CERT, AFD Team Up to Find Missing Teenager

Courtesy photo

Jerry Juhala and Dean Lauermam work in the CERT’s mobile disaster unit. The unit served as the command post during the search for Anthony Michael Brown

At 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 21, the Alameda Police Department (APD) issued a missing-person alert for 16-year-old Anthony Michael Brown. Among the responders to the alert was a 12-member search-and-rescue team from the city’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Alameda Fire Department (AFD) Capt. Sharon Oliver coordinated the search. Four hours after APD issued the alert, CERT notified its team that it was initiating a search. Anthony Di Salvo joined fellow team member Wade Pope, and the pair searched on foot using an infra-red scanner to look for heat sources. “Search areas were assigned and we crisscrossed our spot, but found nothing,” Di Salvo said. Di Salvo decided to drive his second assigned area by car. CERT knew Brown liked to frequent the donut shop just outside the former Navy base’s East Gate. “About 2 a.m. Wade and I spotted someone walking on Atlantic near the jet just inside the gate,” Di Salvo said. Di Salvo called out the missing teen’s first name, which coincidentally matches his own. “Who wants to know?” Brown responded. Di Salvo identified himself and notified the command post. APD officers arrived and Brown asked was he going to get to ride in police car. With the arrival of APD, CERT had completed its task. Residents 18 years old and older interested in joining CERT can sign up for training in March, May, August and September or October and November. The March and August and September classes are held on Monday and Tuesday evenings and one Saturday. The May and October and November sessions are held on Saturdays. Classes are free and are held at the fire department’s training facility, 431 Stardust Place on Alameda Point. Learn more by calling AFD’s disaster preparedness office, 337-2129.