Jan 23

Learn how to respond safely and effectively when disaster strikes

CERT LogoDid you know that more than 86% of post-disaster rescues are made by bystander volunteers? In the wake of the 1985 quake in Mexico in which more than 100 untrained volunteer responders were killed while rescuing 800 victims, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training was developed and brought to this country by the Los Angeles Fire Department. Eastvale’s own “Rescue Chief” Mike McGroarty developed the original U.S. CERT Search and Rescue training module in hopes of preventing injury or loss of life among volunteer responders.

As we have seen in the recent quakes in Chile, Haiti, New Zealand, and now Japan, the need for emergency responders in the aftermath of a wide area disaster always outstrips the available professional emergency response capabilities – especially in those critical life-saving 3-5 days immediately after disaster strikes. We must all prepare to play a role in responding to meet our family’s and community’s needs when disaster strikes and there is no better training for volunteer emergency responders than CERT. In this 20-hour training that is typically conducted over 3 days (e.g., Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday) you will learn and practice how to:

  • prepare yourself and your family for disasters
  • protect yourself from injury while responding
  • use a fire extinguisher to suppress a small fire
  • sort and stabilize (“triage”) the injured
  • set up and maintain a medical operations area
  • use leverage and cribbing to rescue lightly-trapped victims
  • size up building damage to decide if it is safe to enter
  • organize and lead CERT and emergent volunteers
  • help yourself and others deal with post-traumatic stress

A number of CERT training classes have been conducted since several Jurupa Citizen Corps members graduated from Riverside County Office of Emergency Service’s first CERT training in 2007. ¬†Yet we need hundreds more in order to mount an effective response in a major disaster. A list of upcoming classes can be found under the CERT tab on this web site and at www.RivCoCERT.gov

Why take the time to get trained? It may very well be you or your loved ones who will need the help of trained volunteers when disaster strikes.