About 20 people showed interest in participating in a C.E.R.T. team at the Patterson meeting July 31.
C.E.R.T. teams in communities around the country supply help to emergency personnel in disaster situations and members of the teams receive training in disaster preparation, C.P.R., first aid, light search and rescue and hazardous material awareness.
They respond immediately after an incident such as an earthquake and are certified to volunteer and assist emergency personnel. In essence the C.E.R.T. team members serve as a bridge between emergency personnel and victims. That is critical when help is needed in a major incident and there are not enough emergency personnel around to assess and report damage and find and help victims.
Patterson and West Stanislaus Fire District Training Captain Mike Ambrosino said team members at an incident would be locating and shutting off utilities, searching for survivors, treating injuries and getting situation reports that explain where emergency personnel need to work first together.
Patterson West Stanislaus Chief Steve Hall told the audience everyone can play a role.
“It’s not just about disasters,” said Hall. “We need people for behind the scenes.”
Hall said each team member would learn to how to be prepared at his or her home first. C.E.R.T. members will always have to make sure their homes and families are secured before they can step out and help others in the community.
Hall pointed out folks with clerical or logistics and amateur radio skills can all help out.
Ambrosino said after the meeting he was pleased with the turnout.
“It has been fantastic,” he said. “If we get another 10 to 12, I think we can get started.”
Anyone interested in participating in a fall seven to eight week class on becoming C.E.R.T. certified can call the West Patterson Fire Protection District at 895-8130.
•Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31 or firstname.lastname@example.org.