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Free CERT Training When First Responders Arent There
August 23, 2012 - By Scott Ferguson (for Topanga CERT)
PHOTO BY SCOTT FERGUSON
Above, CERT trainees on their final day of training where they participate in a mock disaster drill. Here, volunteers as victims have been triaged and removed from the building and are being treated by the medical team.
Our professional emergency first responders firefighters, law enforcement, EMTs are so good at what they do, its easy to take them for granted. If youve got a problem, just call 9-1-1 and help will come right away, right?
Not always. Following a major disaster, like the earthquake scientists have dubbed The Big One, county emergency personnel will be spread so thin responding to devastation in urban areas that Topangans are likely going to be on their own, possibly for days or even weeks.
Would you have the confidence to cope? For instance:
Could you safely and efficiently put out small fires in your home?
Do you know the three methods for controlling bleeding?
Could you quickly evaluate post-earthquake damage to your property to know if it is safe to remain in your home?
Could you identify the signs of shock and do you know how to treat this life-threatening condition?
Would you be able to calm family members and neighbors suffering from psychological post-disaster stress?
You can learn these and many other life-saving skills by taking the free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training course.
Over a period of four Saturdays, the training covers a series of useful emergency response topics, including disaster preparedness, fire suppression, disaster medical triage and rescue, first aid and medical organization, light search and rescue, team organization, disaster psychology and terrorism response. This is hands-on learning in a fun environment and youll learn skills you can use in everyday situations.
On the final day, there will be a one-hour course review and then students get to test their skills by participating in a mock disaster drill. Teams will search for victims in a room with simulated major earthquake damage, then evacuate, triage and treat the victims for various injuries. Its serious stuff but participants always have fun as they learn to work together to accomplish the CERT mission: Do the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
Topanga CERT volunteers, supported by the Los Angeles County Sheriff and Fire Departments, will be presenting the complete CERT course to the public on four consecutive Saturdays Sept. 8, 15, 22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a one-hour lunch break from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., and Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., at Topanga Christian Fellowship Church, 269 Old Topanga Canyon Road. This invaluable course is offered at no charge as a public service.
All CERT course graduates get a Certificate of Completion and an official CERT backpack filled with emergency gear, including hardhat, high visibility vest, goggles, dust masks, work gloves, flashlight and more. There is no obligation to join the Topanga CERT team, but the team will welcome any graduate who wants to volunteer and serve the Topanga community.
The CERT training is open to everyone age 16 and up (and youre never too old for CERT training!).
Enrollment is limited so sign up today. To reserve a space, please e-mail TopangaCERT@verizon.net. Or call Scott Ferguson at (310) 455-1413.