of Hercules has also purchased a satellite telephone to be used in emergencies.