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Code Red

What would you do?

September 17, 2009
Maui Weekly

The training enables CERT members to support emergency responders in disaster situations, like tsunamis, earthquakes, fires, floods and hurricanes. The course also trains volunteers how to provide critical care when professional responders will not be immediately available. When a disaster occurs, you may very well be your own first-responder, and the first-responder for your coworkers, family and neighbors.

“In the event of a disaster, such as a hurricane or tsunami, when there is large scale damage and destruction, it may take some time before help comes,” said Maui Civil Defense Administrator Gen Iinuma. “The county government will be working and helping, but you will have to wait your turn.”

The training includes 24 hours of hands-on classroom instruction. Topics include: CERT organization, National Incident Management System (NIMS, used to form search teams), disaster preparedness, fire safety, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue operations, hazardous materials, terrorist incidents and disaster psychology.

Article Photos

Debra Lordan · Editor/General Manager

One of the objectives of this program is to educate citizens and then form small five- to seven-person neighborhood teams throughout the county—teams that will be called upon to help their neighbors following a major disaster.

The classes are taught by men and women of the Maui County Fire Department Training Section. They bring years of experience in all phases of emergency response, and are able to transcend the academic with their own experience.

Classroom instruction is followed by a “final,” an all-day simulated disaster exercise in which students put into practice all they have been taught. The day ends with an After Action Review in order to learn how to improve.

It is not only possible, but probable that professional emergency responders will be overburdened in the case of widespread disaster. They won’t be able to get to every neighborhood. Your actions could make all the difference. With this training, you and your CERT team members could save lives.

For details, and schedule information, or to sign up for the course, call Maui Civil Defense Hazard Mitigation Staff Specialist Bob Collum at 270-7285. Class size is limited, so sign up today. There is no fee and personal protective equipment is provided to each graduate.

We must not forget the potential of natural and manmade potentially cataclismics. They have tested us in the past, and will continue to do so in the future. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Prepare and train now. Don’t wait for an actual disaster to test your survival and emergency response skills.

You won’t be sorry if you do—you might be if you don’t.



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