Matthew, age 17, completed San Miguel Fire Department’s CERT Academy with his father. He has obtained his CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) and DSW (Disaster Service Worker) cards. Upon completion of the course, which takes place in four, consecutive, full-day Saturdays, the volunteer receives a CERT backpack with basic emergency essentials, including uniform. The San Miguel Fire Department’s CERT program has non-mandatory drills each month in order to keep volunteers well practiced. People are welcome to show up to a drill. Non certified people will be able to participate in classroom discussion and watch hands-on drills.
FEMA’S CERT (Crisis Emergency Response Team) Program is FREE. Usually ages 16-18 must go through Teen Cert, which is located at participating schools. However, Chief Michael Good of San Miguel Fire Department allows students 16 and 17 years old to attend and graduate from CERT Academy with participation of a parent/guardian. This course enables people to first and foremost take care of their families in the event of a disaster. After families are safe, then a CERT volunteer helps neighbors.
“What began as a spontaneous grin and nod of the head, “Why not?” turned into earning a CPR and Disaster Service Worker card, a backpack with basic emergency supplies, and a uniform. I chose to remain active with CERT and train with the fire captain once a month, becoming more acquainted with equipment and rescue tactics. Because of this, I feel confident and better equipped to serve my family, neighbors, and community in an emergency or crises event.” ~ Matt Nacar