Training Overview

Why should I take this class?

Disasters happen when you least expect them. Being prepared is the key to overcoming them. This class will teach you about different kinds of disasters, and how the response differs in each situation. By knowing this and the other information that is covered in the course, you will be able to assist with the recovery and survival efforts in the case of a disaster of any scale.

Can I take the class even if I’m not interested in being on an organized CERT team?

Yes, absolutely! One of the guiding principals of CERT is personal preparedness; We can’t help others if we are not able to take care of ourselves. So, even if you are not interested in being on an organized CERT team, we encourage you to take the class.

What topics will be covered?

The course is split into 8 sessions. The topics covered are:

Disaster Preparedness
Addresses hazards to which people are vulnerable in their community. Materials cover actions that participants and their families take before, during, and after a disaster. As the session progresses, the instructor begins to explore an expanded response role for civilians in that they should begin to consider themselves disaster workers. Since they will want to help their family members and neighbors, this training can help them operate in a safe and appropriate manner. The CERT concept and organization are discussed as well as applicable laws governing volunteers in that jurisdiction.

Team Organization
Addresses CERT organization and management principles and the need for documentation.

Fire Suppression, Safety and Hazard Mitigation
Briefly covers fire chemistry, hazardous materials, fire hazards, and fire suppression strategies. However, the thrust of this session is the safe use of fire extinguishers, sizing up the situation, controlling utilities, and extinguishing a small fire.

Light Search and Rescue
Participants learn about search and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, rescue techniques, and most important, rescuer safety.

Disaster Medical Operations I & II
During Section I participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding, and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques.
Section II covers evaluating patients by doing a head to toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area, performing basic first aid, and practicing in a safe and sanitary manner.

Disaster Psychology and Terrorism
Psychology covers signs and symptoms that might be experienced by the disaster victim and worker. The terrorism section covers signs of possible terrorism, shelter-in-place, and other specifics surrounding terrorism.

Disaster Simulation
Participants review their answers from a take-home examination. Finally, they practice the skills that they have learned during the previous seven sessions in disaster activity.

How long is the course?

The course is eight sessions. Seven of the sessions are classroom-based and start at 7:00 PM and go until 10:00 PM. These sessions are held once a week for seven weeks. On the seventh week, the last class is the Disaster Simulation.

How much does it cost and what materials will be provided?

The class costs $45 per participant. This covers

  • The course manual and various handouts
  • A basic medical kit that includes bandages and other items you will use during the course
  • A hard hat
  • Safety Vest
  • A pair of leather gloves
  • Safety glasses

It also helps cover the costs of recharging the fire extinguishers which every participant will have the opportunity to use during the Hazard Mitigation session.

What will I need to provide?

Throughout the course, you will be asked to build your “go bag”. Your “go bag” is your personal response kit. It will include the safety items (helmet, gloves, safety glasses) that are provided as part of the class, a blanket, first aid and triage supplies, your manual, etc.

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