Lafayette,LA - Individuals who want to be prepared within their community the next time disaster strikes could receive free emergency response training. The training will be a asset for volunteers who are willing to get in front of challenging situations when they are called upon.
"If something is going to happen in your neighborhood, you're going to be the first responder."
The Community Emergency Response Team has been training volunteers since 1993, preparing volunteers for when a disaster strikes. Prescott Marshall, Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness director for Iberia Parish, says the program aims to train volunteers to assist those around them with the skills they have learned themselves when a storm happens. "There are going to be a crisis and there aren't going to be enough first responders to get to everyone right away. That's when neighbors can help their neighbors and the cert training is designed to help citizens help their neighbors."
Marshall says through the program, they work on building the volunteers confidence so that when they see someone in need, they'll immediately react. "If you've been trained and you know what you can do and how to do it and what you shouldn't do. You are going to be much quicker to step out and help out in your neighborhood."
Each volunteer was given a cert safety bag that would include safety goggles, a first aid kit, and a safety hat. The Chairman of the CERT Program Zack Mitchell, says that the course is set up of eight units, but volunteers would also learn about the importance of trauma people face after a horrible event. "People that are on high levels come in and teach concerning how we should react. Sometimes you don't know what to say but you want to be there. You want to help."
Volunteers told NEWS15 that after joining the cert program, they are always ready to serve the neighborhood in a time of need.
"The training will kick if a situation occurs, and we won't be unprepared."
"What better blessing can you get than the ability to take care of your neighbor."
lf by any chance you missed the emergency response training class, it will also be back October 16 in New iberia at the Iberia Recreation Center. The free training also includes fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.