John's Vashon Preparedness Blog

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Emergency Preparedness & Response - 24 Hours Packed with Skills OR A 44-hour Course to Prepare You to Serve on the Response Team

Mar 10

Written by:
3/10/2018 2:29 PM  RssIcon

Vashon Island CERT:image

  • Sponsored by Vashon Island Fire & Rescue….CERT is both a basic course and an active local team of citizens prepared to support the Fire Dept. or Sheriff
  • A partner with VashonBePrepared, the local network of citizen groups and government agencies dedicated to leading our island in preparedness and response

VashonBePrepared.org - Vashon's Disaster Preparedness Coalition

Participation in CERT is highly rewarding. If community support when problems arise is important to you, CERT will likely be an extraordinarily positive experience.

CERT originated in Los Angeles in 1994 to support the city fire department, and has been enhanced and extended to hundreds of communities by FEMA to train citizens to safely volunteer in various emergencies.

Rewards of being on the active team:

  • Increased safety at your home & business
  • Increased personal preparedness for windstorms, earthquakes and power outages
  • New life-saving and first aid skills
  • Increased self-confidence
  • New friends
  • Participation in the Vashon community Stylish green hard-hat and hi-vis vest (for team)

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Requirements to be on the team:

  • Vashon resident – full-time or part-time
  • Very basic physical fitness
  • Basic CERT course (3 parts described on this flyer)
  • Several additional Vashon-specific trainings (maps, two-way radios, search & rescue practice, etc.)
  • Four refresher or enrichment trainings each year
  • Comply with CERT policies and codes of conduct
  • Favorable background check
  • Responsibility and accountability

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Typical activations include

  • Search for missing persons (Vashon has no other local search/rescue group)
  • Logistical support to the Fire Dept. or Sheriff
  • Information gathering during a disaster; First aid and information stations

CERT does not…

fight fires, go into unstable buildings, or neglect our own neighborhoods. CERT members are specially trained to be a skilled resource in their neighborhoods, and respond to the greater community only after their own home and neighborhood are stable.

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2018 Course Dates

The program is offered at no cost to the public. Options include:

March 31: 5 hours of household preparedness for disasters and power outages, plus fire & gas safety

Friday evenings, April 6 thru May 11: 24 more hours of emergency response training for the average citizen: first aid, light search and rescue, light fire-fighting and fire/chemical safety

Friday evenings May 18, 25 and June 8 plus Sunday June 3: 45 MORE hours of training in organizing ourselves into an effective team, plus practice in simulated disaster scenarios.

The 45 hour basic course covers:

  • Safety training around utility problems such as gas leaks and damaged power lines
  • Reducing potential fire and electrical hazards in your home and business
  • Extinguishing various types of small fires
  • First aid including head-to-toe assessments, wound care, splinting, triage of multiple patients, and more
  • Selecting and setting up a medical treatment area for a disaster situation
  • How to size-up various emergency situations and respond safely and effectively
  • Searching structures and the Vashon community or woods for lost persons
  • How Vashon’s CERT team operates, our responsibilities and coordinating with other organizations

Supplemental topics and classes after joining the team:

  • Use of two-way radios (both Ham radios and ordinary “walkie-talkies”)
  • Reading various maps, finding addresses, using a compass and your phone to navigate
  • The nitty-gritty of supporting Vashon Fire Dept. and the King County Sheriff
  • Several types of search operations and how to safely conduct each one
  • Advanced first aid
  • And more…
  • the list is long and the topics are interesting!

2018 Course Dates

RSVP for any or all of these to: CERT@VashonBePrepared.org

CERT Manager Jan Milligan will send confirmation and, for parts 2 and 3, plenty of details about the curriculum, make-ups for sessions you might miss, policies and more. All parts start at the Farcy Building at the main fire station. Jan be reached by phone, 206-949-1184. Some info also at www.vashonbeprepared.org/partners/CERT

PART 1, Saturday March 31, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m: 5 Hours of Household Safety and Preparedness

PART 2, April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4 and 11. 6-10 p.m: 24 Hours of safety & emergency training in fire prevention, light fire fighting, utility safety, first aid including how to treat life-threatening conditions, and light search & rescue. Pre-requisite: Preparedness seminar (above). You will need to provide a few inexpensive personal supplies: dust-mask, work clothes (grubbies), work gloves such as gardening gloves, and your own water/snacks.

PART 3, May 18, 25 and June 8, 6-10 p.m. plus Sunday June 3, 8:00 – 4:00. 20 MORE hours of CERT team operation and practice – for those who want to join the active Vashon team. Continue after Part 2 for training in jobs CERT could be assigned to in a disaster on Vashon, working as a CERT team and with other organized citizen groups, and conducting a simulated disaster response. Pre-requisites are Parts 1 and 2.

The Friday evening sessions for Parts 2 and 3 start promptly at 6 p.m. Please arrive a few minutes early to sign in and find a seat. Dress in long pants and comfortable clothing suitable for being outside (some weeks) and getting a little dirty (some weeks). Always bring your own water and snacks. Sunday June 3 is a disaster response simulation for those who have completed part 3 training up to that point. Wrap-up and graduation is on June 8. Additional training opportunities for graduates and team members only are on our VashonBePrepared website.

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