Friday, December 2, 2022

If you always wanted to learn how to respond to an emergency, here’s a free course for you

Virginia Beach Community Emergency Response Team members during a past training (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Virginia Beach CERT)
Virginia Beach Community Emergency Response Team members during a past training (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Virginia Beach CERT)

VIRGINIA BEACH — The city’s Office of Emergency Management will be having a free Community Emergency Response Team course starting Sept. 4.

The five-week course (two days a week) runs through Oct. 6.

The course will educate residents about disaster preparedness, especially those that might impact the area they live. They’ll be trained in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety and suppression, light search and rescue, team organization, disaster medical operations, and disaster psychology, according to a news release from the city.

Most classes will be at the Fire Training Center, 927 S. Birdneck Road.

Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

Those who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace and community and can take the right steps to lessen the effects of these hazards on themselves, their homes or workplace, organizers said.

If a disaster happens that overwhelms local response capability, CERT members can apply their training to give critical support to their family, loved ones, neighbors or associates in their immediate area until help arrives. When help does arrive, VBCERT members provide useful information to responders and support their efforts, as directed, at the disaster site.

Information and registration are available on the VBCERT website or by calling Cookie Ketchum at 757-385-2914 or Douglas Duggan at 757-416-8782.

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