Residents Train to Become Community Emergency Response Team members

Residents Train to Become Community 
Emergency Response Team members

LANSING - With Michigan weather, people can really expect anything.

From thunderstorms, to foggy days, and hail filled nights, the weather here is unpredictable.

And with harsh winters just around the corner, residents are understanding this to be true.

As they are taking the initiative to become Community Response Emergency Team (CERT) members.

Over the course of three weeks, the volunteers trained to become certified team members.

CERT training attendee Stephenie Perkins is a Professional Emergency Manager and she believes that a community can only be resilient if it's prepared.

"I want to be able to be prepared in my own home and help the community as well," she said.

Capital Area CERT Program Public Information Officer Joyce Brennan, said team members are like a second set of eyes and ears in the case of an emergency.

"The more we can have help with our community, help our police department, help our fire department," Brennan said.

Beginning on October 10th, the CERT training ran for three hours every Monday and Wednesday.

The classes started with teaching attendees teamwork skills

"You don't work any event alone. You have someone with you. So if something happens to you, there is somebody that can call to get you help," Brennan said. "As well as the two of us working together, one can be taking care of a person and the other one can be speaking to dispatch or calling 911. Whatever needs to be done. "

And assisting those in need is a key factor during an emergency. With the second half of the training including disaster medical operation assessments, with the first step being to apply gloves before treatment.

That program is what the DO1Thing Organization advocates. Having asked residents to attend and become well equipped in the case of an emergency.

DO1Thing Executive Director, Raynika Battle said people often think that if something does happen, they will be able to handle it and thats the biggest challenge with the program and emergency preparedness.

"We found that only about 50 percent of the country are actually prepared for emergencies and disasters," she said. "So at this point its really about getting the information into peoples hands and in their computers, through media so they know how easy it is to do."

Following the training, attendees take a final test to certify themselves as official CERT members.

"Most People don't realize we can't leave everything in the hands of our first responders. Because especially in a disaster, who knows how long exactly it will take for them to get to you," Battle said. "So having these people in places that can even do small things will help a lot for the community."

Additional Resources

Meridian Weather