Copyright © 2015 Crawford County EMA.  All Rights Reserved

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

What is CERT? The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community. What more can you tell me about CERT? Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the 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. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs.One also expects that under these kinds of conditions, family members, fellow employees, and neighbors will spontaneously try to help each other. This was the case following the Mexico City earthquake where untrained, spontaneous volunteers saved 800 people. However, 100 people lost their lives while attempting to save others. This is a high price to pay and is preventable through training. If we can predict that emergency services will not meet immediate needs following a major disaster, especially if there is no warning as in an earthquake, and people will spontaneously volunteer, what can government do to prepare citizens for this eventuality? First, present citizens the facts about what to expect following a major disaster in terms of immediate services. Second, give the message about their responsibility for mitigation and preparedness. Third, train them in needed life saving skills with emphasis on decision making skills, rescue safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. Fourth, organize teams so that they are an extension of first responder services offering immediate help to victims until professional services arrive. How did the CERT program get started? The Community Emergency Response Team concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs. As a result, the LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with the purpose of training citizens and private and government employees.The training program that LAFD initiated makes good sense and furthers the process of citizens understanding their responsibility in preparing for disaster. It also increases their ability to safely help themselves, their family and their  neighbors. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognizes the  importance of preparing citizens. The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and  the National Fire Academy adopted and expanded the CERT materials believing  them applicable to all hazards. The CERT course will benefit any citizen who takes it. This individual will be better  prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster. Additionally, if a  community wants to supplement its response capability after a disaster, civilians  can be recruited and trained as neighborhood, business, and government teams  that, in essence, will be auxiliary responders. These groups can provide immediate  assistance to victims in their area, organize spontaneous volunteers who have not  had the training, and collect disaster intelligence that will assist professional  responders with prioritization and allocation of resources following a disaster. Since  1993 when this training was made available nationally by FEMA, communities in 28  States and Puerto Rico have conducted CERT training. How is the course presented? The CERT course is delivered in the community by a team of first  responders/certified trainers who have the requisite knowledge and skills to instruct  the sessions. It is suggested that the instructors complete a CERT Train-the-Trainer  (TTT) conducted by their State Training Office for Emergency Management or the  Emergency Management Institute in order to learn the training techniques that are  used successfully by the LAFD. The CERT training for community groups is usually delivered in 2 1/2 hour  sessions, one evening a week over a 7 week period. The training consists of the  following: DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Addresses hazards to which people are vulnerable  in their community. Materials cover actions that participants and their families take  before, during, and after a disaster. As the session progresses, the instructor begins  to explore an expanded  role for civilians in that they will want to help their family  members and neighbors, this training can help them operate in a safe and  appropriate manner. The CERT concept and organization are discussed as well as  applicable laws governing volunteers in that jurisdiction. DISASTER FIRE SUPPRESSION: Briefly covers fire chemistry, hazardous  materials, fire hazards, and fire suppression strategies. However, the thrust of this  session is the safe use of fire extinguishers, sizing up the situation, controlling  utilities, and extinguishing a small fire.  DISASTER MEDICAL OPERATIONS PART I: Participants practice triage, treating  airway obstruction, bleeding, and shock by using simple triage methods and rapid  treatment techniques. DISASTER MEDICAL OPERATIONS, PART II: Covers evaluating patients by doing  a head to toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area, performing basic  first aid, and practicing in a safe and sanitary manner. LIGHT SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS: Participants learn about search  and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, rescue techniques, and most  important, rescuer safety. DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY AND TEAM ORGANIZATION: Covers signs and  symptoms that might be experienced by the disaster victim and worker. It  addresses CERT organization and management principles and the need for  documentation. COURSE REVIEW AND DISASTER SIMULATION: Participants review their  answers from a take home examination. Finally, they practice the skills that they  have learned during the previous six sessions in disaster activity.
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Copyright © 2015 Crawford County EMA.  All Rights Reserved

Community Emergency

Response Team (CERT)

What is CERT? The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community. What more can you tell me about CERT? Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the 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. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs.One also expects that under these kinds of conditions, family members, fellow employees, and neighbors will spontaneously try to help each other. This was the case following the Mexico City earthquake where untrained, spontaneous volunteers saved 800 people. However, 100 people lost their lives while attempting to save others. This is a high price to pay and is preventable through training. If we can predict that emergency services will not meet immediate needs following a major disaster, especially if there is no warning as in an earthquake, and people will spontaneously volunteer, what can government do to prepare citizens for this eventuality? First, present citizens the facts about what to expect following a major disaster in terms of immediate services. Second, give the message about their responsibility for mitigation and preparedness. Third, train them in needed life saving skills with emphasis on decision making skills, rescue safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. Fourth, organize teams so that they are an extension of first responder services offering immediate help to victims until professional services arrive. How did the CERT program get started? The Community Emergency Response Team concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs. As a result, the LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with the purpose of training citizens and private and government employees.The training program that LAFD initiated makes good sense and furthers the process of citizens understanding their responsibility in preparing for disaster. It also increases their ability to safely help themselves, their family and their  neighbors. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognizes the  importance of preparing citizens. The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and  the National Fire Academy adopted and expanded the CERT materials believing  them applicable to all hazards. The CERT course will benefit any citizen who takes it. This individual will be better  prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster. Additionally, if a  community wants to supplement its response capability after a disaster, civilians  can be recruited and trained as neighborhood, business, and government teams  that, in essence, will be auxiliary responders. These groups can provide immediate  assistance to victims in their area, organize spontaneous volunteers who have not  had the training, and collect disaster intelligence that will assist professional  responders with prioritization and allocation of resources following a disaster. Since  1993 when this training was made available nationally by FEMA, communities in 28  States and Puerto Rico have conducted CERT training. How is the course presented? The CERT course is delivered in the community by a team of first  responders/certified trainers who have the requisite knowledge and skills to instruct  the sessions. It is suggested that the instructors complete a CERT Train-the-Trainer  (TTT) conducted by their State Training Office for Emergency Management or the  Emergency Management Institute in order to learn the training techniques that are  used successfully by the LAFD. The CERT training for community groups is usually delivered in 2 1/2 hour  sessions, one evening a week over a 7 week period. The training consists of the  following: DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Addresses hazards to which people are vulnerable  in their community. Materials cover actions that participants and their families take  before, during, and after a disaster. As the session progresses, the instructor begins  to explore an expanded  role for civilians in that they will want to help their family  members and neighbors, this training can help them operate in a safe and  appropriate manner. The CERT concept and organization are discussed as well as  applicable laws governing volunteers in that jurisdiction. DISASTER FIRE SUPPRESSION: Briefly covers fire chemistry, hazardous  materials, fire hazards, and fire suppression strategies. However, the thrust of this  session is the safe use of fire extinguishers, sizing up the situation, controlling  utilities, and extinguishing a small fire.  DISASTER MEDICAL OPERATIONS PART I: Participants practice triage, treating  airway obstruction, bleeding, and shock by using simple triage methods and rapid  treatment techniques. DISASTER MEDICAL OPERATIONS, PART II: Covers evaluating patients by doing  a head to toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area, performing basic  first aid, and practicing in a safe and sanitary manner. LIGHT SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS: Participants learn about search  and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, rescue techniques, and most  important, rescuer safety. DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY AND TEAM ORGANIZATION: Covers signs and  symptoms that might be experienced by the disaster victim and worker. It  addresses CERT organization and management principles and the need for  documentation. COURSE REVIEW AND DISASTER SIMULATION: Participants review their  answers from a take home examination. Finally, they practice the skills that they  have learned during the previous six sessions in disaster activity.
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