The purpose of CERT training is to provide private citizens with the basic skills needed to handle virtually all of their own needs and then respond in their neighborhoods and communities in the aftermath of a disaster. CERT teaches nine basic units: Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Fire Suppression, Disaster Medical Operations, Light Search and Rescue, Disaster Psychology, Team Organization, Terrorism, and a Disaster Simulation. The CERT program is applicable to anyone from teenagers to adults of any physical capability.
Meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month, 5:30 pm at the Springville Fire Station at 75 W. Center Street.
During times of social distancing, meetings will be held remotely via ZOOM. If you would like to join the meeting send your contact information (name & email) to EM@springville.org
“A person who renders emergency care at or near the scene of, or during an emergency, gratuitously and in good faith, is not liable for any civil damages or penalties as a result of any act or omission by the person rendering the emergency care, unless the person is grossly negligent or caused the emergency. As used in this section, “emergency” means and unexpected occurrence involving injury, threat of injury, or illness to a person or the public, including motor vehicle accidents, disasters, actual or threatened discharges, removal, or disposal of hazardous materials and other accidents or events of a similar nature. “Emergency care” includes actual assistance or advice offered to avoid, mitigate, or attempt to mitigate the effects of an emergency.”
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.
The CERT training for community groups is usually delivered in 2 1/2 hour sessions, one evening a week over an 8 week period. The training consists of the following:
Unit 1, 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 response role for civilians in that they should begin to consider themselves disaster workers. Since 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.
Unit 2, 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.
Unit 3, DISASTER MEDICAL OPERATIONS PART I: Participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding, and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques.
Unit 4, 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.
Unit 5, LIGHT SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS: Participants learn about search and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, rescue techniques, and most important, rescuer safety.
Unit 6, TEAM ORGANIZATION: Addresses CERT organization and management principles and the need for documentation.
Unit 7, DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY: Covers signs and symptoms that might be experienced by the disaster victim and worker.
Unit 8, TERRORISM and SHELTER IN PLACE: Participants learn terrorism awareness and response as well as Shelter in Place procedures.
Unit 9, 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.
During each session participants are required to bring safety equipment (gloves, goggles, mask) and disaster supplies (bandages, flashlight, dressings) which will be used during the session. By doing this for each session, participants are building a disaster response kit of items that they will need during a disaster.
The CERT course is taught in the community by trained teams who have completed a CERT Train-the-Trainer course conducted by their state training office for emergency management, or FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI), located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. CERT training includes disaster preparedness, disaster fire suppression, basic disaster medical operations, and light search and rescue operations.
Over 900 instructors nationwide have affected the lives of over 10, 000 youth by enabling them to respond to crisis and events that require an advanced level of disaster response capabilities. Through this enablement process, students have empowered themselves to respond to events, and have thus rescued individuals trapped under debris after a tornado, saved lives of individuals caught in a rip tide, and provided medical first responder skills in numerous instances. In my opinion, through the actions of these trained youth, many people owe not only their lives to the student responder and the skills learned in Teen CERT, but these students eased the pain and suffering of individuals who were victims of accidents.