Johnson Countians will soon have an opportunity to receive emergency preparedness training in the event of a disaster, natural or man-made. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will begin a six-week training session on September 20th, 2012. The course is offered through Johnson County Emergency Management Agency.
The group will meet once a week for six weeks and will be trained on a wide array of topics that can occur in any emergency situation. According to Ellen Watkins, local Red Cross representative, the class will begin with fire safety and the proper use of a fire extinguisher. The students will learn basic first aid, such as how to treat burns, fractures and will learn how to splint a bone in order to stabilize the injured area. Students learn how to tie 20 different knots that will enable them to help rescue people in various situations.
Participants will be taught search and rescue procedures, including how to enter an area to locate individuals. It is in this class that CERT trainers often make use of a room filled with smoke or a strobe light to create adverse conditions in order to assist students to learn how to cope with difficult situations that may arise. According to Watkins, the students will learn how to triage the sick, determine the extent of their injuries, how to treat the most injured and where to put the deceased. The course will also include a psychology class that covers terrorism and events that could unfold, as well as the reactions of people to stress. WINGS will fly in and instruct the students in search and rescue, how to assist the helicopter with finding a place to land and to prepare the area. The sheriffs department and local fire departments will also be on hand. Students will also receive instructions on how spot dangerous storms. Because of this training, these individuals will be able to call in and report the information to officials.
According to Watkins, one of the many benefits of the class is that students will learn how to stop and assess any emergency situation before reacting. A run and offer immediate help is a natural reaction, explained Watkins, but those that act on that response are often the ones that get hurt. This all hands on course will give the information and skills necessary for many emergency situations.
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