Seven-week CERT class scheduled

Citizens interested in helping in an emergency are encouraged to sign up for a Community Emergency Response Training course in Lovell.

Sponsored by Big Horn County Emergency Management, the CERT course will be held every Tuesday from March 19 through April 30 at the Big Horn County Annex in Lovell. Each class is scheduled to run from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Big Horn County Emergency Management Coordinator John Hyde said CERT is deigned to build up a community emergency response corps in the event of a major emergency when first responders may be overwhelmed.CERT-color

“Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services,” Hyde said. “Factors such as number of victims, communication failures and road blockages will prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment’s notice through 911. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs.

“One also expects that, under these kinds of conditions, family members, fellow employees and neighbors will spontaneously try to help each other. This was the case following the Mexico City earthquake where untrained, spontaneous volunteers saved 800 people. However, 100 people lost their lives while attempting to save others. This is a high price to pay and is preventable through training.”

Topics during the course will include disaster preparedness, fire safety and how to suppress small fires, triage, treating basic injuries, conducting light search and rescue operations, CERT organization, disaster psychology, terrorism and disaster simulation.

“You can be taught how to prepare yourself and your family for a disaster, some very basic firefighting skills, disaster first aid, search and rescue techniques, dealing with the psychological side of disasters and terrorism,” Hyde said.

For more information call Hyde at 548-2516 or 307-254-4967 or Dennis Woodward at 548-2409 or 272-7073.

Pre-registration is required, and the deadline is March 10, Hyde said.