Tacoma citizens 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 registration is open until March 15. 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., and at the Fire Prevention Classroom, 3471 S. 35th St. Classes will be on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on the following schedule:
Mar. 22 Introduction
Mar. 24 Disaster medical operations I
Mar. 29 Disaster medical operations II
Mar. 31 Fire safety and suppression
Apr. 5 Utility safety: Electricity and natural gas
Apr. 7 Light search and rescue operations
Apr. 9 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 registers is required to attend all six classes and the culminating practice exercise. For more information contact Patti McQuillin, Tacoma Fire Department, (253) 594-7946.