CERT training brings power to the people

By Kim Steele

Bartlett Express Editor


When it comes to disasters, the Bartlett Fire Department is all about preparedness throughout the community.

That’s why it’s offering Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 20 and 27 at the Bartlett Station Municipal Center, 5868 Stage Road. The two-day event is free and open to the public, and will provide local and state certification to participants.

“Knowledge is power, and being trained before a disaster strikes will help volunteers deal with emergencies calmly and effectively,” said coordinator Laura Jenkins. “These classes provide training so participants can help others.”

Jenkins said CERT teams assist with community emergency plans, neighborhood exercises, preparedness outreach, fire safety education and workplace safety. She said CERT teams are known and trusted resources to emergency responders and their communities.

CERT training takes about 20 hours to complete, said Jenkins, and provides critical skills. Participants learn how to identify and anticipate hazards, extinguish small fires, conduct light search and rescue missions, set up medical treatment areas, apply basic medical techniques and help reduce survivor stress.

Jenkins said CERT training is vital for Neighborhood Watch groups, community leaders, parents, faith communities, teachers and school administrators, and members of clubs and civic organizations. All participants must be at least 18 years of age.

Jenkins said about 30 volunteers attend each class, and since CERT training began in Bartlett, about 200 people have been certified. She said those graduates have the skills to help emergency responders save lives and protect property.

“If we have a major disaster, the firefighters, paramedics and police may not be able to help everyone right away,” said Jenkins. “We know that our CERT teams can get out there, assess situations and provide assistance in those early hours until more help arrives.”

Applications can be picked up at the Bartlett Station Municipal Center, or email bartlettcert@cityofbartlett.org to receive and return an emailed application. For more information, call 901-385-5536.