COMMERCE CITY OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

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1 COMMERCE CITY OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT September 15, 2015

2 Introduction Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services. Factors such as number of victims, communication 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 lifesaving and life sustaining needs. One also expects that under these kinds of conditions, family members, fellow employees and neighbors will spontaneously try to help each other. This was the case following the Mexico City earthquake where untrained, spontaneous volunteers saved 800 people. However, 100 people lost their lives while attempting to save others. This is a high price to pay and is preventable through training. If we can predict that emergency services will not meet immediate needs following a major disaster, especially if there is no warning as in an earthquake and people will spontaneously volunteer, what can government do to prepare citizens for this eventuality? The answer is institute a CERT Program for their community. A CERT Program addresses the four necessary steps to prepare citizens: 1. First, present citizens the facts about what to expect following a major disaster in terms of immediate services. 2. Second, give the message about their responsibility for mitigation and preparedness. 3. Third, train them in needed lifesaving skills with emphasis on decision making skills, rescuer safety and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. 4. Fourth, organize teams so that they are an extension of first responder services offering immediate help to victims until professional services arrive. Background The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs. As a result, the LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with the purpose of training citizens and private and government employees. The training program that LAFD initiated makes good sense and furthers the process of citizens understanding their responsibility in preparing for disaster. It also increases their ability to safely help themselves, their family and their neighbors. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognizes the importance of preparing citizens. The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and the National Fire Academy adopted and expanded the CERT materials believing them applicable to all hazards. The CERT course will benefit any citizen who takes it. This individual will be better prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster. Additionally, if a community wants to Commerce City CERT Program 15 September 2015 Page 2 of 6

3 supplement its response capability after a disaster, civilians can be recruited and trained as neighborhood, business and government teams that, in essence, will be auxiliary responders. These groups can provide immediate assistance to victims in their area, organize spontaneous volunteers who have not had the training, and collect disaster intelligence that will assist professional responders with prioritization and allocation of resources following a disaster. Since 1993 when CERT training was made available nationally by FEMA, communities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico have conducted CERT training. Curriculum Overview The National Basic CERT Training Course consists of the following subjects: Unit 1 Disaster Preparedness (3 hours) Unit 2 Fire Safety and Utility Controls (3 hours) Unit 3 Disaster Medical Operations, Part 1 (3 hours) Unit 4 Disaster Medical Operations, Part 2 (3 hours) Unit 5 Light Search and Rescue Operations (3 hours) Unit 6 CERT Organization (2 hours) Unit 7 Disaster Psychology (1 hour) Unit 8 Terrorism and CERT (1 hour) Unit 9 Course Review, Final Exam, and Disaster Simulation (4 hours) Note: Commerce City CERT adds a Radio Communication Unit to the core curriculum (1 hour). Total training hours are 24. The training methods used to deliver the course information includes classroom lectures, hands-on skills practice, manipulative drills & testing, and real world disaster simulations. Each student will be provided the Basic Training Participant Manual. Commerce City CERT Program Commerce City CERT Program offers three levels of CERT Certification. The three levels are: Level 1 CERT Basic Level 2 CERT Neighborhood Level 3 CERT First Responder Level 1 CERT Basic This certification level is for those people who want to become better prepared to handle disasters/emergencies for their family and self. Requirements for Level 1 Certification 1. Completion of the 24-hour CERT Basic Course 2. Personal Disaster Preparedness Course (C 3 Ready 2 hours. This course is presented in Unit 1.) Commerce City CERT Program 15 September 2015 Page 3 of 6

