I have a few friends at our local Police Station and Fire Department who recommended that I become a CERT member. CERT: Community Emergency Response Team. I like to think that I would help someone in an emergency, and living in “tornado alley” here in Kansas City it’s a matter of time before a tragedy strikes close to home. (Joplin, Mo and Moore, Ok as examples).
So I signed up to help, and started taking classes several weeks ago.
Last night, we had our mock “incident” and the 18 of us took action. This was a live demonstration of what we learned and as a group we needed to rush to the aid of the situation. We were led to a simulated tornado touchdown area in a warehouse. Things were on fire. People were yelling. Victims were spread and calling for help. All of the things that one might expect in a real disaster and this was as close to real as I could imagine.
I was part of the Search and Rescue team, and the first into the building. I needed to triage several people (many of them with wounds, broken bones, and going into shock), and then help carry unable “victims” out on backboards, tables, chairs and anything else we could come up with to our medical center that was developed.
What a night. My back is a little sore; but I’m a much better person for it. It’s all about personal safety, my family’s safety the safety of my neighbors, and if an incident does occur, I’m ready to help wherever I’m needed.
I encourage anyone that would like to try this class to look it up in your local area. This is a nationwide certification and certainly recommend it to anyone that finds interest in it.
Need more info? Check out FEMA’s website.
Take care, Ryan