UPDATE: East County Fire & Rescue offers CERT Training (NEW DATES)

September 30, 2011

By Martha Martin

CERT training at ECFR

East County Fire and Rescue will be hosting a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training scheduled for October.  Classes take place over two weekends  beginning Friday, October 28th at 7:00pm until 9:30pm, and  Saturday October 29th starting at 9:00am until 5:00pm.  The classes continue the following Friday, November 4th, and finish on Saturday November 5th, with the same hours. The classes will be held at Station 9-1, located at 600 NE 267th Avenue in Camas.  Other station locations may also be used.  Cost for the course is $25 per student, and you can register by downloading the registration form from the ECFR website at http://www.eastcofire-rescue.org/.  For further information, please contact Rick or Paula Knapp  by email at: rknapp@eastcofire-rescue.org or pknapp@eastcofire-rescue.org.

A previous CERT class was hosted in April of this year by ECFR.  Rick and Paula Knapp were the coordinators, and also participated in training of CERT members.

CERT class members receiving instructions at ECFR's station 9-1

The national CERT website describes what to expect in regards to training and education, and what makes the CERT program so important.  “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.”

Chief Koehler instructing class

What is the value of taking the CERT course?  “People who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace and community and can take the right steps to lessen the effects of these hazards on themselves, their homes or workplace. If a disaster happens that overwhelms local response capability, CERT members can apply the training learned in the classroom and during exercises to give critical support to their family, loved ones, neighbors or associates in their immediate area until help arrives. When help does arrive, CERTs provide useful information to responders and support their efforts, as directed, at the disaster site. CERT members can also assist with non-emergency projects that improve the safety of the community.”

For more information about CERT, visit http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/about.shtm

To register for CERT, download the registration form at http://www.eastcofire-rescue.org/, complete and mail.