LAFD to offer emergency preparedness training

By David Lim

Two disaster preparedness training sessions will be offered for students and faculty on August 23 and 24. Those who complete the training will become certified members of the national Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. Participants will learn emergency skills such as triage and how to perform search and rescue in a mass casualty situation from representatives of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

After completing their training, the names of the CERT members will be put in a fire department database so that they can be called upon in case of a major disaster and  “utilized in [their] neighborhood on a search and rescue team or emergency team,” according to Head of Security Jim Crawford.

First-aid certification will also be awarded to trainees who complete either 7 am to 3 pm session.

On campus, CERT-certified students and faculty will help simulate more realistic disaster drills throughout the following year.
“We’re going to simulate a major earthquake at our school so when we do our drills and we start expanding them a little more we’re actually going to set up a triage area, set up a search team, and have our search team actually go to areas to search the building,” Crawford said. “These [CERT members] are going to be a resource when we actually have a real emergency.”

In addition to first responder training, participants will also learn about natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes that threaten their communities and about more common situations concerning fire and home safety.

Around 30 people showed up at the first CERT training offered in March. Crawford expects a similar sized group to join either of the upcoming two sessions based on RSVPs so far.