Branson Fire & Rescue will present a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training program at the fire department’s Joint Emergency Training Center located in the Factory Merchants Mall property starting October 7, 2014. The training will be held on Tuesday nights for eight weeks from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
CERT training focuses on community member readiness to help in times of disaster as seen most recently in our local community during the flooding in 2011 and the EF2 tornado that traveled along West Highway 76 and into the downtown area in 2012. Following a disaster, emergency response agencies such as fire, police, and ambulance crews may be overwhelmed with calls for help and unable to meet the high volume of demand for services. CERT trained community members can provide immediate assistance in their neighborhood until emergency responders arrive.
The City of Branson has successfully presented this federally developed program and has utilized community CERT member’s at large events, local disasters such as the flooding and tornado, and even deployed a team of 12 citizens to Joplin following the devastating EF5 tornado to assist in the search for tornado victims.
“The CERT program focuses on teaching community members basis skills related to disaster responses such as fire and rescue operations, search and rescue, disaster psychology, team organization, and disaster preparedness,” stated Captain Paul Harkins who also coordinates the fire department’s CERT program.
This training is free to local community members. For more information or to register for this program, please contact Branson Fire & Rescue at (417) 243-2790.