From Monday through Thursday of this week, several ZSR Staff (Wanda, Mary Beth, Travis, and Craig) are participating in CERT Training. CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team. The concept for this group was conceived after 9/11. The idea is to have a cadre of trained individuals prepared to respond in times of need. The CERT group is part of an outreach program from FEMA called the Citizen Corps. CERT groups are trained to increase community involvement and to assist first responders. Community groups are trained in basic fire safety, disaster preparedness, search and rescue, etc. in order to be available to a community in need. Wake Forest has, for some time, wanted such a team-and after this week, this team will exist.
On our first day, we received an overview from Darrell Jeter (Forsyth County Emergency Management) and Fire Safety from Jim Young, a Forsyth County Fire Educator. We touched on subjects such as tornado and flood safety, disaster preparedness and basic fire safety, In the afternoon, we all had the chance to extinguish a fire under the supervision of the WFU Police and our local WFU Firemen. It was fun to watch each group of two “buddies” approach a fire together and put it out using a fire extinguisher (watch Travis and Cindy).
The rest of the week, we’ll continue to learn and practice basic safety and disaster response techniques followed by a concluding ‘disaster exercise’ on Thursday. I’m sure others will post about this educationally active week.