Community Emergency Response Team
In 2014, the Shawnee Emergency Management Office established a local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Currently, there are 35 members of Shawnee's CERT.
The CERT program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can give critical support to their family, loved ones, neighbors or associates in their immediate area until help arrives. When help does arrive, CERTs provide useful information to first responders and support their efforts, as directed, at the disaster site. CERT members can also assist with non-emergency projects that improve the safety of the community. CERTs have been used to distribute and/or install smoke alarms, replace smoke alarm batteries in the home of elderly, distribute disaster education material, provide services at special events, such as parades, sporting events, concerts and more.
About CERT Training
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training teaches disaster preparedness, ICS principles and disaster response skills. CERT-trained individuals have a higher awareness, greater resiliency in the wake of a disaster and the ability to supplement and complement professional responders. This training requires 20 hours (minimum) and grants a FEMA-recognized certification.
The CERT Curriculum
- DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: This gives an overview of disasters with a special look at how they'll affect Shawnee and the surrounding area. The Shawnee CERT training program gives special attention on how to prepare before a disaster strikes, including preparedness and hazard mitigation.
- FIRE SAFETY: Instructions begins with the basics of fire chemistry and students learn about the hazards they already have in their home and workplace. This includes instruction on operating fire extinguishers and students hone their technique in a live-fire exercise.
- DISASTER MEDICAL OPERATIONS I: Students learn to identify life-threatening conditions in a technique known as "triage." Additionally, they will be trained to immediately treat victims for the three deadliest killers in mass-casualty incidents.
- DISASTER MEDICAL OPERATIONS II: This extends the medical view into public health considerations, as well as giving hands-on training in establishing treatment areas, conducting head-to-toe Assessments and wound care for types of injuries typically seen in disasters.
- LIGHT SEARCH AND RESCUE: We teach the fundamentals of light urban search and rescue, including size-up, entry, search patterns, rescuer safety and victim extrication.
- CERT ORGANIZATION: When disaster strikes, sometimes getting started is the most difficult step. CERT organization will teach the decision-making skills to organize, as well as a NIMS-compliant vocabulary to fit into larger Emergency Response organizations.
- DISASTER PSYCHOLOGY: The mind is the most important tool – as well as the most delicate. This unit teaches individual and team well-being, from what to expect going into a disaster to working with survivors' trauma and post-traumatic stress.
- TERRORISM AWARENESS: Terrorism is a criminal act and its prevalence is only growing. CERT class introduces the concepts, motivations and tools common among terrorists to create a heightened state of awareness, reducing the possibility that CERT graduates will be the next terrorism statistic.
- The Shawnee CERT training and training updates are conducted locally at the Shawnee Fire Department and/or Police Justice Center. Both the facilities are made available to our volunteers to meet their training needs.