The Green Girl Is A Long Beach CERT Graduate

The Green Girl graduated from the Long Beach Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program today.

For our final class, we had to go through a simulated natural disaster drill that required us to combine all the skills we'd learned during the CERT Level I Training.

The scenario we were given was a 7.6 magnitude earthquake. We were instructed to follow the Incident Command System (ICS) principles. Following this methodology, the first individual on the scene was appointed the Incident Commander (IC) and was responsible for overseeing the entire operation.

The IC immediately designated an Operations Section Chief, Logistics Section Chief, Planning Section Chief, and Administration Section Chief. The Operations Section Chief proceeded to identify a Fire Suppression Leader, Search and Rescue Group Leader, and Medical Group Leader.

Search and Rescue entering a building that has been deemed safe to enter
I was a part of the Search and Rescue team so we proceeded to do a 'Hot Lap' around a building to determine if it was safe to enter.

We used the 'right hand in, left hand out' method to systematically enter and exit the building.

When we found victims, we used The Simple Triage And Rapid Treatment (START) system to triage multiple victims in 30 seconds or less by checking Respiration, Perfusion, and Mental Status (RPM) to identify them as Minor (green), Delayed (yellow), Immediate (red), or Deceased (black).

One of the victims I assisted out of the building we bleeding profusely from his upper arm so I had to hold the extremity above the heart while applying constant pressure.

Fire Suppression team extinguishing a liquid fire
Once we felt confident we had helped all the victims out of the building, we headed over to another structure.

On the way, we spotted a liquid fire near the second building so we alerted the Operations Section Chief so the Fire Suppression team could be notified.

Triaging a shock victim that has been marked 'Immediate' (red)
We didn't find any more victims so the Operations Section Chief told us to go to Triage to assist the Medical Group.

The Medical Group Leader asked me to triage an Immediate (red) victim. It was a woman who appeared to be in shock.

I tried to check her Respiration, Perfusion, and Mental Status (RPM), but she was not able to respond. I requested additional materials to elevate her feet.

The Green Girl receiving her CERT backpack
Even though it was a simulated disaster, the victims did an excellent job playing their respective parts and creating a sense of chaos. I was able to feel the gravity of the situation as I heard victims calling out for help and crying for their missing loved ones.

At one point, a victim even escaped from Triage and tried to head back into a building to look for her children.

After the exercise, we received a certificate of completion, official CERT cards, and a CERT backpack containing CERT supplies.

Now the Green Girl has her very own green CERT safety hard hat, leather gloves, safety goggles, rubber gloves, EMS Vital Stats Notebook, gauze bandage rolls, Long Beach Community Emergency Response Team vest, and mask.


  1. The Running Mermaid said...
    It's perfect that the hat and pack are green... You go green girl!

  2. Congratulations!! What an achievement!

  3. Congrats! I know who to call in an emergency now :)

  4. I can just totally see you being into this CERT program - it so fits your personality :). Congrats, Greenie!!!

  5. I agree, this is a wonderful achievement. Hopefully you won't have to use the knowledge, but we are lucky there is people like you who take the time to do this : ))

  6. You are my hero Green Girl. Now what the heck is Khanom Krok. I have been to Asia countless times and have never hear of that. Korean food?

  7. Congrats!!
    When I was an EMT I loved doing the mass casualty drills. sounds like you had a great time and learned a lot!

  8. Wow! That's pretty cool. Congrats on graduating but I hope you don't need to use your new skills anytime soon!

  9. Wahoo! Congrats Green Girl, such an awesome achievement!

  10. Congratulations! That is really awesome!

  11. Congrats! I'm sure you'll be an asset to your community.

  12. Congratulations! It is reassuring to know that there are people who are trained and can respond to emergencies if needed. Way to go!

  13. Congratulations!

    I've completed many of the ICS and NIMS courses as part of my FEMA credentialing program.

    I'm glad the CERT hardhats are green.

  14. Congratulations! I had to take basic NIMS and ICS for work so I have just a glimpse of all you had to learn- very admirable of you to complete the program!


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