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The original item was published from 2/20/2013 4:33:28 PM to 2/21/2013 4:46:35 PM.

News Flash

Sheriff's Office

Posted on: February 20, 2013

[ARCHIVED] Upcoming CERT Classes in Flagstaff and Page

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and the Coconino County Office of Emergency Management will present three day Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training classes in Flagstaff and Page. Since the inception of CERT, more than fifty classes have been delivered to urban, rural and reservation communities throughout Coconino County

The Flagstaff class will be held on Friday, March 15, 2013 from 6 pm to 9 pm; Saturday, March 16, 2013 from 8 am to 5 pm; and Sunday March 16, 2013 from 8 am to 5 pm. The class will be held in the Brent F. Cooper Memorial Auditorium at the Law Enforcement Administration Facility located at 911 E. Sawmill Road, Flagstaff, Arizona. Participants need to attend all three days to complete the course.

The Page class will be held Friday April 5, 2013 from 6 pm to 9 pm; Saturday April 6, 2013 from 8 am to 5 pm; and Sunday April 7, 2013 from 8 am to 5 pm. The class will be held in the Community Meeting Room of the Page Public Safety Building located at 808 Coppermine Road, Page, Arizona. Participants need to attend all three days to complete the course.

CERT Classes are offered free of charge by the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. Upon successful completion, each participant will receive a Community Emergency Response Basic Certification and a back pack containing basic community emergency first responder gear to include a reflective vest, hard hat, eye protection, gloves, a four in one tool and a CERT Field Response Guide.

People who have successfully completed the CERT training and who wish to serve their community further as a CERT member will have the opportunity to join a team in Page or Flagstaff. CERT Team members in Flagstaff meet monthly for additional training. These teams receive additional in-service training and assist local first responders through the CERT Coordinator during various emergency and non-emergency events.

CERT Volunteers have been utilized during many different emergency responses, including wild land fires, flooding, tornados, heavy snow storms and many other natural disasters. CERT Volunteers have served in a variety of capacities to include staffing road blocks, assisting with neighborhood evacuation notification, staffing joint information call centers, assisting with Incident Command Centers, distributing neighborhood safety information and in many other areas. Community members who would like additional information or who wish to register for either location are encouraged to call the Community Programs Office of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office at (928) 226-5089. Applications can be found online at http://www.coconino.az.gov/index.aspx?nid=354.

More Information on the Goals of CERT:

Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services may not be able to meet the demand for these services. Factors such as number of victims, communication failure, and road blockages can prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment's notice through 911. People may have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate lifesaving and life sustaining needs.

One also expects that under these kinds of conditions, family members, fellow employees, and neighbors will spontaneously try to help each other. This was the case following the Mexico City earthquake where untrained, spontaneous volunteers saved 800 people. However, 100 people lost their lives while attempting to save others. This is a high price to pay and is preventable through training.

If we can predict that emergency services will not meet immediate needs following a major disaster, especially if there is no warning as in a wild land fire, and we can predict that people will spontaneously volunteer, what can the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office do to prepare citizens for this eventuality?

First, citizens should be aware of the facts about what to expect following a major disaster in terms of immediate services. Second, they are given the message about their responsibility for mitigation and preparedness. Third, they are trained in the areas of needed lifesaving skills with emphasis on decision making skills, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. Fourth, they are organized into teams so that they are an extension of first responder services offering immediate help to victims until professional services arrive.

Basic CERT Training addresses the following areas:

Session I, DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Addresses hazards to which people are vulnerable in their community. Materials cover actions that participants and their families take before, during, and after a disaster.

Session II, DISASTER FIRE SUPPRESSION: Briefly covers fire chemistry, hazardous materials, fire hazards, and fire suppression strategies. However, the thrust of this session is the safe use of fire extinguishers, sizing up the situation, controlling utilities, and extinguishing a small fire.

Session III, DISASTER MEDICAL OPERATIONS PART I: Participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding, and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques.

Session IV, DISASTER MEDICAL OPERATIONS, PART II: Covers evaluating patients by doing a head to toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area, performing basic first aid, and practicing in a safe and sanitary manner.

Session V, LIGHT SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS: Participants learn about search and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, rescue techniques, and most important, rescuer safety.

Session VI, DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY AND TEAM ORGANIZATION: Covers signs and symptoms that might be experienced by the disaster victim and worker. It addresses CERT organization and management principles and the need for documentation.

Session VII, COURSE REVIEW AND DISASTER SIMULATION: Participants review their answers from a take home examination. Finally, they practice the skills that they have learned during the previous six sessions in disaster activity.

The most important part of the CERT Training are the people who freely give their valuable time to receive what could be lifesaving information, not just for them but for their families, neighbors and community members. Many CERT Volunteers go on to receive additional training and stand ready to assist first responders whenever the call goes out.

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Contact: Gerry Blair, Coconino County Sheriff's Office PIO & Community Programs Planner, 928-226-5089

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