Palo Alto, California, to start CERT training course

The city of Palo Alto, California, recently announced that it will begin its next training for the Community Emergency Response Team on April 7.

The next training course will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays through April 23 on Stanford University's campus. The course will conclude with a five-hour Saturday graduation session on April 26.

The course will cover eight units in total, including terrorism, CERT team organization, disaster psychology, light search and rescue, disaster medical operations, fire safety and disaster preparedness.

Individuals who cannot attend the spring course can take a fall course that begins on October 14 or a course from Palo Alto's regional partners, the Mountain View Office of Emergency Services and the Sunnyvale Office of Emergency Services.

The CERT program trains community members in basic disaster response skills, including disaster medical operations, light search and rescue and small fire suppression. CERT members can use the training learned from exercises and the classroom to help others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event. CERTs can save lives because professional responders are not always immediately available to help after some disasters.

CERTs are deployed in multiple groups, including neighborhood local response teams, citywide field teams, medical teams, shelter and human services teams, public works and flood/storm teams and logistics teams.

The Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services seeks to coordinate the efficient and unified use of city resources, community resources and outside agencies to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from all hazards.