The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program trains people to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities. When emergencies happen, CERT members give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with nonemergency projects that help improve the safety of the community.
Groups receiving the 20-hour CERT training include Community Watch, emergency communications and transportation groups, local businesses, church groups, and any other community-based group that can respond as a localized team following a disaster.
This is a presentation on hazards that face Madison County and steps that individuals can take to mitigate those hazards as well as having a disaster supply kit and disaster plan.
Students learn about the incident command system (ICS), how to use ICS to organize themselves as a team, making decisions on a disaster scene, and how they fit in the ICS used by local responders. Students then are given a 30 minute presentation on team well being, survivor trauma, and interaction with the family of a deceased victim.
Students learn about treating life threatening conditions, START triage system, and watch a video about START triage.
Students learn about public health considerations, establishing treatment areas, head to toe assessments (including performing an actual assessment), and basic first aid procedures (including splinting/bandaging).
Students learn about fires, fire safety, and hazardous materials. Students then use a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire. Students are required to wear appropriate clothing and shoes on this night. Leather palmed work gloves and safety goggles are also required.
Students learn about conducting a sizeup of the disaster scene, degrees of damage, basic search principles and techniques, and rescue operations. Use of cribbing material and pry bar to lift heavy objects as well as methods of lifting and carrying victims will be covered.
Students learn about terrorist targets, weapons, indicators of a terrorism event, being prepared, as well as what CERTs should do in the aftermath of a terrorist incident.
A simulated disaster scenario, normally with “victims” is presented to the class. The students have the responsibility of organizing themselves and effectively take action to respond to and operate in the incident. After the exercise is complete, a short debriefing is held and graduation certificates are presented to those students that completed all portions of the course.