The concept for CERT training grew out of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake in which untrained volunteers who were willing to undertake rescue and life saving steps in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake saved over 800 people. However, over 100 of these volunteer rescuers lost their lives because they did not have sufficient training to accomplish everything they were attempting.
California authorities, visiting Mexico City after the earthquake, saw the potential of having a core of trained volunteers who could respond (without direction) in natural or man-made disasters and save lives while government and other disaster response agencies mobilized an organized response. As of 1993, over 8,000 individuals and 225 teams had been trained in Southern California. The concept proved a great success in saving lives and preserving property following the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
In 1994 The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) adopted the program and has started promoting the concept with standardized training nation-wide. FEMA still bases the program on volunteers, but by standardizing the training they feel they can insure a consistent level of training and performance nationwide. Standardized training allows volunteer emergency organizations and government officials from any jurisdiction to be familiar with capabilities and limitations and how to effectively communicate missions to CERT members/volunteers from other jurisdictions.
What is Kirkland CERT?
Kirkland's Community Emergency Response Team training is a FEMA-based curriculum designed to teach adults of all ages and abilities how to help themselves, their families, and their neighbors during a disaster when police, fire, and medical services are overwhelmed.
The City of Kirkland CERT Program hosts two CERT training courses a year, in the spring and fall. A training course consists of eight 3-hour classes, once a week for eight weeks. Each course ends with a full-scale simulated disaster drill, complete with volunteer “victims”, during which CERTs practice their disaster response skills.
CERT Training teaches you to:
- Identify and reduce hazards at home and work
- Prepare your home, vehicles, and workplace with emergency supplies
- Understand fire behavior and put out small fires
- Conduct light search and rescue operations
- Apply basic medical and psychological techniques
- Assess and triage minor to life-threatening injuries
- Lift heavy objects off of trapped people safely
- Organize in teams using the Incident Command System
Find out more about Kirkland CERT at - http://www.kirklandcert.com/