Author Topic: Ideas for local CERT training  (Read 432 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline EBuff75

  • No, I'm the other one.
  • Paid Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 258
  • Karma: +12/-0
  • Does anyone really read these?
  • Reactions:
Ideas for local CERT training
« on: September 10, 2021, 11:23:18 PM »
I'm a member of our local CERT and we've been trying to come up with some training ideas which don't a) require a lot of money to do and b) don't require us to hire someone to come in and conduct the training (see 'a').  We've all gone through the standard training from FEMA and some of the group has been able to take other locally offered classes (Skywarn Spotter training, Dealing with Pets/Animals in an Emergency, Stop the Bleed, NARCAN, First Aid, CPR/AED, etc.). 

The group does have radios (they're retired police radios, which were reprogrammed to have their own frequency and still work with the PD's repeater) and has done radio training in the past.  We've also done simulated grid search / SAR training, watched refresher videos on medical, building search, and other topics.  Ages of the group range from about 40 on up and we're in a major suburban area, so there's not really any time that we'd be out in a true wilderness area (so things like land navigation, hiking/tracking, etc. wouldn't be of much use).  Gear is minimal and is purchased by the individuals, so quality and type vary widely.  There are about 15-20 active members, but really only about 10 who can be counted on to show up for meetings and training on a regular basis.

Other than a single callout a few years back to participate in a missing person grid search, we've only operated locally to provide traffic control (parades, fireworks, other local events, and a few high-profile funerals - Aretha Franklin and Police Officer Michael Krol), security (Oktoberfest, local high school games where there might be issues with teens, festivals, fireworks, etc.), first aid booth / lost child recovery point (festival, Oktoberfest).  The local Fire / Police have admitted (in hindsight) that there were times that they should have called us for assistance (large gas explosion that leveled a house on a Sunday afternoon when they were both at their lowest staffing point of the week; large storms that have blown through and downed trees and wires; missing Alzheimer's patients or children), but so far they haven't thought to do it in the moment. 

We're looking for suggestions for training which would be easy to set up and won't incur any significant expenses.  We do have some funds to draw from, but we're funded solely by donations, so the wallet is a bit thin. 

We've done basic radio training and have done other training like splitting into teams who had to use the same channel, but convey separate sets of somewhat confusing information between members of the team (one part of the team had a model of something they were looking and and the other part of the team had to build a match, using the relayed info).  A lot of people are somewhat intimidated by the radio, even though we have our own "walkie-talkie" channel we can use without bothering the dispatchers.

Other sorts of training have been centered around problem solving (each group gets a bunch of random items and has to figure out a way to use those to perform an action), communications (essentially a game of 'Telephone' to try to pass information accurately), and first aid refreshers. 

Most of our First Aid and CPR/AED certifications have expired during the past year and we're working to line up training to re-certify those, along with getting Stop the Bleed and NARCAN training for the entire group (only some of us have had it).  Our grid search / SAR training exercise a few years back was actually the best attendance we've ever had (almost 30 people), despite it being a miserable, rainy, cold evening when we did it, so we may try to do that again sometime.  It definitely pointed out to some people that they need to get real boots, given that the area we used in a local park was quite swampy and some people actually showed up in loafers...
So what suggestions do you have?  Do you know of any websites which might have scenarios or other training exercises we could use?  Have you done any training which you think might be useful to a group like this?  Thanks in advance!
Information - it’s all a battle for information. You have to know what’s happening if you’re going to do anything about it. - Tom Clancy, Patriot Games

Offline woodsghost

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 271
  • Karma: +14/-0
  • Beware of rooster
  • Reactions:
Re: Ideas for local CERT training
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2021, 08:42:15 AM »
I don't know about the cost, but I didn't see "fire extinguisher training" on there?

Can you do a training where FD or PD send a person out and run an exercise to simulate something they might need help with?

Those are my quick thoughts.

I am understanding that you all have a Ham radio of some sort? Training on deployment and operation sounds useful. Especially if not all the people are fully comfortable with it.

Antenna up, set up power, all plugs and fiddly bits go places, make a call, change channel or maybe get fancy and do a frequency change and offset change? Maybe a band change?

Offline EBuff75

  • No, I'm the other one.
  • Paid Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 258
  • Karma: +12/-0
  • Does anyone really read these?
  • Reactions:
Re: Ideas for local CERT training
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2021, 09:38:22 AM »
I am understanding that you all have a Ham radio of some sort? Training on deployment and operation sounds useful. Especially if not all the people are fully comfortable with it.

Antenna up, set up power, all plugs and fiddly bits go places, make a call, change channel or maybe get fancy and do a frequency change and offset change? Maybe a band change?

