Submitted by Sandy Evans, RN, MPH, Tulalip Medical Reserve Corps Coordinator
Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services. Factors such 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 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates individuals about disaster preparedness and trains community members to take care of themselves until first responders are available. The CERT Program offers training in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. With proper CERT training, you can help protect your family, neighbors, and co-workers if a disaster occurs.
The last time a CERT program was offered to Tulalip was in the spring of 2010 and the Tulalip Office of Emergency Management and the Tulalip Medical Reserve Corps have since then received requests for this preparedness training.
In preparation to deliver this program, last April Medical Reserve Corps members Floyd Bannister, Jr., Cindy Pruden and Eric Cortez attended training that provided them the knowledge, skills and abilities to instruct CERT training in our community. They have also been prepared to be CERT program managers.
The course will be held at the Tulalip Bay Fire Department facility, 7812 Waterworks Road, over 9 sessions starting Monday October 26th. The classes will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, ending on November 23rd. The Fire District and other knowledgeable presenters will be assisting Eric and Floyd with this training.
Because this program is new to the presenters, only 20 participants will be accepted for this session, but training is planned to be offered twice a year. Participants must be 14 years of age or older. Attendance at all classes is required for CERT certification.
People who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace and community and can take the right steps to lessen the effects of these hazards on themselves, their families, and their community.
The following waiver can be emailed to: TulalipCERT@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov or you may request that a copy be sent to you.