Are you ready for a major earthquake? Do you know what to do during and after the shaking stops?
If the answer is no, then Community Emergency Response Team training (CERT) is for you. The 20-hour course will show you how to prepare yourself, your family and neighborhood for a natural or man-made disaster, and learn the skills that can make a huge difference in the aftermath of a serious event.
CERT Communications Chief, Kevin Slovick, says “Many people in our community are afraid of earthquakes and major disasters. They do not know what they would do. That is where the motto “Don’t be Scared… Be Prepared!” comes from. By learning about disasters, how to prepare for them, and how to respond to them, you can overcome your fear.”
CERT training covers:
- Emergency and earthquake preparedness;
- Small fire suppression;
- Handling utilities (knowing when and how to turn them off);
- Light search and rescue;
- Disaster first aid;
- Medical triage operations;
- Shelter in place procedures;
- Hazardous materials and the CERT;
- Terrorism - what CERT does & does not do;
- Disaster psychology and giving comfort to victims;
- CERT organization and introduction to the Incident Command System (handling documentation, logistics, planning, operations, administration);
- Communications – How CERT will relay information.
There is also training in CART - County Animal Response Teams, radio communications, and first aid classes.
Gil Patton, the Martinez CERT chairman, said that everyone should take the training.
“You never know when you would be the only one there to help save someone else,” he said. “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Anyone who cares about their community should take the course and the leadership training.”
CERT volunteers work with the Martinez Police Department during various kinds of emergencies, according to need.
“CERT takes its direction from the city through the police department,” Patton said. “In a disaster, the first responders might be overwhelmed and might call for assistance from people trained to help. That is where CERT comes in.”
He said duties could range from simple crowd control to responding to fires, trapped victims, and setting up medical operation areas.
“I have a great appreciation for the CERT board’s dedication, and the dedication of all the CERT members that have taken the time to seek the training to help out our community in a disaster,” said Lt. Aaron Roth, the police department’s CERT liason officer.
CERT classes begin Sept. 22 and 25 at the Contra Costa Animal Shelter, 4800 Imhoff Place. To register, go to http://martinezcert.org or contact the CERT program administrators at email@example.com or Lt. Aaron Roth at firstname.lastname@example.org.