Add 18 more community leaders to the list of those who are residential emergency responders. The new batch of Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) assistants graduated on Oct. 29.
Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the full demand for these services. Factors, such as number of victims, communication failures, and road blockages, will prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment's notice through 911. The concept behind CERT is that people will have to rely on each other for help to meet their immediate lifesaving and life-sustaining needs.
Eureka Police Department Chief Michael Wiegand said CERT class participants performed light search and rescue, fire suppression, medical treatment and triage to demonstrate their ability to graduate from the program.
"Preparation is a very essential action that we can take to protect ourselves and to feel less overwhelmed or burdened in the face of disasters," said Wiegand.
Eureka Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Randy Gabel said CERT spans eight weeks of classes.
Gabel said a variety of crucial topics are covered:
- Family and Work Disaster Preparedness
- First Aid
- Search and Rescue
- Fire Safety
- Basic Fire Extinguisher Use
- Terrorism and CERT
- Disaster Psychology
- Disaster Simulation
Eureka Emergency Management leaders put on two classes each year; one in the spring and the other in the fall.
CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community, said Gabel.