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CERT Training begins April 8

By Staff | Mar 11, 2013

Jefferson County Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) Training Class begins April 8.

Jefferson County Homeland Security and Emergency Management prepares for everyday emergencies. However, during a disaster, the number and scope of incidents can overwhelm conventional emergency services. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is an all-risk, all-hazard training. This valuable course is designed to help individuals protect themselves, their family, their neighbors and their neighborhood in an emergency situation.

Community-based preparedness planning allows us all to prepare for and respond to anticipated disruptions and potential hazards following a disaster. As individuals, all can prepare our homes and families to cope during that critical period. Through pre-event planning, neighborhoods and worksites can also work together to help reduce injuries, loss of lives and property damage. Neighborhood preparedness will enhance the ability of individuals and neighborhoods to reduce their emergency needs and to manage their existing resources until professional assistance becomes available.

This training covers skills that are important to know in a disaster when emergency services are not available. With training and practice, and by working as a team, individuals will be able to protect themselves and do the greatest good for the greatest number after a disaster.

The training is designed for citizens with little or no training in the areas listed below, but those with some skills in these areas are also welcome to attend the training and participate in CERT. Homeowners or neighborhood groups, PTA’s, service and social clubs, churches, businesses, or a group of individuals from a neighborhood are ideal groups to form CERT teams. The only requirements are that attendees be over 18 years old and live or work in Jefferson County.

Basic skills are taught in the areas of: Disaster Preparedness, Fire Safety, Disaster Medical Operations I and II; Terrorism Preparedness and Crime Prevention; Disaster Psychology, Special Populations and Animals in Disaster; Light Search and Rescue and CERT Volunteerism. All students participate in a final exercise at the end of the course.

Classes are from 6 9 p.m. (Some class dates may change due to Instructor scheduling and weather conditions) The breakdown of classes is as follows: Monday, April 8: Disaster Preparedness, Lucas Zarlengo or Barbara Miller, Instructor; Tuesday, April 9: Fire Safety and Fire Simulation, David Holmes and Bryan Lavallee, Instructor; Tuesday, April 16: Disaster Medical Ops I, Gene Rice, Instructor; Thursday, April 18: Disaster Medical Ops II, Gene Rice, Instructor; Tuesday, April 23: Light Search & Rescue, Mike Kanehl, Instructor; Thursday, April 25: Disaster Mental Health, Jeff Levesque, Instructor; Animals in Disaster, Terri Mehling, Instructor; and People with Special Needs, Terri Mehling, Instructor; Tuesday, April 30: Crime Prevention & Terrorism Awareness, Lt. Dave Colbert, Instructor; Thursday, May 2:CERT Volunteerism, Test, Final Exercise & Graduation David Holmes and Bryan Lavallee

Classes will be held at the Jefferson County Emergency Communications Center, 28 Industrial Boulevard, Kearneysville. (Dates and locations are subject to change due to inclement weather, scheduling conflicts with either the instructors or the venue. All attempts will be made to stick with this schedule and enrolled students will be notified as soon as a decision has been made on rescheduling or changes that are necessary).

All classes are taught by professionals in the corresponding field of expertise.

All classes are provided at no charge to the participants. All participants who complete all sessions and the final exercise will receive a certificate of participation and be issued a hard hat and a CERT Vest Any participant that does not attend all courses or that is late or leaves early will have to make up that section of the course when the next round of courses are offered.

Pre-registration is necessary and can be done by calling Jessica Owens at (304) 724-8914 to request a participant form or email to jowens@jeffersoncountywv.org. Find the CERT Training Form as well as additional information by visiting: www.jeffersoncountywv.org/government/departments/homeland-security/cert-2.html.