After you have taken the CERT training, it is important to both improve and refresh your skills. In February, Mill Valley CERTs gathered to spend the morning doing just that.

On a sunny Saturday morning in late February, 18 Mill Valley CERTs gathered at the Public Safety Building for a series of skills games. As we listened to Training Officer Mike Jacobs explain the morning’s schedule, we realized this was a different kind of exercise, a new way to practice CERT skills and have fun at the same time.

This was the first in a 3-part operational skills training program that continues with the County Simulation Exercise on April 12 and culminates on June 7 with the Ready Mill Valley Backyard Campout.

There were three tasks involved in the exercise and we practiced as we participated in CERT games until we felt more comfortable with the skills. The three areas of focus for the day  were:

  • Radio protocol
  • Triage
  • Safe transport of victims

We formed into teams and reconvened across the street at Hawke Park. Over the next several hours, we practiced using walkie-talkies with accurate radio protocol, reviewed and practiced triage guidelines in a round-robin exercise, and worked as a team in lifting and transporting an “injured” volunteer by stretcher.

Fire Department personnel under leadership of Capt. Mark Glenn and Firefighter Jesse Pasquale observed our efforts and offered both encouragement and suggestions, as needed. It was a fun morning and we all felt  we had learned a lot by the time we headed home. A morning well spent with CERT colleagues.

Pete Abrahams won the First Responder Award, a personally engraved utility shut-off tool, for being the first to respond to the communications response test preceding the training. Yea, Pete!

The next Mill Valley CERT Basic Training starts June 14. For more information, or for classes in your area, visit the Calendar page.

CERT members gather at the start of class

CERTs gather as Mike Jacobs, Mill Valley CERT Training Officer, reviews the morning’s training schedule.

 

CERT members learn to safely transport a volunteer victim.

CERTs practice safely lifting and transporting a volunteer victim.

 

Leo Copetta

Leo Copetta, MV Steering Committee Chair

 

Volunteer victim describes injuries to a CERT member

CERT Hugh Kuhn checks out “victim” Peter Graumann as they practice in a triage round-robin exercise.