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CERT trainings have graduated 200 people
BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. -- More than 200 local people have recently graduated from a program that makes them part of a community emergency response team otherwise known as CERT.
Ive seen some people that need help and it just didn't come right away, said student Charlene Johnson.
That is where the specially-trained CERT volunteers come in.
To take care of themselves, their homes, their family and their neighborhood, said CERT instructor Thomas Robison.
We train the average citizen to respond to an emergency appropriately and to not be overwhelmed by it.
They are not being trained as first responders, it doesn't enable them to actually go out and do any emergency work, said Robison. Instead it helps them learn to stabilize the situation.
One of the examples is when somebody gets in a car wreck one of the first things people run over and drag them out of the car, said Robison. Even though they may be in an urban area where the providers are coming, if there's no danger or fire maybe that is not the best course of action.
Thursday the students were learning how to properly bandage a wound.
It is something certified nurses assistant Charlene Johnson is used to but shes here to learn even more.
I'm increasing my training, said Johnson. I was a certified nurses aide, and I'm making sure what I cant do and can do, if I do get called out to help.
After the wound is taken care of students learned how to move someone who is hurt so they do not suffer any more injuries.
We have trained 204 students. We have a class of 29 people next week, its growing fast the interest is there.
The idea is that community members will be able to take care of each other in case of an extreme emergency.
They will know how to prepare the area so when emergency responders arrive, they'll go to the most pressing needs first, said Robinson. They don't have to waste their time sizing out the situation because that will already have been done by the CERT team.
Training sessions are held in Blair County, but not limited to Blair County residents.
Each course is 20 hours long, but spread out over a period of a two to four weeks.
It is free of charge and each student gets an emergency kit when they complete the course.
Visit our website for more information: wjactv.com.