The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned, CERT members can assist others when professional responders are not immediately available to help.
People who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home and community and can take the right steps to lessen the effects of hazards. If a disaster happens that overwhelms local response capability, CERT members can apply the training learned to give critical support to their family and neighbors. CERT training gives people the decision making, organizational and practical skills to offer immediate assistance.
Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services. Communication failures and road blocks will prevent people from accessing emergency services. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate lifesaving needs.
What can Palomar Mountain CERT do to prepare citizens for this eventuality?
Present citizens the facts about what to expect during a major disaster.
Give the message about their responsibility for preparedness.
Train them in needed lifesaving skills.
Organize teams so that they are an extension of first responder services offering immediate help.
The CERT course will benefit any citizen who takes it, and they will be better prepared to respond to the aftermath of a disaster.
CERT is about readiness, people helping people, rescue, safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens can make a difference.
In additional to national CERT training standards, Palomar Mountain CERT members receive training in disasters that may impact our community, such as earthquake, wildfire and snow emergencies. Palomar Mountain CERT members are trained to assist the fire department, public safety, radio communications, and first aid. Palomar Mountain CERT has their own fire engine and is trained to apply Barricade Gel to homes that are threatened by fire. Our 4 wheel drive Suburban can go where needed to assist our community.
To learn more or volunteer, contact CERT coordinator Alan Serry at 760-533-1268.