For those of you who have always wondered what Maui's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is all about, now is your chance.
The public is invited to Maui High School in Kahului on Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a live disaster response exercise, where you will have the opportunity to observe CERT volunteers demonstrate their skills.
CERT volunteers will compete in timed events designed to reinforce specific CERT skills: assessing damaged buildings, cribbing, search and rescue with victim triage and splinting.
This exercise is also intended to generate public interest, volunteer involvement and enthusiasm for community preparedness. That's where you come in.
No one wants to focus on the negative, but here are the cold, hard facts: We live in one of the most isolated places on the planet, and we don't have enough professional emergency staff to handle a large-scale emergency. Our island supply of food is limited. And unfortunately, we are overdue for "a bad thing."
There are more than 350 CERT-trained citizens all over Maui, but with a population of almost 160,000, more volunteers are needed. During a disaster, the number and scope of incidents increase dramatically and professional responders will not be immediately available in all areas. To fill the gap, CERT members are trained to render critical support to professional responders by providing immediate assistance to victims at a disaster site.
In short, CERT graduates know how to "do the most good for the most people in the least amount of time."
Sponsored by Maui Civil Defense Agency and the Maui Fire Department, the CERT program provides free training in community disaster response skills.
But for now, just bring a picnic lunch (and plenty of water) and enjoy the shaded Maui High School grounds. Observe the exercise, and then, during the lunch break, CERT members will be available to share their training and experiences.
At the end of the event, there will be door prize drawings open to all (18 years and older) attending the event. You must be present at the drawing to win.
Register for the drawings in the school cafeteria from 8 a.m. through mid-day.
Don't be a victim. A real disaster will certainly be no picnic. Learn how to be a rescuer and problem-solver.