State Emergency Management Celebrates First Year of CERT Training
Tornadoes and terrorism are just two of the scenarios
students will face when they complete Community Emergency Response Team
(CERT) training this week at the Shaklee plant, 3300 Marshall Avenue,
in Norman. CERT class runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 30-April 2.
During this past year the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
(ODEM) has teamed up with local emergency managers across the state to
offer this important training. This week the number trained will hit
the 1,000-mark when Cleveland County Emergency Management joins Shaklee
in hosting the course.
Participants will take part in fire suppression techniques on Tuesday,
emergency medicine on Wednesday and search and rescue on Thursday. On
Friday they will complete an exercise simulating the rescue of victims
from a smoke filled structure.
Local governments prepare for everyday emergencies. However, during a
disaster, the number and scope of incidents can overwhelm conventional
emergency services. The CERT program delivers all-risk, all-hazard
training which is designed to help citizens protect themselves, their
family, their neighborhood and their workplace in an emergency
Citizens learn to manage utilities and put out small fires, provide
basic medical aid, search for and rescue victims safely, organize
themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective, and collect
disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts.
“We are excited about offering this course which continues to help
enhance the Oklahoma Standard,” said Albert Ashwood, ODEM director. “In
Oklahoma we know we’re going to respond to our neighbors in need. This
program helps citizens do so in an effective and efficient manner
without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.”
The CERT program is part of Pres. George W. Bush’s initiative to engage
Americans in volunteer service, known as USA Freedom Corp. CERT is a
positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations
where citizens must be self-sufficient and their actions can make a