Emergency preparedness topic at gathering | RecordCourier.com

Emergency preparedness topic at gathering

by Anita Kornoff

Is your family prepared for a disaster such as wildfire, earthquake or flood? The community comes together on 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 11 at Lampe Park in Gardnerville for a day of potentially life-saving information. The event is sponsored by Douglas County Community Emergency Response Team and the Douglas County Division of Emergency Management. The program is designed to educate volunteers in disaster preparedness. It informs the community regarding the hazards that may impact their area and helps train them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

CERT began in this country over a quarter of a century ago when Frank Borden (a now-retired former Assistant Fire Chief) introduced the CERT Concept to Los Angeles where the program has remained in effect ever since. It all started in 1985 when Borden and a group of Los Angeles fire officials traveled to Japan to learn how the Japanese responded to disastrous earthquakes. What they never expected was to experience the deadly Kyoto Earthquake when it struck while they were there. They got to see first-hand the significant role that community participants played in post-disaster support and response. LAFD officials observed that every-day people e.g., neighbors and passers-by, became “first responders” when the quake struck, often digging with their bare hands to help free trapped victims. The preparedness training in place was so impressive that within a year, the Los Angeles Fire Department created a pilot program to teach a core group of community members about basic fire suppression, first aid, search, and evacuation techniques. The first 30 people who completed the training demonstrated the effectiveness of the CERT concept. The idea proved so valuable that it has spread to other states including Nevada. This year marks the 3rd annual CERT Community Safety Day in Douglas County designed to educate the public in emergency preparedness. The whole family is invited to spend the day at this invaluable free event

“Annual community safety day is a way to consolidate resources in one location for people to see what equipment and resources are available to assist families in an emergency and help everyone get prepared,” says David Thomas, CERT Coordinator. “Topics covered include, Help Develop Your Emergency Plans, Learn Where to Go & What to Do in a Disaster, Build Kits for Disaster & Evacuation Supplies.”

Thirty exhibitors will be on site at Lampe Park from the fire and sheriff’s dept., Nevada Division of Forestry; Dept. of Land Management, Douglas Dispatch, Flood Control, Carson Valley Medical Center, the K-9 Unit, Care Flight, Ham Radio clubs, Citizen’s Patrol, and the Tahoe-Douglas Bomb Squad unit to share the latest equipment and information. There will also be food booths, fire extinguishing demonstrations, and the latest emergency apparatus and equipment will be on display.

“Let’s not forget the all-important ‘Hands-Only’ CPR training,” continued Thomas. “Even if you’ve taken a CPR class before, it’s always a good idea to spend as little as 10 minutes to refresh your skills. It’s offered for free on Annual Health Day and there’s even a class for kids.”

For more information, call David Thomas 691-8709 or email tvfd.dt@gmail.com.

Contact Anita Kornoff at museummatters1@gmail.com