Community Emergency Response Team Class graduates twenty-three

Monday, October 24, 2011

Correction: Photos were taken by Tom DeBartolo.  Updated 10-25-2011, 11:10pm
Class photo of the October 2011 CERT graduates. (click to enlarge)
Photo by 
Tom DeBartolo.
By Patrick Ducey, CERT Volunteer

At any time in Shoreline, a city of 53,000 residents, there are about 15 firefighters on duty. That is plenty of responders for the average day in Shoreline dealing with medical emergencies, traffic accidents, and the occasional fire. In the event of a large fire, or a rescue that requires more personnel or equipment than the city has at hand, there are mutual aid agreements with neighboring communities to bring in more resources.

CERT students prepare to perform a search and rescue in a building that has been staged with several victims and hazards.  Photo by Tom DeBartolo.

But what happens when there is a disaster that affects the entire region? In our part of the country this could be an earthquake, windstorm, or some other event. What happens when there is no power, the phones don’t work, and somebody needs help?

After an earthquake, emergency personnel have the initial task of assessing the entire city. They must complete this assessment so that decisions can be made about where to send responders to help the greatest amount of people in the shortest amount of time. Schools have a priority, so do hospitals and nursing homes. During this assessment, firefighters may drive past an emergency situation. They will make note of it, and drive on. What if that’s you?

A CERT student treats a person acting as a survivor of an earthquake at the CERT class final exercise.  
Photo by Tom DeBartolo.

Community leaders in Southern California realized this problem dealing with the many significant earthquakes that occur in their region. The solution was a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). The concept of CERT has caught on and is being used in many cities across the country. 

Comprised of citizen volunteers, CERT members have been trained in how to deal with many aspects of a disaster response. CERT members, trained in preparing for a disaster, and the basics of search and rescue, firefighting and first aid have heard the message of Three Days, Three Ways. They have made their plan, built their kit, and now they are getting involved.

CERT students team up to put out a fire with a fire extinguisher training simulator 
Photo by Tom DeBartolo.

Shoreline CERT recently held a class, and proudly announces that 23 of your neighbors have completed the CERT training. This is 23 more people who will be part of the solution in a disaster recovery. 

If you are interested in taking a CERT class, please contact Gail Harris, Emergency Management / Community Services Division, City of Shoreline, 206-801-2271.


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