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Training Thursday for CERT volunteers

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POSTED September 7, 2009 1:29 a.m.

They were there during the 12-hour standoff in the aftermath of Thursday’s bank robbery directing traffic and assisting Manteca Police with logistics.


They have responded within minutes to help police look for missing children.


They were credited with saving one elderly woman from dying of heat stroke during a triple-digit heat wave three years ago when they volunteered to check at-risk seniors in mobile home parks.


They also help with parades, assist with securing the perimeter at murder investigations, and do other services.


They are remembers of Manteca’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).


Volunteers interested in becoming CERT members may do so by participating in free training that starts Thursday, Sept. 10, and runs for six weeks at the Manteca District Ambulance offices on East Center Street.


At the training participants will learn the needed skills to be an active member of the CERT program, which is part of the United States emergency management plan.  Manteca has more than 40 members on the team.  A number of them have been involved in large scale disasters across America and many missions right here in Manteca.


Members will learn basic first aid, light rescue, basic fire suppression, group management and disaster management.  The class will allow those who attend to apply to be a member of the Manteca disaster service workers cadre of volunteers.   For more information those interested can contact the CERT leader Jesse Ramirez at 209-471-2306 for an application.   


Additional information on the CERT team can also be found at www.mantecapd.com/cert   


The CERT concept was born out of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake when Los Angeles authorities were hampered by a large number of volunteers who wanted to help assist but were completely unprepared on what to do. The CERT approach - training a small army of citizen volunteers in basic disaster preparedness and how to lead other volunteers without putting them in danger - was developed.


The CERT training focuses on light search and rescue as well as how to assess a situation to see whether it can be handled without waiting for emergency crews.


Manteca CERT members are equipped with basic equipment such as an identifying vest, gloves, hard that with light and basic first aid materials. The idea is that they will be ready to assist in a major event such as a flood by being integrated into the emergency agencies responding to the disaster.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com

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