Community Emergency Response Team

certlogoI have spent the past two days and Friday night attending training that will allow me to be a CERT member here in my local community. CERTs have been around for a long time, and became more active after the president started the Citizen Corps after 9/11. The training prepares the student to take care of themselves and immediate family in the event of a disaster or some other localized devastation. Once you and your family have checked out o.k.; the CERT team member is expected, not required, to start performing checks on their neighbors. The course covered basic first aid, light search and rescue, small fire fighting, hazardous materials, terrorism, incident command structure, and disaster psychology. The training concluded with a drill that required an ICS to be developed, teams assigned leaders and each team assigned a task. Tasks where varied, but at least six victims needed assistance in a small structure. To tell any more would spoil it for the next class. We were rated as a class during the debrief and most of the observers thought we did pretty well. At this point it is up to the students to decide how active they want to be on the local team. There are monthly training sessions and other drills throughout the year. I am going to try and be an active member. I told the Fire Chief during the wrap and graduation ceremony that the course was going to help me in my current full-time position as a cyber incident responder, in that, I can see where a more formal ICS should be a part of our existing incident management plan.

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