Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Have You Heard of CERT?

Last night I went to a meeting of a club I belong to.
After the meeting some of us continued the good
conversation at a restaurant, lengthening the night
such that my drive home extended just into the
next day.
Just 5 minutes from home, I went around a curve
and encountered a car that had just lost its good looks.
Despite the 20 year old driver driving as what he
perceived to be a sensible speed, the combination
of curve and wet pavement from an earlier rain proved
too much for the car to handle, so the guardrail served
its purpose by preventing the car from journeying
down the wooded slope. Boy was okay; car was not.
He had already called for help. I took a couple small
red traffic cones out of my car and positioned them on
the road to alert other vehicles to the stationary mess.
The boy was surprised that I had these supplies and
got them out matter-of-factly.
I explained to him that
I had received training from CERT -
Emergency Response Team. CERT volunteers spend
about 20 hours in basic training learning various skills
to respond to emergency situations. Sometimes they
may be the first to arrive on the scene and can do some
things to facilitate resolution of a situation by the First
Responders- Police, Firefighters,and EMS. Sometimes they
will supplement First Responders by performing support
tasks suitable to their level of training.
I have provided just a quick overview of CERT here.
To learn more about it, you may want to take a look at
CERT Los Angeles site. They may be able to help you
locate a CERT group in your area. CERT is in all 50 states.

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