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#74947 - 10/16/06 08:32 PM CERT
jmacclau Offline

Registered: 04/15/06
Posts: 14
I just completed the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program given by the San Mateo, CA (northern CA) fire department. The program is designed to teach basic skills and to improve community preparedness in the event of a disaster. Gradutes are divided into districts covered by their local fire station. The training provides that the member will be better prepared following a disaster; able to provide emergency assistance to their families and immediate neighbors; able to work as a team member in their neighborhood or as an adjunct to city services.
My fire district has only 3-4 firefigthers per shift on duty and they will be handling the major problems. I and the neighbors will be on our own for at least a week.

The experts predict a major earthquake 7++ in this area within the next 25 years.

If this sounds like a commerical for the CERT program, you're right.

#74948 - 10/17/06 04:48 AM Portland NET
jmarkantes Offline

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 138
Loc: Portland, OR, USA
I'm currently in the same training program in Portland, OR (though here we call them "NETs", Neighborhood Emergency Team).

It is a pretty darn interesting program. As much as everyone always talks about knowing how to work a fire extinguisher or other basic emergency/disaster preparation, we are insanly ignorant of practicing it even once. This is a great program to go over the details in the classroom, and actually get a chance to muck around running around with your head cut off. Pretty cool.

Definately worth looking into.

#74949 - 10/17/06 05:13 AM Re: CERT
NYC2SoCal Offline
dedicated member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 117
If this sounds like a commerical for the CERT program, you're right.

Yeah, but what did YOU think of the program? You mentioned you completed it, so what did you get out of it that you did not already know? If you were to list the top 5 things what are they?

I thought about going through the program, but I travel quite a bit, and cannot commit to the schedule.

#74950 - 10/18/06 12:30 PM Re: CERT
ki4buc Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
Loc: Augusta, GA
The success of the program is highly dependent on the involvment of local Emergency Management staff. If they don't stand behind you, the firefighters and police won't. if they're giving the course, I can assume they do. In other places, the county or individual municipalities give the courses, and the other one won't recognize it. In my opinion, most police officers are highly distrustful of volunteers they don't know (comes with the job), and takes a little while to get on their side. From what I've heard (limited) the jursidictions that do have active large CERT teams are very very pleased with them.

Continue trying to recruit more. Don't forget about local High Schools and Colleges. Everything these days is a "Do not ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"

#74951 - 10/21/06 03:30 PM Re: CERT
Blacktop Offline

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 134
Loc: Cypress, TX
I too, am taking CERT classes (CyFair CERT) and we have our mock disaster drill/graduation next week. The Harris County Citizen Corps/OEM makes good use of the various CERT groups around the county. After the Katrina disaster last year while our Astrodome, Reliant Center, and George R. Brown convention center were used to house refugees, the CERT system was activated and several hundred CERT volunteers helped in a variety of positions. Also, during the horrible Rita evacuation, CERT members helped those stuck in the traffic jams. Last week during the flooding here in Houston, CERT was activated to man a flood relief shelter.

Upon graduation, we will be issued official Harris County IDs (having undergone a background check first) and will be recognized by the OEM and also local area first responders as legitimate trained volunteers.

We're looking forward to the drill next week!


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