We don't use ham radios, what we have are actual police radios which the local department retired.  Specifically, they're Motorola HT1250 radios. The local PD set aside a channel for us and then reprogrammed the radios to use it.  There is a secondary "walkie-talkie" channel which we can use (basically like an FRS/GMRS radio with a single channel), but it doesn't hit the repeater and is only good for about 1000 ft.  They're also programmed to pick up the local NOAA weather radio band.  We've also got the big charging banks for them (each of which hold about 10 radios).  We only really have two people in the group who know anything about radios, and that's because they're in the Civil Air Patrol.

Actually, if you happen to know of any reasonably priced sources for replacement batteries for the HT1250, we'd love to find one!  A lot of ours are in pretty sad shape and we haven't had good luck at finding cheap batteries for them (again, limited funds to purchase replacements).  Mainly we've used eBay and Amazon to get replacements and the results have been hit-and-miss.
Information - it’s all a battle for information. You have to know what’s happening if you’re going to do anything about it. - Tom Clancy, Patriot Games

Offline yonderstone

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • This better not awaken anything in me.
  • Reactions:
Re: Ideas for local CERT training
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2021, 02:06:23 AM »
I realize that Army indoctrination can impart quite a bit of bias where training is concerned, so forgive me if this is not relevant to your group. That said, I feel like working on mass casualties, hands-on practice using a tourniquet with a windlass, blood sweeps (checking for where bleeding is coming from), would help not only with active shooter training and response, but would apply to a variety of situations. I'm guessing you've all worked on triage a bit, and it could really help to practice while under some amount of duress (physically and mentally). Also working on different drags and carries (be careful!) using an actual human are a great way to get your body and mind acclimated to an emergency in an unsafe/unstable environment, and can also be really revealing about what kinds of physical preparedness one might need to work on in order to effectively safe lives during a crisis.My CERT certifications all expired years ago, and mostly focused on natural disasters in my area, but I feel like a wide breadth of training is useful in emergency scenarios.Just my 2 cents. Hopefully that was helpful in some way.


o7

Offline EBuff75

  • No, I'm the other one.
  • Paid Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 258
  • Karma: +12/-0
  • Does anyone really read these?
  • Reactions:
Re: Ideas for local CERT training
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2021, 11:49:19 AM »
We have our monthly CERT meeting tonight and here's the list of ideas that I'm planning to give to the commander:

  • De-escalation techniques
  • CPR / AED
  • First Aid
  • Stop the Bleed
  • NARCAN / Naloxone
  • Radio refresher training
  • Community overview / maps / points of concern
  • S&R exercise
  • Grid search / evidence search exercise
  • Reverse food / water handout (this is an old idea of mine to basically run a drive-through food drive that is sort of the reverse of doing a food/water handout during an emergency)
  • Traffic control (including techniques for 1 or 2 person locations)
  • Chainsaw / sawyer training
  • Building search refresher / exercise
  • Urban S&R training
  • Fire extinguisher training
Any other training suggestions that I should add to the list before tonight?
Information - it’s all a battle for information. You have to know what’s happening if you’re going to do anything about it. - Tom Clancy, Patriot Games

Offline RoneKiln

  • Perpetual Newbie
  • Paid Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 629
  • Karma: +34/-0
  • Mammoth Hunter
  • Reactions:
Re: Ideas for local CERT training
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2021, 01:37:01 AM »
The reverse food / water handout idea works great going door to door on Halloween and is a lot of fun. My youth group did that long ago to collect food for the food bank.

Could also helps raise awareness of the CERT team among the community.
"Seriously the most dangerous thing you are likely to do is to put salt on a Big Mac right before you eat it and to climb into your car."
--Raptor

Offline EBuff75

  • No, I'm the other one.
  • Paid Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 258
  • Karma: +12/-0
  • Does anyone really read these?
  • Reactions:
Re: Ideas for local CERT training
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2021, 08:55:23 AM »
The reverse food / water handout idea works great going door to door on Halloween and is a lot of fun. My youth group did that long ago to collect food for the food bank.

Could also helps raise awareness of the CERT team among the community.

Unfortunately, in a normal year fewer than 10% of houses in my area participate in Halloween (I'm usually one of two houses on my entire street handing anything out).  Pair that with the pandemic and it might be one in 20 or one in 50 this year.  We also don't have any members with Halloween-aged kids, which would mean going out on our own as adults.  Around here, people probably wouldn't even open their doors for us unless they have a gun in one hand and a phone already dialed to 911 in the other!

