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Teen CERT Training Exercise Held: 18 High School Students Certified

Web posted June 24, 2014
Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch reports that on Saturday, June 7, 2014 eighteen students from the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig, Pillager, Northland and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Schools completed the final steps of their TEEN CERT Training Program.

The training was supervised by Emergency Management Coordinator Kerry Swenson and concluded with a full scale search and rescue exercise utilizing the skills that the students have learned in over forty hours of training.

The curriculum included Disaster Preparedness, Fire Safety, Disaster Medical Operations, Search and Rescue, CERT Organization, Disaster Psychology, Terrorism and CPR/AED.

The students worked with the Cass County Mounted Posse in locating and treating three victims with varying degree of injuries. They had to assess and treat the victims so they could be prepared for transport by ambulance. The students dealt with life-like injuries that were very realistic thanks to the artistic magic of longtime area medical professionals Laurie Hill and Mona Glassman.

CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) is a national program that was started shortly after the events of September 11, 2001. The CERT Program is part of a nationwide effort to engage everyone in America in helping to make their communities safer, more prepared and more resilient when incidents such as natural disasters occur. The teams are trained in basic skills that are important to know in a disaster when emergency services are delayed or maybe not available for several days. The skills will be knowledge that the students will be able to use all through their lives.

The students involved in the program volunteered and were able to complete the rigorous training schedule along with required school and extracurricular activities.

The CERT Teams will be incorporated into many activities and events happening in and around Cass County. The program is a FEMA sponsored training that will provide a national certification so it can be used anywhere in the country, if students move out of the area.

In the coming months, we will begin an adult program to allow Cass County to build a large volunteer base that can be used during disaster events. The CERT programs will include quarterly continuing education to maintain the edge necessary for effective response in the face of disaster.

Sheriff Burch states this program is the first of its kind in Cass County and is a program of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

The training began in January with the help of many agencies including; Cass County Emergency Management, Walker Fire Department, Remer Fire Department, Cass Lake Fire Department, Pillager Area Fire and Rescue, North Memorial Ambulance Service, Remer Area Ambulance Service, Outing Quick Response, Leech Lake Ambulance Service and Cass County Mounted Posse.

If you or a teen want to be involved in the next round of training, please call the Cass County Emergency Management Office at 218-547-7437.

- article and photos submitted

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