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Community Emergency Response Training Begins in March

by ARLnow.com January 28, 2011 at 9:38 am 1,885 23 Comments

Want to learn how to help your neighbors, co-workers or family in an emergency? If so, Arlington will be offering free emergency response training in March.

The training is part of the county’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program.

Recent news and weather headlines illustrate the importance of being prepared for and able to respond to all kinds of emergencies. That’s what Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is all about. This eight-session course, sponsored by the Arlington County Citizen Corps Council, Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Fire Department (ACFD), covers disaster preparedness, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, team organization, disaster psychology, fire suppression and terrorism. It follows a FEMA/DHS curriculum being used around the globe.

To-date, over 480 individuals have completed CERT training in Arlington County. It is open to Arlington residents – and those who work in the County but reside elsewhere — who are at least 18 years of age (16 if accompanied by at least one parent) and able to participate in all aspects of the training, some of which requires lifting and carrying. The training is free, but participants are expected to acquire certain supplies themselves, many of which you probably already have on-hand. All classes meet at the Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) Training Academy in Shirlington and are taught by ACFD and OEM staff and CERT members. Neighboring jurisdictions also offer CERT training for their residents.

Some complete this training simply to be safer in their own homes and workplaces. Others choose to complete additional requirements necessary to become active members of neighborhood teams trained to assist in major disasters. All help make Arlington County a safer place to live, work and play!

Spring CERT classes are scheduled to begin on March 16 and 22 and there are seats available in both that will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance registration is required. If you’d like additional information or would like to sign up, please contact the program’s volunteer coordinator, Cynthia Kellams, at [email protected]

  • KalashniKEV

    I’m all over this.

    • AllenB

      Are you sure? It’s to HELP your neighbors, not HURT your neighbors.

      • I’d much rather have Kev as a neighbor than a turd like you.

        • mehoo

          Because Kev would be the first to help you in a bad spot instead of letting you live with your own bad choices. Yeah, the perfect neighbor. :rolleyes:

          • KalashniKEV

            I think you fail to grasp the difference between a person in NEED of help and a person who has needs… to help themselves to what’s in your pocket, because that’s the only way they know to enrich themselves.

            It’s OK though… greater life experience can help. I hope that the greatest NEED you ever witness is a bum in need of a 40 oz. outside Courthouse Metro- and not someone who NEEDS a a tourniqet and blood expander, a bag of Ringers before they stroke out, a gunman to stop shooting them, a piece of a building to get off of them…

          • mehoo

            I know the difference, Kev. But unlike you, I don’t presume to know a person and which kind he has before finding out.

            Do YOU see the difference between those two things?

        • AllenB

          Welcome, TGEoA. I see you’re your usual bitter, nasty, old and decrepit self this morning.

      • KalashniKEV

        If you’ve payed any attention to my posts I’m not out to hurt anyone, quite the contrary. I’ve actually spent my entire life helping, and probably have some credentials to rival the insttrucors (though I sit down and shut up- I have been an instructor before and I know how that is).

        • AllenB

          I meant it as a joke. I should have added the ” 🙂 “.

          • KalashniKEV

            You hurt my feelings. Obama should have a beer summit. 🙂

            Maybe Michelle can wear a tank top.

          • AllenB

            I’m guessing that Michelle looks better in her tank top than either of us would.

          • KalashniKEV

            I don’t care if she’s the first lady and how trashy and inappropriate it is… it just feels oh-so-right…

          • AllenB

            I don’t think there is anything trashy or inappropriate about anything our First Lady wears. She looks, and acts, great.

        • mehoo

          But how do you know who to help and who to leave alone, Kev? Some people are responsible for their own predicaments and you’re only enabling them. Can you just take one look at someone and tell exactly how they got there with your magical powers and life experience?

  • ArlBlueSky

    What supplies would be needed, and approximately how much would they cost in total?

  • How many hours required? Wonder if they certify you in 1st aid,etc. Regardless, seems like a very good opportunity/service.

  • Julia Q.

    I’ve took the course a year or so ago, and I think it was useful, especially the first aid sections. I don’t think you leave the course with any first aid certification, though.

    As for supplies, all I ended up buying was a hard hat and some triage tape for about ten bucks or so. I already had a flashlight and other basic supplies.

    If I remember correctly, there were six four-hour classes, but some of them ended early. The classes were followed by a final exam. To become an official CERT member, you have to pass two online classes offered by FEMA, but Cynthia would know best. Thanks for your interest!

    • ArlBlueSky

      FEMA, possible deal breaker there.

      • Julia Q.

        You’re free to take the training without taking the FEMA classes, FWIW.

    • kay

      there are also two field exercise type training days, usually on weekends. you don’t get any first aid certification though.

  • Anon

    For those who may actually be interested…


    Having taught a few CERT first aid courses (as a volunteer Firefighter/EMT-B), I can say it’s a good way to get involved in helping protect your community without going as far as becoming a full-fledged volunteer or paid first responder.

    Good luck to those who sign up!

  • My fiancee and took the CERT classes a few years ago. I think there’s a lot of great info to be attained from attending. You’ll walk away with a lot more information than what you came in with and, best of all, it’s free.

    Cynthia, the person who’s in charge of Arlington CERT, is a tireless volunteer and a real asset to the community.

  • Katie

    These classes are awesome…highly recommend.


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