Sunday, November 10, 2013

• CERT Training Classes - Wildomar

   What is CERT ? 
 (hint, there is no "Retsyn")

It's a three day class, that is designed to prepare you to be
able to assist the community in the event of an emergency.

 Day one is on a Friday Evening
It's comprised of lecture/discussion with plenty of class participation.
PowerPoint presentation
Topics such as:
Various disasters that are possible, area vulnerability (from regionally all the way down to the room you're in —where's the fire extinguisher or the AED (automated external defibrillator) located?) Developing a disaster plan, removing dangers around the house, emergency food and water storage. Too many things to list... you'll learn when you attend. 

 The class for the first day/evening runs from 5:30pm to 8:30pm, though ours went long. I think the timing can vary depending on the amount of class participation (we had a lot, which was enjoyable, until the clock hit 8:35  —and I ran out of gas).  

I'm going to sleep now or be grouchy... you choose.

Remember to bring some bottled water...
even if it isn't Summer, it's good to stay hydrated.


 Day Two

Getting our CERT backpacks

This backpack was full of goodies. A CERT vest, Helmet, goggles, pry bar, caution tape, LED flashlight, gloves and many other handy things. The cost of the bags were taken care of by federal grants.

Practice Drills
Proper use of a Fire Extinguisher
Michelle and Bobby Swann knocking down a raging fire!

Simple Triage And Rapid Treatment
Instructor Zuzzette Bricker holding the yellow portable stretcher
while Grace Morabito lies down with many injuries (just ask her).


 Day Three 

Sunday morning started with more discussion... Yeah!
 Learning about Cribbing

NOT that kind of cribbing...

 If you think life size "Jenga" you'll have a good picture in your mind.

Cribbing is a temporary framework used to support a fallen object that is trapping a person. We used 4"x 4"s to brace the object (the trailer ramp in this exercise), as it was being jacked up by a pry bar on a fulcrum, that was also being 'built' with 4"x 4"s.

  Drill Baby Drill 
After breaking for lunch we came back to a disaster... a simulated earthquake. There were six victims that were in a dark room (though we didn't start with a head count). It was a rather large room, with "debris" everywhere. Though we all knew it was a drill, we did take it seriously and it was a bit nerve wracking putting our training to use. 

The 'victims' played their parts very well... between their 'acting' and the special effects make up they had on, it was nearly convincing. We were so caught up in it, I didn't take any pictures.


In conclusion, I'm very happy I took the class,
and that my wife was able to also.
I'd highly recommend it.

It's true that CERT is designed for disasters where professional First Responders are in high demand, and can't get to the scene in the usual amount of time. CERT is also used for other things. Most recently CERT was activated during the search of David Soto (the special needs student that went missing). 

In addition to the info and training, it was a good opportunity to meet, and get to know, other members of the community. Though the odds of ever being pressed into service for a true catastrophic emergency are minimal, it's good to get a glimpse of what our first responders deal with on a recurring basis.


The only thing that was difficult about this class, was that it took the entire weekend —and the Friday 5:30 start time.

I can see how this would ace out many that would otherwise like to participate. Perhaps they'll be able to tailor a future class that is four Saturday mornings, at five hours a clip, to get the requisite 20 hours in.

The next class is already scheduled for
February 21, 22 and 23, 2014

Sign up early... like now!


We have cool helmets and vests... and you don't.


  1. Thanks Joe Great job showing us what the CERT class is all about! I am all signed up for next year!

    1. Rose, glad the blog was helpful. You'll be glad you attended for many reasons. It was informative and a great way to engage in discussion of the topics with people from the area.

  2. Lake Elsinore breaks their CERT program into 3 hour increments over 6 days with last class usually on Saturday for 5 hours. Makes it much easier on working people.
    Kenny Mayes

    1. Thanks for the info. On the one hand it's nice to be able to finish the training in only a few days, but like you mentioned, it's tough on those with traditional working schedules.


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