The City of DeLand has been participating in this program since 1995 with three communities and approximately 100 residents that have completed the basic CERT training program. The CERT teams are trained in basic fire suppression, how to triage patients, administer first aid, and recognize other types of hazardous situations. A Standard Operating Guideline was distributed to the members this year to give each a reference to use if and when the teams are activated. The guideline covers a organizational chart revealing how the teams play an important part in the City's emergency
plan, emergency notification to members, and others.
A little background about the CERT program:
Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services. Factors as number of victims, communication failures, and road blockages will prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment's notice through 911. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs.
The CERT course will benefit any citizen who takes it. This individual will be better prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster. Additionally, if a community wants to supplement its response capability after a disaster, civilians can be recruited and trained as neighborhood, business, and government teams that, in essence, will be auxiliary responders. These groups can provide immediate assistance to victims in their area, organize spontaneous volunteers who have not had the training, and collect disaster intelligence that will assist professional responders with prioritization and allocation of resources following a disaster. Since 1993 when this training was made available nationally by FEMA, communities in 28 States and Puerto Rico have conducted CERT training. Source: www.citizencorps.gov
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