CERT Training

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2012-03-11 12:09:21 -0500
Started 2012-02-18 10:54:13 -0600

As I grow older and see more needs to help others, I decided to take some first responder type training. The CERT program (Citizens Emergency Response Team) is a national one that anyone can take part in. It is free (at least in our county) and is offered twice a year. If you call your local sheriff's office, they can tell you if they offer this program or something similar.

It is an 8 week class once a week for 3 hours that covers things like:
Fire Suppression
CPR Certification
First Aid Certification
Light Search and Rescue
Psychological aspects of disaster
Live exercises to practice the things we learn

I had my overview class this week and while the speaker leaves a bit to be desired, it was good information to know. One of the main reasons I joined was so that I could use my insight with diabetes. Specially in Triage, where knowing how to recognize a hypoglycemic episode is important. I wanted to give back to my community and once I graduate I can become part of the local CERT team in my town.

People of all ages can do it and even with disabilities, they will find a place for a willing soul. If you are looking for a way to give back, I thought you might enjoy this.

22 replies

GabbyPA 2012-03-11 11:37:45 -0500 Report

Well, I did the CPR class and last week we covered first aid. I was pleasantly surprised at the part that covered diabetic lows. There was a lot of conversation on that point in the class and I also brought up the use of tattoos instead of jewelry and that we should look for those as well as bracelets or necklaces.

Of course this covers the basics and there is no discussion of the 15: 15 rule or testing to make sure it is a low and not something else. This is why you really want to have someone who knows how to deal with your lows at work as well as at home.

If you have a child, a first responders volunteer is not going to go through pockets or purses to find things. We are not allowed to do that. So the more able your child is to give helpful directions the better the outcome.

I have really been enjoying the class a lot and am glad to see that so many in the community where I live do care and want to at least have some knowledge so they are more willing to help when needed.

GabbyPA 2012-02-25 19:51:36 -0600 Report

I put my fire out in just over 8 seconds. I was intimidated at first, but once I did it, it was such a confidence booster. Now I have to go out and get a couple of new fire extinguishers for the house. We have an old one in the kitchen, but it is expired...I learned a lot.

jayabee52 2012-03-11 11:59:31 -0500 Report

when in Nebraska and in the VFD we did a practice burn in a abandoned farmhouse.

There I learned that there is a better way to put out a fire in such a situation. Rather than aiming a fire hose at the base of the fire at full force, which would push the flames higher in the room and it could go up the wall across the ceiling and down the other wall behind us, thereby giving us scorched fannies. (We were in "bunker gear" and were wearing breathing apparatuses in that "burn"). The best way to put out the fire which is burning out of control is to turn the nozzle of the fire hose to "fog" spray and aim it above the fire and to let the water vapor knock down the heat in the room and once the heat in the room was down, then attack the base of the fire.

I loved being in that VFD.

GabbyPA 2012-03-11 12:09:21 -0500 Report

We are only trained to do small fires. If it is larger than a waste basket, we are advised to let the fire department take care of things. We are not geared for things that big.

Caroltoo 2012-02-25 20:34:59 -0600 Report

Another task mastered … sure adds to the confidence, doesn't it! Congratulations.

GabbyPA 2012-02-25 20:40:35 -0600 Report

Yeah, it was kind of neat. We went over the A, B, C, and D fires in the class and then he has a box that set an A or B type of fire. It was a good practice and now I just need to keep that skill handy.

Run Soo
Run Soo 2012-02-21 19:38:39 -0600 Report

GREAT IDEA!!!! You`ll have a blast.. I have taken too many classes for this stuff in my life I think I can put more symbols after my name then legally possilbe.. But it is fun and you find out how much they really don`t know or taught what to do.. but remember to have fun..

GabbyPA 2012-02-22 07:37:49 -0600 Report

Thanks. I plan to. This week is fire suppression and that should be good. We get the fire truck as long as there is not a "real" fire for them to put out.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-02-19 11:47:19 -0600 Report

Thats great!!!! When I had my episode at the restaurant, I was out and my husband said none of the firemen knew how to use my bg meter, they did try, it was the one touch mini, and wouldn't let him do it. They said to wait for the ambulance! This is the simplest thing out of all they have to do and it's sad they were lacking in this area. I guess my next question would be if they could do a bg test, what would be their next course of action? I asked my husband later, if they were just firemen, which obiously they were or it wouldn't have been an issue.

