Tuesday, May 4, 2010

CERT Teams Prepare For Disaster

Tacoma and Lakewood Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) prepare for disaster.

Tacoma, WA. May 1st 2010 – Volunteers from the Lakewood and Tacoma CERT programs participated in an earthquake drill to practice their training in emergency response at the abandoned Gray Middle School in South Tacoma. The CERTs tested their abilities to conduct rapid building assessment, fire and utility safety, light search and rescue and medical treatment of victims. The old building served as the perfect facility to create a realistic earthquake scenario. Dark and eerie corridors, staged with over 16 live victims that were dressed with accurately depicted injuries, provided a training opportunity similar to what CERTs could expect in a significant seismic event.

In a partnership, Tacoma and Lakewood Emergency Management and Fire Departments coordinated the event to promote awareness for the bordering communities. The professionals conducting the drill aimed to empower neighboring citizens to work together effectively when first responders such as Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Staff are not immediately available. CERT members were also encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community. Exercises like these are designed to further develop those skills.

If you are interested in being part of a CERT please contact Ute Weber 253-594-7980 or Lindsey Garrison at 253-597-5955 for the next training course series. Or visit http://www.tacoma.cert-central.org/ for more information.