4 Recommended Trainings & Tasks to Support Level 1 Certification 1. First Aid or EMT or Higher Certification Course 2. CPR/AED Certification Course 3. Ham Radio Certification Course 4. Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio 5. Register your cell phone for Reverse 911 Emergency Notifications at 6. Subscribe to CodeRED or WeatherAlert Weather Warning System 7. IS-22 Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness 8. IS-55.a Household Hazardous Materials A Guide for Citizens 9. IS-248 Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) for the American Public 10. IS-394.a Protecting Your Home or Small Business From Disaster 11. Download the American Red Cross Tornado Warning & Alert App for iphones & Droids Level 2 CERT Neighborhood This certification level is for those people who want to better prepare their neighborhoods by working with neighbors in disaster preparedness/response operations. Requirements for Level 2 Certification 1. Completion of the 24-hour CERT Basic Course 2. Personal Disaster Preparedness Course (C 3 Ready 2 hours. This course is presented in Unit 1.) 3. IS-22 Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness 4. IS-55.a Household Hazardous Materials A Guide for Citizens 5. IS-100.b Introduction to the Incident Command System, ICS IS-248 Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) for the American Public 7. IS-315 CERT Supplemental Training: The Incident Command System 8. IS-394.a Protecting Your Home or Small Business From Disaster 9. Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio 10. Register your cell phone for Reverse 911 Emergency Notifications at Recommended Trainings & Tasks to Support Level 2 Certification 1. First Aid or EMT or Higher Certification Course 2. CPR/AED Certification Course 3. Ham Radio Certification Course 4. Subscribe to CodeRED or WeatherAlert Weather Warning System 5. Download the American Red Cross Tornado Warning & Alert App for iphones & Droids Commerce City CERT Program 15 September 2015 Page 4 of 6

5 Level 3 CERT First Responder This certification level is for those people who want to work with the City and be part of the disaster response network. This group could be used in shelter operations, sand bag operations, evacuations, damage assessment surveys/windshield surveys, debris removal, food/water distribution, animal sheltering, traffic and crown control, and special events. Requirements for Level 3 Certification 1. Completion of the 24-hour CERT Basic Course 2. Personal Disaster Preparedness Course (C 3 Ready 2 hours. This course is presented in Unit 1.) 3. IS-22 Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness 4. IS-29 Public Information Officer Awareness 5. IS-55.a Household Hazardous Materials A Guide for Citizens 6. IS-100.b Introduction to the Incident Command System, ICS IS-248 Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) for the American Public 8. IS-315 CERT Supplemental Training: The Incident Command System 9. IS-394.a Protecting Your Home or Small Business From Disaster 10. IS-700.a Introduction to the National Incident Management (NIMS) 11. Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio 12. Register your cell phone for Reverse 911 Emergency Notifications at First Aid or EMT or Higher Certification Course 14. CPR/AED Certification Course 15. Disaster Service Worker Orientation Video (10 minutes) 16. Hazardous Materials First Responder Awareness (FRA) Course (Taught by the City) 17. Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) Orientation Course (Taught by the City) 18. Electrical and Natural Gas Emergencies Awareness Course (Taught by the City) 19. American Red Cross Shelter Operations Course 20. Pass a FBI level background check 21. Possess a clean driving record, must submit a DMV History Report 22. Pass the City s Drug test 23. Complete the City s Release of Liability form, must be on file Recommended Trainings & Tasks to Support Level 3 Certification 1. Ham Radio Certification Course 2. Subscribe to CodeRED or WeatherAlert Weather Warning System 3. CERT Train-The-Trainer Course 4. CERT Animal Response Module I 5. CERT Animal Response Module II 6. Flood Response for CERTS 7. CERT Traffic and Crowd Management Module 8. Salvation Army Mobile Feeding Unit Course Commerce City CERT Program 15 September 2015 Page 5 of 6

6 Conclusion CERT is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can make a difference. Through training, citizens can manage utilities and put out small fires; treat the three killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock; provide basic medical aid; search for and rescue victims safely and organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective. Contact Information Kirk Dominic Commerce City s Emergency Manager & CERT Program Administrator (303) Business Office #, 8am 5 pm Monday Friday Commerce City CERT Program 15 September 2015 Page 6 of 6

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