Fire Department offers emergency response training

Tacoma residents who want to learn how to prepare for and respond to disasters can sign up now for the Tacoma Fire Department’s Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) classes.

The goal of the CERT program is to teach people how to help each other in their neighborhoods in the first few minutes or hours following a disaster – before emergency responders are able to arrive on the scene.

CERT class sign ups are open until Sept. 24. Up to 25 people will be selected to take part in the series of six classes that will be held at the Fire Training Center, 2124 Marshall Ave., on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on the following schedule:

*Oct. 5 – Introduction

*Oct. 7 – Disaster medical operations I

*Oct. 12 – Disaster medical operations II

*Oct. 14 – Utility safety: Electricity and natural gas

*Oct. 19 – Fire safety and suppression

*Oct. 21 – Light search and rescue operations

*Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Exercise to practice learned skills

The CERT training is a free program taught by uniformed firefighters with special experience in each particular area or subject matter experts.

Although CERT training is free, students will be asked to supply some basic safety gear. Anyone who signs up is required to attend all six classes and the culminating practice exercises.

For more information contact Patti McQuillin, Tacoma Fire Department, (253) 594-7946.