CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) of Crescenta Valley held a training session on Saturday at the Fire House youth center.
“We have about 45 members here today,” said Lisa Dutton, one of the CERT leaders and organizer of the event.
Her husband Paul is the CERT captain. Under their leadership, the team has grown not only in numbers but in knowledge as well. They have regular training sessions making certain they are ready when an emergency occurs.
“Help, help me!” Were the cries coming from within the Fire House Youth Center. The actors, volunteers from Prom Plus Club, had arrived earlier to have special effects makeup applied. They then positioned themselves throughout the building, as if an earthquake had trapped them under furniture or injuries had kept them from escaping.
“The volunteers were really good,” Dutton said.
The members split into teams and each took a portion of the scenario. The teams followed specific procedures as they entered the rescue area. They had to remain calm as the victims (actors) screamed for help.
CERT members train so they are at the ready when fire, earthquake, flood and any other emergency occur. Emergency responders have warned that when a disaster like an earthquake happens, law enforcement and fire personnel may not be available immediately. CERT is trained to bridge that gap of time.
The training is the best way for them to be ready for not if, but when, disaster occurs.