Jacquelyn and I completed a CERT Training Class (8 three hour lessons) and Saturday was the big exercise where we got to test out what we learned in simulated disasters.
Here we are in CERT gear, hardhat, eye protectors, masks, gloves and hard shoes. We are only missing the vests, which we have to order yet.
CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team. It's a nationwide program run by FEMA and the Tacoma Stake is a sponsoring organization. You get trained how to respond to disasters that might strike and then you are certified go provide emergency assistance to people until the professionals can arrive, which could take days in a big disaster.
The first exercise was called cribbing. You find someone trapped under debris and have to use a lever and cribbing blocks to get them out. Here's Jacquelyn and the dummy victim is lying on the floor.
When we first arrived the victim was under a pile of tables. We lifted some off and then used a lever to slide the victim out.
The second exercise was search and rescue. We had to fan out through the woods and look for victims and then when we found one we applied basic first aide and did triage and got the ones to safety that could walk. Here's a victim we found with a bloody slash across her neck. I found a victim with his arm severed off and had to apply a tourniquet.
The third exercise was putting out small fires. Here we are with Jacquelyn doing the fire extinguisher and me her spotter.
This is the victim I found with his arm cut off. We are back inside now. You can see he had bad bruising and abrasions on his face also. They tried to make it realistic and it was kind of a shock to find someone like that, even though I knew it wasn't real.
The fourth exercise was doing head-to-toe evaluations to find injuries and then triage, where you label them for treatment: Minor, Immediate, Delayed, or Dead.
Here's two of the evaluators. The first is Brother Steve Bailey our High Councilor over emergency prepardness for the stake. The second is Scott Relaford the overall course instructor. He's a FEMA certified expert responder and trainer.
It was great fun. Here's a shot of one of the graduation certificates we got. Now we know how to respond to emergency disasters for ourselves first, and then to help others.