Have you ever wondered what it would be like to respond during a disaster, especially a mass casualty disaster? Well after 3 days of training, participants in the Chatham County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training participated in a disaster simulation where they extinguished fires, treated wounded victims, and extricated a victim during search and rescue operations. Everyone had a blast!
CERT training is a great way for community members to learn what actions they can take before and after disaster strikes. Over the 3 day course, participants heard from subject matter experts and learned about disaster preparedness, fire and utility safety, medical operations and treatment, CERT organizational structure, and active shooter and terrorism response. Each unit also included hands-on activities where participants were able to practice the content that was just discussed.
Another aspect of CERT training participants enjoyed was getting meet fellow community members that share their interest in disaster preparedness and recovery. When asked about the training, Savannah, one of the participants, said, "Having taken CERT, I am much more confident in my ability to help my community if an emergency occurs. The practical scenarios were my favorite part of the class because we had the opportunity to practice these skills in a safe environment and we had trained professionals guide us through every step. It was also nice to meet other students in the class who were interested in community preparedness and emergency response". Savannah's words exemplify much of the class's experience. The Spring 2019 class was one of our favorites thus far and we can't wait to see them engage our community.
If you're reading this and CERT sounds like something you'd like to do, stay tuned for the next CERT Training in Fall 2019! If you are interested in actively serving our community in the meantime, CLICK HERE to learn about the Volunteer Opportunities with CEMA.