New group of CERT volunteers graduate

DOWNEY - The City of Downey hosted Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training on three consecutive Saturdays earlier this month (October 1, 8 and 15).Thirty-seven community members attended all three training sessions to earn their certification, the largest number of class graduates in recent memory. The CERT training was free. CERT training is delivered by Downey firefighters. The 20 hours of training consisted of both classroom and field activities. Students finish their CERT training with a disaster simulation activity. The students learned about emergency preparedness and to how to extinguish small fires. They were also trained to perform light search and rescue duties, assess damage after an emergency, deliver limited first-aid and how to organize and procure emergency supplies. CERT training is helpful for everyone in the community. Students learn their first priority is emergency preparedness for themselves and their family. Their next priority is to take care of themselves and their families immediately after an emergency. Once their family needs are met, CERT members can begin to address the needs of their neighborhoods. The October CERT class was held at Calvary Chapel on Woodruff Avenue. The students and training staff all appreciated the church staff's efforts to make the training possible. Many of the recent CERT graduates will become involved with the current members of the Downey CERT and provide volunteer services to the community. The CERT group meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at Fire Station #1 at 12222 Paramount Blvd for a business meeting and training session. The meetings are held in the Emergency Operations Center located behind the main fire station. Downey CERT members are an active volunteer group. They serve as the staff for many emergency preparedness events such as the water barrel distributions, public information booths, and the annual flu vaccination clinics. The next Community Emergency Response Training course is scheduled for April of 2012. Interested community members with questions or comments regarding CERT can send an e-mail to

********** Published: October 27, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 28