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
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
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)
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
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.