Parish starting emergency volunteer team
The St. Mary Parish and Terrebonne offices of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness are restarting the Community Emergency Response Team volunteer program.
The CERT program will kick off with a basic training course that will offer an introduction into the world of emergency response. This is the first step in building a team of volunteers that can respond to emergencies and help out neighbors in times of need in Terrebonne and St. Mary parishes.
Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services may not be able to meet the initial demand. Factors such as the number of victims, communications failures, and road blockages will prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment’s notice through 911.
People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs. This is the role that CERT fills.
It is expected in a disaster that family members, fellow employees, and neighbors will spontaneously try to help each other. This was the case following the Mexico City earthquake of 1985 where untrained, spontaneous volunteers saved 800 people. However, 100 of the volunteers lost their lives while attempting to save others. This is a high price to pay and is preventable through training. This is where CERT basic training comes in.
The CERT basic training program includes disaster preparedness, fire safety, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, and terrorism.
To become a member of the CERT, those interested will need to attend all four classes of a basic training session. However, any missed classes may be made up during future sessions.
CERT basic training will be held 6-9 p.m., Feb. 8, 9, 15 and 16 at the North Branch of the Terrebonne Parish Library, 4130 W. Park. Ave., Gray, 985-868-3050, across from H.L. Bourgeois High School.
Due to high demand, the CERT basic training program will be first-come, first-serve. Those interested in St. Mary Parish should call Duval Arthur, 337-828-4100, Ext. 135; or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat.