May 4, 2009
For more information, contact:
Bonnie J. Prigge or Tammy Snodgrass, (573) 265-2993
Emergency Volunteer Training Planned at Salem
Class is May 15-17
DENT COUNTY —Residents in the Meramec Region—especially those in Dent County—interested in volunteering during emergency situations are encouraged to take advantage of a three-day course being offered in Salem. The 20-hour training is planned May 15-17 at the Dent County Fire Protection District Firehouse, #2 S. Main St., Salem, MO. The class is offered free of charge.
The Salem class will run from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 15 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17 with Byron Burke and Terry Bruno as instructors.
The training will introduce participants to the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept of preparing civilians to proactively organize and train for a disaster. CERT trainings cover disaster fire suppression, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, disaster psychology and team organization.
“This training is designed for folks who want to be involved and help but aren’t trained as firefighters and EMTs,” explained Amy McMillen, MRPC environmental programs specialist. “Once you are trained in CERT, you will be qualified to provide some basic support to fire, law enforcement and EMS during emergencies. You will know how to help.”
The class is sponsored by Meramec Regional Planning Commission and the Region I Homeland Security Oversight Committee in partnership with the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency. Lunch will be provided for participants on Saturday and Sunday.
Persons interested in signing up should contact Amy McMillen at MRPC at (573) 265-2993 or by email email@example.com. Please contact McMillen also if you are interested in future classes as well.
“We recognize that this training requires a significant investment of time,” Tammy Snodgrass, MRPC’s environmental programs manager, said, “and that is because of the importance of the work that volunteers will be doing in emergencies. Law enforcement, EMS and fire departments will not be able to deal with all the issues that will confront them when disaster strikes. Having volunteers who are able to act appropriately and professionally in teams prepares our region for dealing with emergencies,” she added.
CERT does not train a volunteer to be a firefighter or a paramedic but instead teaches essential lifesaving functions that volunteers can use while waiting for professional responders to arrive after a disaster.
Snodgrass added that a local community should be prepared to take care of itself for the first 72-hours of a disaster. That’s about how long it takes for state and federal resources to be mobilized. “CERT teams ensure that trained volunteers are available to fill that void and provide the best assistance and care possible when disaster strikes,” she added.