California city plans disaster preparedness class

The Solano County, California-based Vacaville Community Response Training program recently announced that its spring session for CERT training will begin on April 17.

The VCERT program is holding the session to find additional volunteers to join and create teams throughout Vacaville that could be called into action the next time disaster strikes. The classes are free for Vacaville residents ages 18 and up. Sponsorships are also available to offset training costs for non-Vacaville residents.

The five-week, 20-hour course is broken into six sessions. The sessions focus on emergency preparedness, disaster psychology, fire safety and light search and rescue, emergency medical operations, terrorism and a disaster simulation exercise.

The spring session runs from April 17 to May 17, including five consecutive Thursday evening sessions and a half-day Saturday session to conclude the course.

According to the VCERT program, local officials and emergency responders may not be able to reach all local residents following a disaster. Residents who have prepared in advance can work as a team to provide essential services to their neighborhood, workplace and family in the event of a disaster.

The mission of VCERT is to harness the power of all individuals through training, education and volunteer service to make communities stronger, safer and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, public health issues, disasters and crime.