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#246609 - 06/04/12 05:56 AM Re: CERT Expectations [Re: hikermor]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Let me disabuse you of a few of your preconceptions here:

- that you will be convening with your CERT team. What team do you mean exactly? The CERT team I trained with lives 3 zip codes over, in another city. In a disaster, I won't be able to get there from here. If my town had a CERT program, we would be spread over miles of territory. The idea that we could cover any one of our chosen neighborhoods in something less than 72 hours is a fallacy. No, we are on our own in a disaster, unless we organize our immediate neighborhoods - then we have a chance of local response.

- that you may join up spontaneously with CERT trained people in your neighborhood and effect a successful search for victims. Really? Where are all the hidden CERTS in your neighborhood today? If they were easily identifiable, you would be able to locate CERT trained people in your immediate neighborhood - talk ahead of time, and plan a response. 99% of CERTS don't pursue this. The fact is there are few if any CERT trained individuals in your neighborhood. I defy you to name three in your immediate neighborhood. And claim that you have any planned response between you. what you want is a map of your neighborhood resources - folks who have chain saws and lift equipment to extricate the trapped, with EMT, nursing or MD experience to possibly establish an effective triage base. With heavy equipment operating experience, etc. And you want all these folks at home during a disaster, not off on their day jobs, and able to turn out and help in responding with you. Best of luck.

- the more you do ahead of a disaster, possibly the less you will need to do after. Knowing where the gas and water shut offs are for your neighbors may be the most productive use of your time in the first hour after a disaster - they won't have to burn alive. And knowing the circumstances under which you should shut them off would be the second. CERT rescue is predicated on two of you or more rescuing together. If you rescue, odds are you will be rescuing with untrained neighbors: can you go forward with untrained helpers, or do you know when to stop and save your own lives? CERT first aid is predicated upon the ability to deliver effective first aid. If you deliver first aid, odds are you will be doing it ad hoc - with spontaneous volunteers with either more training than your or less. Are you trained and equipped to assist with the likely injuries you'll encounter: burns, crush injuries, broken bones, shock, shock and more shock? You are better off with almost any off duty RN, EMT and the occasional MD from up the street than with any layman CERT volunteer. Without preparations you are not so very far advanced than the non-CERT trained who are combing the rubble for their families and friends.

Where are you located, in relation to your neighborhood response right now? Where are you located, in relation to your 'CERT team'? The probability is, you're pretty far from either. You may be alone in responding to a disaster with the skills you have now. You may be expected to rally frightened and untrained neighbors to respond to a disaster. You will be short of supplies, unless you think ahead. You won't know the capabilities of your neighbors unless you ask now, ahead of time. Your world as you know it should be the immediate six square blocks around you. If you can't concentrate on that, you're not doing what you are trained to do for CERT. You will have to get by with far from optimal team members with far from optimal training and supplies. And if you blow off all the paperwork and documentation required for rescue and assistance scenarios, you might as well go cowboy and go riding across the county looking for your CERT team. Because you've missed the point of local disaster assistance - making do with minimal means for the earliest hours. No wonder so many stay inside during a disaster...

I'm sorry - for most CERT 'teams' trained in US communtities, the immediate response post-disaster means you turning out to assist your family, and then, marginally, your community, meaning your neighborhood - because you typically won't turn out with other CERTS after a disaster. Not til the pertinent part of the disaster is passed. Because you, the CERT volunteer, while trained in "triage", don't currently have any real first aid training, or supplies, do you? And because you, the CERT volunteer, while trained in "search and rescue", don't have any of the equipment necessary to extricate someone from a collapsed structure - or the will to recognize when that structure isn't sound enough to safely spend the lives of your volunteers to attempt an extrication?

CERT training is full of contradictions, not the least of which is the fact that it instructs trainees in so much and does so little to equip them for eventualties. I think if you are smart, you will identify areas in which you are deficient in manpower, training and equipment, and work to overcome those as best you can. Meantime, be honest with yourself, and don't let your mild training dissuade you think you're ready for actual response.

#246610 - 06/04/12 06:19 AM Re: CERT Expectations [Re: Lono]
Bingley Offline

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1384
Your message is very condescending, Lono. I was conveying the requirements and the parameters of the training I received, which is evidently significantly different from yours. These are not my own individual "preconceptions" (the word you're looking for is "misconception"), but the mandates of the emergency management that provided the CERT training. We're organized quite differently from whatever it is that you're doing over there. Not being able to pick that up just isn't too bright, is it?

Even though I find myself in agreement with some of your ideas, I cannot effect them here, because the office of emergency management runs CERT a certain way -- the way you evidently really do not like.

Until you (1) show some civility, and (2) read others' posts with a bit of care, you are not worth talking to. I'm not sure what's wrong with you at the moment, because you've made reasonable contributions before. If you are having a hard night for personal reasons, why take it out on the forum? I hope you feel better in the morning!

#246615 - 06/04/12 01:31 PM Re: CERT Expectations [Re: Bingley]
paramedicpete Offline

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Pete: for examples of CERT actually doing stuff, see "CERT in Action" on the Citizen Corps website: <http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/certinaction/index.shtm>.


Thanks for the link, it helps to understand some of the activities that CERTs have been involved with and at least for me, sort of reinforces some of the roles that the CERTs would be useful to fill.


#246619 - 06/04/12 03:15 PM Re: CERT Expectations [Re: Bingley]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Bingley, I apologize if my post appeared condescending towards you, that was not my intent at all, I do apologize for that. No amount of smileys can apparently communicate when we are saying something without malice of thought towards others.

What I meant to communicate is: what is your CERT response plan, right now? Do you have an actual plan to get together with other CERT volunteers in the event of an emergency? Do you have supplies, are you equipped? Do you have CERT leadership capable of presenting a plan for CERT Volunteers? If the answer to any of these is No, then I submit, all the good stuff you learned in CERT hasn't been implemented yet. You still have to organize, and in typical CERT numbers available in communities, you will probably be organizing at the neighborhood level. That is both feasible and useful to do right now - you can Map Your Neighborhood, involving youth organizations like the Boy Scouts, and promote more CERT training and preparedness among your neighbors. And unless you organize a response and make it feasible to deploy in a disaster, its all only so much sunshine blown up our arseholes. You will become just another guy who took CERT training, a long time ago... that's swell, as far as it goes.

Edited by Lono (06/04/12 03:16 PM)

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