Next CERT class to start March 17
Residents are encouraged to sign up for the Community Emergency Response Team training class set to begin March 17.
The Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, class is hosted by the Cape Coral Fire Department and is free for Cape residents. Each CERT class has eight sessions that meet weekly from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Emergency Operations Center, located at 1115 S.E. Ninth Ave.
CERT is part of the president’s USA Freedom Corps and Citizens Corp. Class participants learn basic training in fire suppression, search and rescue, first aid, CPR and AED, hazardous materials and generator and electrical safety.
“It goes over all disaster preparedness,” Mindy Blasetti, emergency management coordinator for the Cape Fire Department, said. “We never know when we’re going to be faced with that, and with hurricane season starting June 1, we’re trying to get residents trained.”
The class is taught by firefighters and paramedics and involves discussions on real-life situations. Open discussion is highly encouraged. The CERT class expands each participant’s knowledge and experience in dealing with storms and disasters.
According to Blasetti, a disaster can tax the city’s emergency personnel. By taking the class, residents know how to handle situations better on their own in case it takes emergency crews a while to reach them. It also gives them a little sense of security because they know what to do in different situations.
“This class gives them the confidence to handle a situation at home while waiting for someone to get there,” she said. “It helps them learn to take a lead role in a diaster situation.”
There are 36 seats available in the class. As of Tuesday, some had signed up for the class, but it was far from full, Blasetti said. The department will sign up participants until March 17 as long as there are seats available.
For information or to sign up for the CERT class, contact Blasetti at 242-3603 or firstname.lastname@example.org.