CENTREVILLE - In a disaster when emergency personnel could be delayed in response, C.E.R.T. members become the first to respond. Community members throughout Queen Anne’s County want to help and do the most good in a disaster situation. However, sometimes, due to lack of training, the helping has the potential to do more harm than good. Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) training resolves this problem by giving you the knowledge and tools to successfully respond when it is most needed, said Joseph Cichocki, who heads QAC Emergency Services’ efforts to create a strong base of educated and ready volunteers.
C.E.R.T. training educates volunteers on disaster preparedness and basic disaster response skills. C.E.R.T. members are taught based on nationally recognized guidelines and the material is adapted to conform to the hazards that could be faced within Queen Anne’s County. C.E.R.T. training teaches basic response skills ranging from fire safety, light search and rescue, to disaster psychology and how people typically react when disasters strike. C.E.R.T. training is spread out over eight days and is taught for 2-3 hours each day, usually in the evening.
Through the eight days, C.E.R.T. members are taught disaster preparedness, fire suppression, basic medical operations, light search and rescue operations, disaster psychology, team organization, and given a disaster simulation to test the knowledge and skills taught during the training. Once the C.E.R.T. training has been completed, members are given a backpack with the basic tools necessary to respond in a disaster. C.E.R.T. members also have the opportunity to volunteer during numerous planned events throughout the year.
Queen Anne’s County is offering Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) training from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday and Wednesdays from April 8-May 1. The classes will be held at 110 Vincit Street, Centreville MD 21617. To sign up, go to www.qacdes.org and click on the CERT logo. For questions contact Joseph Cichocki firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling him at (410) 758 -4500 ext. 1119.