CERT program helps prepare Lubbock residents for any disaster - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

CERT program helps prepare Lubbock residents for any disaster

On Sunday more than a dozen people in Lubbock completed the CERT program, Community  Emergency Response Teams, a course designed to train people for any type of disaster that might occur at home or in the community.

"I had heard about it before from some friends and thought I should definitely sign up for it," said Troy Lescher, a Texas Tech University graduate student. "It sounds like a pretty fascinating volunteer opportunity."

Lescher was one of 15 students that took the free 20 hour course this weekend put on by the South Plains Citizens Corps and funded by Homeland Security.

On Sunday they finished up the course with teams doing a search and rescue for hurt children in a mock disaster situation at the Lubbock Fire Training Facility. "We've got a lot of information rolling around in our heads today, and now we're trying to put it into action. It was hectic because from the class room to actually applying it in the field is a very different thing," said Lescher.

"The course was really stressful. We had to rescue three kids that were hurting, and we had to brace their arms," said Alexa-Rae Gist, a Coronado High School senior who took finished the course. "I think it was really important. It was learning experience"

The group also learned several other life saving skills like CPR. "Our students will go through modules where they'll learn about disaster preparedness, what to have on hand, first aid kits, food and water supplies to have ready, and how to be prepared if there is a situation that occurs," said Sean Finkbone, CERT instructor.

The Citizens Corps puts on these courses several times each year; this weekend's was the third since January. Once students finish the course their name goes into a roster. If CERT is activated by a local emergency agency then the volunteers can be called on to help in those disasters.

If you would like sign up for a course you can call the Citizens Corps at 806-762-8721 or email spcitizenscorps@spag.org

Copyright 2011 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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