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Free Emergency Preparedness Classes

by Katie Pyzyk — February 6, 2013 at 9:55 am 659 10 Comments

CERT training class (courtesy photo)From fires to health scares to severe storms, emergencies can occur at any time and being prepared is key. Arlington County is offering free classes to train residents how to help themselves and others if an emergency occurs.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training began 10 years ago in Arlington and 575 residents have completed the program in that time. The hands-on training covers topics such as disaster preparedness, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, team organization, disaster psychology, fire suppression and terrorism.

One example of what CERT members do was evident last June during the derecho. Members assisted the community in various capacities immediately following the storm, often as points of contact when calls weren’t getting through to 911.

CERT training class (courtesy photo)“We had people strategically posted at fire stations to dispatch the right help to where it was needed,” said Arlington County Office of Emergency Management Director Jack Brown. “The community response teams, CERT, they really stepped up to the plate.”

There are two training sessions scheduled for next month, one beginning on March 7 and the other on March 12. Each session includes eight classes which will meet on six weeknights and two Saturdays. All classes meet at the Arlington County Fire Department Training Academy in Shirlington and are taught by ACFD and Office of Emergency Management staff, as well as active duty CERT members.

Advance registration is required to participate in the classes, and there are still some spots left for the March training. Those interested should email the program’s volunteer coordinator, Cynthia Kellams, at ArlingtonCERT@gmail.com. Participants must be Arlington residents who are at least 18 years old.

  • Hee-Haw

    All you need: crates of water, gallons of milk, toilet paper, and dozens of D batteries you’ll never use.

  • Not Me

    I believe that a mass shooting preparedness training class may be more apropo.

    • CourthouseChris

      If media hype is your sole means of threat assessment then yes, that is correct.

  • paranoid

    Several years ago when a gas tanker blew up on I95 and shut off north / south traffic from Baltimore to whatever is north of Maryland I came to the conclusion that we are doomed should the Wilson Bridge blow up. It was at this point I began to stockpile MRE’s in my safe room.

  • Lee

    My Arlington CERT training helped me save a life when a friend fell down a stone staircase & was bleeding profusely from his head. While others went into panic, I knew what to do: assign someone to call emergency; stanch the bleeding by applying pressure & keep him still. This could happen at work, at home or when travelling. Get the training- it lasts a lifetime.

    • AL

      Wow! Way to go! Where did you learn your training?!

      • Lee

        Arlington CERT (see article).

  • ArlCERT

    CERT training is also open to those who work in Arlington County but reside elsewhere. However, most local jurisdictions have their own CERT programs and they’re well worth checking out!

  • thealf

    its good to know how to help and best if you don’t need to do it

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