CERT volunteers sought in Del Mar area

Del Mar, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe and Solana Beach residents are being asked to participate in a Community Emergency Response Team training to become disaster workers.

The classes are free to all residents or employees of those communities who are 18 years or older. CERT members are trained in basic life- and property-saving skills in the event of a major disaster when professional services have not yet arrived or are overwhelmed.

CERT training is designed to prepare you to help yourself, your family, and your neighbors in the event of a catastrophic disaster. Because emergency services personnel will not be able to help everyone immediately, you can make a difference by using the CERT training to save lives and protect property.

CERT training covers basic skills that are important to know in a disaster when emergency services are not available. With training and practice and by working as a team, you will be able to do the greatest good for the greatest number of victims after and during a disaster, while protecting yourself from becoming a victim.

The CERT program provides an effective first-response capability. Acting as individuals first, then later as members of teams, trained CERT volunteers can fan out within their assigned areas, extinguishing small fires, turning off natural gas inlets to damaged homes, performing light search and rescue, and rendering basic medical treatment. Trained volunteers also offer an important potential workforce to service organizations in non-hazardous functions such as shelter support, crowd control, and evacuation.

The 25 hour CERT training course covers these topics: Disaster Preparedness (i.e.: Home and Workplace Preparedness, Disaster Workers); Wildland Urban Interface / Fire Safety; Disaster Medical Operations (i.e.: Triage, Treating Burns, Splinting, etc.); Light Search and Rescue Operations; CERT Organization; Disaster Psychology; Terrorism and CERT.

The next CERT training begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, at the Encinitas Community Center, Room 142B, SE Corner of Encinitas Blvd. and Balour Drive, Encinitas.

For details and to sign up, contact Arnie Lewin at alewin@encinitasca.gov, or Eric Phillips, Engineer/Paramedic, Solana Beach Fire Department, at 858-720-4412 or ephillips@cosb.org.

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