GabbyPA 2012-02-21 17:31:56 -0600 Report

Yeah, what would they have done with the number on the screen? You have to wonder.

jayabee52 2012-02-21 17:34:03 -0600 Report

probably have to wait till the EMTs get there, anyway.

GabbyPA 2012-02-21 17:37:54 -0600 Report

Isn't there usually some kind of EMT or Paramedic that travels with the fire fighter? So much liability out there I suppose. I remember a teacher telling me that she was getting sued for saving a man from choking to death because she broke a rib doing the Heimlich maneuver. What is wrong with us?

jayabee52 2012-02-21 18:44:04 -0600 Report

I think it is different ways in different jurisdictions.

Here in LV the firemen come out on the firetruck, and the EMTs come out in their own van. and then comes the paramedics (often a contractor to the county) who transport the victim to the hospital if needed so the EMTs can go on to other calls without getting held up at the hospital. That is the way it is here

GabbyPA 2012-02-22 07:36:38 -0600 Report

I know a friend of mine who is a paramedic and he works out of a fire station. I guess that is why I thought that. I suppose it is different everywhere.

jayabee52 2012-02-23 15:32:44 -0600 Report

yes, I suspect it is. The EMTs here in LV do come out of the firestation on runs and sometimes accompany the firetrucks on fire runs.

judy makowski
judy makowski 2012-02-23 15:52:53 -0600 Report

Here in the Triangle area the EMTs and the fire department both come to a call. Then the EMTs take over and do what they need to and also transport. From my understanding they have passed some kind or test and are considerd More etrained and better able to do more than the standard EMTs

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-02-18 18:52:45 -0600 Report

Hi Gabby, I was a volunteer EMT for 10 years. I have had all of the training except for terrorism and light search and rescue. I didn't like fire suppression because I had to climb a ladder to a 3 story building and climb in the window. It took a firefighter going up the ladder with me because I am terrified of ladders after the 3rd step. TIP: buy your own stethoscope and make sure it is a good one. I can hear a heartbeat through a downfilled coat and sweatshirt combined. It is expensive. Good luck

GabbyPA 2012-02-19 11:15:51 -0600 Report

Oh neat on the stethoscope...not so much on the ladder. Me and ladders and stairs are not friends. I have fallen down stairs too often. I guess it is one of my phobias. Ladders don't agree with me either. Our fire suppression is going to be in the parking lot with extinguishers. So no ladders involved.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-02-19 15:57:01 -0600 Report

I was thinking about getting Certification to teach CPR, then I thought it would interfere with other things I am doing. At one point I wrote a Disaster Planning Manual for the community as well as a Citizen on Patrol Manual (COP). I have had communities requesting the manual and our officers used it for training purposes in the community.

I think you will enjoy this as long as the site of blood doesn't bother you. Keep in mind that doing CPR on the practice dummy is the same as on a human only the human body is more limber and there are no lights on the human body to tell you that you are performing CPR correctly.

GabbyPA 2012-02-21 17:31:04 -0600 Report

Oh darn! Not lights. That kind of stinks. LOL
I am not bothered by blood, but cleaning a dirty diaper...oh boy! My gag reflex is really sensitive. YUCK. But the more I do it, the easier it gets.

How cool that you have done manuals. That is great. One of my goals is to be able to share the things I learn with a small group that meets in my home. That way we all can benefit from it.

jayabee52 2012-02-18 13:25:04 -0600 Report

I had been a volunteer firefighter when I was in Nebraska in the late 80s and I found it very satisfying on a number of levels. I was not disabled at the time and I lived close enough to the firehouse to be one of the first ones there when there was an ambulance call, so I usually got to ride along and help the paramedic in the back of the ambulance. My stay in that town was too brief and I had to give it up, but on many levels my service with the VFD was very satisfying. I had even given a lot of thought to taking the EMT classes which were offered, but my employer nixed it because it would take up too much of my time (in their oponion).

CERT classes sound very much like that, and between that experience with the VFD and my training as a CNA, it sounds like some of those subjects would be a refresher course for me. I may well check with the Metro (sheriff dept and city police combined) here in LV to see if there is such a class available here.

GabbyPA 2012-02-19 11:18:02 -0600 Report

It is a totally volunteer thing and if you just want to use it for yourself you can. They don't MAKE you use it. But I think I would like to be involved. Mostly it ends up being things like phone banks, helping at shelters and so on, but it is good to have training in CPR. I have never had that.

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