Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tacoma's CERT Team hones skills

On July 13, 2013 the Tacoma Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) along with Tacoma Emergency Management and Tacoma Fire orchestrated the annual CERT refresher training. Certified Tacoma CERT Volunteers started the day with an “Emergency Call Out Drill”. The volunteers were alerted to report to the Tacoma Fire Training Center prepared to respond to a simulated earthquake event.

After arrival at the Training Center, the participants received an overview outlining the capabilities of HAM Radio and possible ways Hams can be utilized in an emergency support role.  A demonstration of the radios and a drill testing the operator’s ability to relay situational information from their location to a central communications point for further dissemination was conducted. The team also practiced using tactical call signs in a Community Point of Distribution scenario which stressed the importance of relaying critical information between locations. Later in the day, CERT members reviewed and refreshed their Search and Rescue skills along with their Cribbing techniques. During this one day event staff and volunteers where able to enhance skills, build teamwork and identify future training needs.