Ever since I read Lucifer’s Hammer (which was followed two days later by the Southern California blackout!), the need to have emergency supplies on hand has been at the top of my mind.
It led to a not so successful volunteer attempt, but that led to more research and another opportunity. Some of you know about my guest post at an unusual site, and it was a similar site that told me about the concept of Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). Thanks to Google, I found out that my fair city had such a program, and I signed up for the next academy.
I was lucky to be part of a fantastic team, all of whom stuck out the entire training. After five weeks of classes, this last weekend was my final exam.
The final was a mock disaster search and rescue drill. We started the day by turning in our take-home final. I was pumped and ready to go. All we knew is that there would be very realistic looking volunteer “victims”, not to stand in front of anyone saying they are nauseated, and to never be more than arm’s length away from your partner. I was fortunate to be selected as the assistant to the Incident Commander (the volunteer in charge of the whole drill), where my organizational skills served us all well. It felt good to play an important role.
Now that I have graduated, I get to decide whether or not I want to continue or simply add this to my degree/certificate pile. I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I keep going both ways. In order for me to join the CERT team, I will now need to attend two team meetings and have two additional training sessions. I’m all for learning new things, and the upcoming classes sound so wonderful!!! What really bothers me about the whole thing is I’m not sure how comfortable I would be being the first person on the scene in case of a disaster. If I mess up, either myself or the person I’m trying to help might die. That doesn’t sit well with me. I keep repeating to myself what our instructors said, “They were injured, hurt and dying before you got there. They will be that way after you leave.” So long as I do what was taught, I can keep myself safe and help others.
I love the skills that I have picked up, and it really gave me the training I wanted for how to be better prepared for any type of emergency that might happen. I definitely want to help spread the word about emergency preparedness. This morning I was so excited when I saw on the CERT website that my team meeting was on a day when I would be able to attend. That’s a good sign for me continuing. Being on the team would be quite the Adventure Girl activity, wouldn’t it?
Would you be able to handle being among the first people on the scene in case of a disaster? Are you prepared if something happened in your part of the country?