Weekly Feature

2018-02-08 / Local News

CERT offers disaster preparedness course

The West Seneca Office of Disaster Preparedness and West Seneca Community Emergency Response Team will be offering a free emergency preparedness and CERT class.

Class participants will learn about fire extinguishers and suppression, first aid and triage, disaster preparedness, the Incident Command System, disaster psychology, light search and rescue, and the importance of teamwork.

The CERT basic course is delivered in the community by members of West Seneca CERT and other qualified volunteers. Training is divided into four-hour blocks during a series of Saturday classes starting Feb. 24, and ending March 24. The classes will run from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the West Seneca Emergency Operations Center, 900 Mill Road.

The FEMA-based CERT training is designed to prepare residents, families and neighbors in the event of a major disaster or event. CERT is about readiness, people helping people, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number.

Training topics covered include:

Disaster Preparedness — Addresses hazards specific to the community. Materials cover actions that participants and their families take before, during and after a disaster as well as an overview of CERT and local laws governing volunteers.

Fire Suppression — Covers fire chemistry, hazardous materials, fire hazards and fire suppression strategies. However, the thrust of this session is the safe use of fire extinguishers, controlling utilities and extinguishing a small fire.

Medical Operations Part I — Participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques.

Medical Operations Part II — Covers evaluating patients by doing a head to toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area and performing basic first aid.

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

Psychology and Team Organization — Covers signs and symptoms that might be experienced by the disaster victim and workers, and addresses CERT organization and management.

Course Review and Disaster Simulation — Participants review and practice the skills that they have learned during the previous six sessions in a disaster activity.

During each session participants are required to bring safety equipment — gloves, goggles, mask — and disaster supplies — bandages, flashlight, dressings — which will be used during the session. By doing this for each session, participants are building a disaster response kit of items that they will need during a disaster.

Class participants can choose to join a CERT program or learn how to prepare themselves. Participants will receive a certificate of completion upon finishing this FEMA-sanctioned course.

Register online at www.wscert.net or call 558-3238.

The West Seneca CERT program has been recognized for its services during local disasters such as Snowvember, the October storm and regional flooding events. To learn more about the program, visit www.wscert.net.

Return to top