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CERT Refresher 06.04.11

June 7, 2011

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Our DCS team got an e-mail asking for volunteers to help out with an updated CERT training session in east Pasadena. It was just a few days away, but three members from out San Dimas/Walnut team said we could be there. So, early on a bright but cool Saturday morning we went to the First Lutheran Church of Pasadena to help out.

When I arrived, they were starting to set up the training areas in the lower parking lot. I was told everyone else had to park in the upper lot. I moved back up there and met another DCS member, Ray Avesian, from Temple. We decided that crowd and parking control was needed, so began directing the incoming cars as to where to park and where to go to sign up for the class. Another of our San Dimas/Walnut members, Bob Shannon, arrived and went to attend the briefing session prior to the training. There was one other DCS member, Joe Young, from San Fernando was present. Lory Jefferson from San Dimas showed up with our team’s radio van, which he set up near the CERT Command Post vehicle in the lower parking lot and informed the trainees as to what DCS can do to help.

When it was time for classes to start, Bob came out with color-coded badges for us to wear. Each team member wore a color-coded badge for identification. There were about 6 teams and 6 training areas. The teams were to trade places until all teams had visited all training areas. I introduced myself as my Yellow team’s communications person and followed that team around the training area. They were taught how to set up to help in a disaster area, fire suppression, triage, search and rescue, how to set up a CERT Command Post, and how to treat a bus load of injured young people. The Pasadena Fire Department and the L.A. County Fire Department had men at all these different areas to give a briefing of what was to happen at that position, and then critiqued the actions after the drill was completed. There were also senior CERT team members along with each team to give help and instructions when needed. Time was pretty short, so things had to move rather quickly with 15 minutes allotted to perform the task at hand and 5 minutes for debriefing afterwards, then 5 more minutes to arrive at your next spot.

The firemen in charge were knowledgeable and professional in their leading and debriefing, so the trainees were able to learn a lot about what can actually happen in the event of an emergency and what to do about it. A troop of Young Marines helped out by playing victims. The consensus was that we still have a lot to learn and we all need more training to be able to perform our duties in a professional and able manner. I went through CERT training last year in Sierra Madre, but I learned quite a few new things just from observing.

It was a beautiful morning and made the exercise all that more enjoyable.

By: Merrie Suydam, W-30


The Exec Staff whishes to thanks everyone who too part in this activity.

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