We recently learned that the City of Seattle Office of Emergency Management has cancelled their CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training classes for 2015. We were quite surprised by this announcement, as their program was relatively new; it launched in the fall of 2011. Several members of our West Seattle Be Prepared group, as well as some of the hub captains from other Seattle neighborhoods, felt lucky to be part of the first “pilot” class of Seattle CERT graduates.
Cancellation of Seattle’s CERT training for 2015 now raises the question about other nearby locations where CERT classes are offered. If you are interested in CERT training, you can find info on the King Country OEM website here. As well, visit the FEMA website, which has additional information about CERT here, including a zipcode-based search.
CERT classes are skills-based; they include hands-on training in Light Search and Rescue, Disaster First Aid, Controlling Utilities, and other information that can help you help others following a major disaster.
We’ll close by noting that the annual CERT Expo is coming up on August 15th at Renton Technical College. This is not the full program of CERT training classes, but rather an opportunity to learn and practice skills and connect with others who are involved in CERT.
Added 6/11/15: I found this interesting article about CERT training in my newsfeed today. Nice job by a writer in Lake Oswego, Oregon; he provides some useful insights and perspective on this training and raises many relevant questions.