sanluisobispo---Copy.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Cal State Guard’s mission saves historical artifacts following floods, fires, earthquakes and civil unrest

Col. Kirk Sturm front teaches Smithsonian protocol for saving precious water soaked paper artifacts.jpeg
Tom Wilmer
/
Col. Kirk Sturm teaches Smithsonian protocol for saving water soaked historic archival paper at Camp San Luis Obispo to California State Military Guard troops.

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with Colonel Kirk Sturm with the California State Guard’s Heritage Emergence Response Team (HERT) at Camp San Luis, California.

Classroom insttruction at Camp San Luis Obispo State Military Guard.jpeg
Tom Wilmer
/
California State Park specialist teaches California State Guard troops at Camp San Luis, protocol and philosophy of addressing response to disasters effecting historic artifacts.

There are more than 5,000 archives, museums, libraries and cultural institutions in California, all with precious historical artifacts at risk from fire, flood, earthquakes, civil unrest and acts of terrorism.

The California State Guard’s Military Museum Command has created a Heritage Emergency Response Team trained to respond within four hours to all hazards with personnel, supplies and equipment to salvage and evacuate precious heritage resources.

State Military Guard training at Hearst Castle.jpeg
Tom Wilmer
/
California State Park specialist talks historic artifact preservation with California State Guard troops on instructional field trip at Hearst Castle

The HERT teams follow Smithsonian Institution’s Cultural Rescue Initiative guidelines in addition to FEMA’s National Preparedness incident guidelines, California’s Office of Emergency Management Incident response protocol as well as U.S. Army regulations pertaining to cultural and artifact protection and security.

Packing historic artifacts.jpeg
Tom Wilmer
/
California State Guard Troops practice wrapping and boxing historic artifacts being evacuated from damaged history facility.

The HERT concept isn’t new: the 2014 Hollywood movie Monuments Men chronicled the U.S. Army’s WWII mission to protect cultural artifacts.

Stay Connected
Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.
Related Content