What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
Yesterday I attended a 13 hour advanced CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training. Next Saturday will be an additional (and final) four hour session to complete the training.
A good description is found on this website:
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community
The idea behind CERT is basically that “if ye are prepared ye shall not fear”. CERT members are trained to respond to disasters and other emergencies in preparation for professional assistance. These professionals (Paramedics, EMS, etc.) are going to take a long time attending to your needs (be they severe or not) because of the sheer number of citizens affected in a disaster. According to the (very experienced) instructor, it is usually 7-12 days before your medical needs can be fulfilled, because the trained professionals first go to the hospitals, then to the schools, then the businesses, and lastly to your home. There’s no sense in waiting around for somebody else to help you. Isn’t the gospel one of self-sufficiency and informed independence?
That’s where CERT comes in. As a new member of CERT, I have been instructed on basic first aid, search and rescue, fire suppression, and other disaster response skills. Being equipped with that knowledge, I am better able to act and not be acted upon. This information will allow me to better prepare myself and my (future) family for a likely (or certain) future disaster and put me in a position to administer to others. Organization, communication, and door-to-door search and rescue are key components of operating as a CERT in a local neighborhood environment.
The course was taught by Kenneth Moravec , an amazingly experienced ex-military preparedness guru who I’m sure I’ll be emailing frequently with questions. :) I discovered that while other cities and towns in Utah valley have organized CERT teams for better operation and coordination, I’m most likely a lone man here in Lehi! That means in the event of the disaster, I’ll be responsible for checking the status of everybody in my neighborhood and administering first aid as needed, while also operating the EOS (Emergency Operations Center) and coordinating other volunteers.
Sounds like my cup o’ tea!
It was a lot of information to cover, and I have plenty of materials to review, but it was so worth it. If you have $40 (for the discounted cost of CERT gear you’ll receive) and a spare Saturday, will you consider receiving the training to become a CERT? Kenneth holds these advanced trainings once a month throughout the valley. Feel free to pop me an email to request more information. I’d be glad to see others get trained!