County offers free Community Emergency Response Training

Resilient communities weather storms together. Worcester County Emergency Services (WCES) invites the public to participate in a free, 8-session Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training course in Newark this spring. CERT is open to teens and adults and will take place at the Fire Training Center, on Tuesdays from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. from March 20 through April 14, 2018. Cardiopulmonary Response (CPR) and Automatic External Defibrillator training will take place during the March 27 CERT session.

“CERT equips participants to assist family members and neighbors during an emergency until fire and rescue personnel arrive,” WCES Emergency Planner Tom Kane said. “WCES encourages all residents to develop emergency plans, to be prepared to respond before, during, and immediately after a natural or manmade disaster strikes.”

Other CERT sessions will cover how to prepare and respond to natural disasters common to Worcester County as well as manmade disasters, fire suppression, basic disaster medical operations, light search and rescue procedures, disaster psychology, team organization, and terrorism awareness. Participants will practice the skills they learn throughout the course. 

Upon completion of the course, participants will know how to apply basic lifesaving skills and recognize both natural and manmade hazards. They will also be able to create disaster plans and supply kits and aid in responding to hazardous materials emergencies. Those who successfully complete the training will receive CPR and First Aid certification through the American Heart Association, and interested participants may qualify to become part of the Worcester County CERT team.

Instructors will provide information on hazards typical to Worcester County, hazardous materials in the home and the National Incident Management System. Instruction is geared to help residents better prepare and survive during the first 36 to 72 hours after a catastrophic event when local first responder resources are stretched to their limits.

“CERT is about people supporting people in their communities,” Kane said. “It’s about being resilient and being prepared, so you can bounce back faster after a disaster.”
The CERT program was developed by the Los Angeles Fire Department in 1985 and has since become the national model used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for other communities throughout the country. CERT is an informative, hands-on, educational program packed with information to equip residents, who have no prior emergency medical training, to support their families and communities during a disaster. Participants will gain the decision-making and practical skills necessary to offer immediate assistance to those in need following an emergency until further help can arrive. 
CERT is available at no cost to all interested residents thanks to the support of the Worcester County Commissioners in the FY18 budget. 

Space is limited to 20 individuals and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more info or to register, contact Kane at 410-632-3080 or tkane@co.worcester.md.us