Eighteen West Side residents passed the CERT program and graduated at a ceremony at the Patterson and West Stanislaus Fire Station No. 2.
The CERT program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event where professional responders are not immediately available to help.
CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
“These are our new West Side Heroes. The more we can look to help ourselves along the 33 corridor the better,” said Mayor Luis Molina at the meeting.
Also in attendance was U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), who shook hands and congratulated the first CERT graduates for the West Side region. The fact is there just isn’t enough first responders in a disaster such as an earthquake, Capt. Mike Ambrosino of Patterson and West Stanislaus Fire, said.
“If something large happens, we don’t have enough help,” he said. “This takes a load off of our shoulders in those instances.”
Ambrosino said the department was planning for another class in the fall and currently gauging interest for one.
For more information please contact Ambrosino or Fire Prevention Specialist Carrie Silveira at 209-892-5621.
Nick Rappley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209-568-9975.