CERT training sessions begin Thursday

LIHU‘E — The County of Kaua‘i has scheduled Community Emergency Response Training courses with upcoming classes in Lihu‘e and Hanalei

The disaster and emergency preparedness course, which is tailored to citizens and taught by firefighters, is free to full and part-time residents, as a part of a program sponsored by the Kaua‘i Fire Department and the Kaua‘i Civil Defense Agency, according to a county news release.

“The No. 1 most effective thing we can do for ourselves and each other in the event of an emergency is be prepared,” says Kaua‘i Fire Chief Robert Westerman. “During a massive disaster, such as a hurricane, assistance from a first responder is not immediately guaranteed. The CERT program allows us to be proactive and train residents in basic disaster response so they become equipped to assist family members and neighbors until help arrives.”

During the training, participants learn about different types of disasters and how to prepare and respond. Topics such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and medical operations, such as first aid, will be covered, according to the release.

Lihu‘e classes will be held every Thursday, beginning this Thursday, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. through March 28 at the Kaua‘i Fire Department headquarters located in the Pi‘ikoi Building of the Lihu‘e Civic Center, Ste. 315.

Trainings will also be held from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Hanalei Community Center every Tuesday, from March 5 through April 9.

Participants are required to complete all six courses in order to become a CERT member. Missed classes can be made up during a later session.

Additional courses will be offered around the island throughout the year in hopes of having CERT members in every neighborhood across Kaua‘i.

“While the goal is to have a team of volunteers willing and able to respond in the event of a disaster, that commitment isn’t required in order to participate in the course,” Westerman says. “The program’s basic purpose is simply to give people the tools to they need to care for themselves and each other during a disaster.”

For more information on the CERT program, visit www.kauai.gov/cert or call 645-0661. To request an ASL Interpreter, materials in an alternate format or other auxiliary aid support, contact CERT Coordinator John Cornell by phone at 645-0661 or via email at kfdcert@kauai.gov at least seven days prior to the course you wish to attend.


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