KIRKLAND FIRE DEPARTMENT BRINGS CERT BACK! CITIZEN EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM TRAINING POSSIBLE WITH GRANT
What: The very popular Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course is once again being offered to Kirkland-area residents. Due to budget cuts, the 29-hour national disaster preparedness course for citizens was cancelled in 2008. With the award of a federal Emergency Management Performance Grant, the City will sponsor two more courses: one in autumn 2010, the other in early 2011.
The highly interactive CERT course, taught by Kirkland Firefighters, provides education on disasters and teaches participants, among other things, how to:
• Size-up conditions to determine their safety and identify hazards • Conduct search and rescue operations • Lift heavy objects off trapped victims • Triage and transport patients • Administer disaster first aid • Extinguish small fires • Organize response teams • Implement the national Incident Command System • Address psychological issues resulting from crises or traumatic events
Participants also prepare their homes and vehicles for disasters, following a weekly schedule of assignments.
Who:Kirkland’s CERT course is open to all adult citizens. Those who live, work or attend school in Kirkland will be accepted on a priority basis up to one month prior to the start of each course. Sixteen- and seventeen-year olds may participate with a parent or guardian. However, only participants 18 and older are eligible to become official CERT members. Each course is open to 24 participants.
As activities are performed in pairs or teams, all citizens can participate and play a role in the disaster response activities, regardless of age or physical ability. Prior to applying, those with physical concerns are encouraged to ask us for more detailed information regarding course activities and to confirm with their physicians that they are able to participate.
Participants also learn about additional disaster preparedness programs which are available and which help prepare them to survive and help others during disasters, including, Map Your Neighborhood and Amateur Radio Emergency Services, among others.
Why: Participants will graduate with knowledge and skills that allow them to better survive and respond to disasters; their homes, work spaces and vehicles will be better equipped for emergencies and disasters; and they will be trained to join other CERT-trained citizens in helping their community following a disaster.
Cost: CERT training is free to citizens who live, work or attend school in Kirkland. A fee of $25 is charged to others, to help pay for course expenses.
When: The Fall CERT course will be held on 8 consecutive Wednesday evenings, from 6-9 p.m., beginning September 29 and ending November 17. A disaster simulation will be held on Sunday, November 21, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Participation in all weekly classes and the weekend drill is required to graduate from the course.
The Winter CERT course dates will be announced later in the year.
How: To learn more about the course and register for the autumn session, citizens may do any one of the following:
• Visit the City website at www.ci.kirkland.wa.us and select the Disaster Preparedness button on the front page • Pick up an application packet at Kirkland City Hall, 123 5th Ave. in Kirkland • Call 425-587-3650 and request an application packet to be sent by postal mail
Applications will be accepted until September 22, 2010.
Contact: Robin Paster, 425-587-3659, firstname.lastname@example.org