The Green Girl is currently enrolled in her local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training program.
The CERT concept was developed by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) to establish a well-trained civilian emergency work force.
The LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division to develop, train, and maintain a network of Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs). This program is open to all citizens.
As of January 2004, 50 states, three territories and six foreign countries are using the CERT training.
The CERT training covers basic disaster response skills:
CERT Level 1 Syllabus
Unit 1: Introduction/Disaster Preparedness
Unit 2: Fire Safety
Unit 3: Disaster Medical Operations—Part 1/2
Unit 4: Light Search and Rescue Operations
Unit 5: CERT Organization/Disaster Psychology
Unit 6: Terrorism and CERT
Unit 7: Course Review & Disaster Simulation
Last night, for Unit 4, we had to assess a building and if we deemed it safe to search, enter and look for victims while checking for hazards.
The exercise really demonstrated the importance of teamwork and good communication because we had to describe what we were processing to the person behind us so they wouldn't trip or get injured in the dark.
We also had to routinely report back to the Incident Coordinator with victim counts and any possible hazards we'd identified.
I had my Petzl Tikka Plus Headlamp with me as my emergency light source. I was surprised to see how much brighter it was relative to all the other flashlights. A few people noticed the brightness and asked me what it was.
The second drill was to rescue a hose victim that was trapped under a car by lifting the car by using a lever and fulcrum.
I monitored the hose victim's vitals while our team worked together to lift the car.
When the car was raised, it took four of us to pull the heavy hose victim out from under the vehicle.
I immediately saw that one of his legs had been severed so I quickly put pressure on his groin to stop the bleeding.
Next week, we will be having a 'Disaster Dinner' and I volunteered to bring Vienna Sausages for the feast.
Below is a short video clip of me putting out a fire during a Unit 2 exercise.