Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Deputies completed training a new cadre of Community Emergency Response Team members in the unincorporated community of Val Verde on Tuesday. The course was held at Val Verde Park and hosted in partnership with Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation.
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Lead CERT Instructor Gary Scott and an experienced cadre of Sheriff’s Department CERT volunteer instructors provided seven evenings of the FEMA “All Hazards” CERT curriculum. The goal was to better prepare community members for emergencies at home and work, and to help them establish family plans for potential disasters. Students worked as a team and had classroom instruction as well as ‘hands-on” practical skills training.
Val Verde was especially affected by the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and could potentially be isolated in the event of another disaster, because of limited entry and exit points. The CERT course stressed the need for enhanced community preparedness efforts and the need for resiliency by encouraging the concept of neighbors helping neighbors.
Additionally the instructor cadre incorporated members of the Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Service. These volunteers shared the benefits of using amateur radio for CERT operations. Radio communication was included in the final exercise, where all the students were challenged in several training areas ranging from triage and medical treatment to light search and rescue.
Greg Kimura, president of the Val Verde Civic Organization, attended the CERT Course and expressed the community’s commitment to follow-up training, keeping preparedness efforts at the forefront of Val Verde’s priorities.
To learn more about CERT across the nation, click here for information on preparedness, community service programs and resources.
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Source: Santa Clarita News