One of the activities which CERT usually volunteers at is "Angel's Night." This is where local businesses set up tables along a street which is shut down, so that the kids have a single concentrated area to go to for treats. There are also costume contests and some games beforehand.  That event is usually quite popular (frequently there are 2000-3000 kids there), but it's been cancelled the last two years due to the pandemic.  If that event comes back, it might be a good opportunity to set up a donation table for us to collect things. 

I put together a separate list of event ideas and group discussions which I also gave to our group's leadership.  I'll send them a follow-up with a suggestion for a donation drop point as well.  Thanks!
Information - it’s all a battle for information. You have to know what’s happening if you’re going to do anything about it. - Tom Clancy, Patriot Games

Offline EBuff75

  • No, I'm the other one.
  • Paid Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 258
  • Karma: +12/-0
  • Does anyone really read these?
  • Reactions:
Re: Ideas for local CERT training
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2022, 08:48:42 PM »
We have some training planned for the first part of the year now!

Next month we have someone coming in to do NARCAN training for our CERT.  In March, I'm on the hook to come up with a tabletop exercise which is customized to our city.  In April we're going to have some type of outdoor exercise, likely a search and rescue or evidence search scenario. 

We're still trying to get a CPR/AED session scheduled.

We're also working to schedule CERT training for new people, hopefully sometime in March.  We haven't offered the CERT training for a few years now and the group's number of active members has fallen as some folks have moved away or had to drop out.  If we can certify some additional people that might help to bring our numbers back up.
Information - it’s all a battle for information. You have to know what’s happening if you’re going to do anything about it. - Tom Clancy, Patriot Games

Offline NapalmMan67

  • Official Party Dude
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 242
  • Karma: +11/-0
  • I'll never change.
  • Reactions:
Re: Ideas for local CERT training
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2022, 03:31:17 PM »
Sorry, I don't have any ideas for you.  Is your group in your city/town?

I wish there was a local CERT group in my town. I've spoken to the local FD and PD a few years ago about getting something active, but it went no where.  Maybe I need to ask again about getting something going.
Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc-  Not just pretty words.

Offline PistolPete

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 84
  • Karma: +13/-0
  • I for one, welcome our new alien overlords
  • Reactions:
Re: Ideas for local CERT training
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2022, 03:37:06 PM »
Back with ZS I organized a few mock disasters.  We would set up a scenario and split the team into 3.

First group is the people affected by the disaster.  Each get a card with an injury or condition and how they should react and a card for the best treatment.  Maybe it's just lost glasses or a jammed thumb or maybe it's a person showing symptoms of shock or with a serious injury. 

Second group is the observers.  They watch, witness and take notes.

Third group is the CERT team. 

We would roll the scenario 3 times (time providing) so each person gets to play each roll.  It was always very interesting and full of learning.  Having someone wise in the ways of medical care is helpful in creating the cards and helping with evaluation.  By adding things like dark basements, mandatory PPE (cheap goggles fog over fast!), fake blood, maybe even a smoke machine or strobe light, can really up the level of stress.  Have you ever tried to find a source of bleeding and use a tourniquet in the dark by flashlight with fogged over goggles while wearing gloves?  It brings a level of stress that classroom training doesn't.  It's not real world experience, but it's a fun exercise that can really bond a team.

The disaster itself could be anything likely in your AO- tornado, earthquake, snowstorm, power outage, alien invasion- you can go as deep or as light as you want.  I found one could learn a lot no matter what group they end up in if you can only run through once or twice.  You get dirty and sweaty and all have a good laugh at the end, but you'll always remember that sometimes that person who can't breath is just an asthma attack that is easily treatable on site if you think to ask and other such lessons.
All you have to do is stab someone once, just a little bit, to forever change the dynamic of the relationship.

Offline EBuff75

  • No, I'm the other one.
  • Paid Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 258
  • Karma: +12/-0
  • Does anyone really read these?
  • Reactions:
Re: Ideas for local CERT training
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2022, 04:10:58 PM »
Sorry, I don't have any ideas for you.  Is your group in your city/town?

I wish there was a local CERT group in my town. I've spoken to the local FD and PD a few years ago about getting something active, but it went no where.  Maybe I need to ask again about getting something going.

Yes, the CERT is for Redford Twp (we're what's known as a "charter township", which means we're a sort-of-city, but-not-entirely).  The township has about 50,000 people in 11.25 sq miles of area just outside of Detroit. 

However (and we were just discussing this point last night in our meeting), we aren't run through the FD or PD, but are an independent group which was sponsored through the local Jaycee's chapter.  The main drawback is that we have to pay everything out of our own pocket or with donations, as there is no budget for us from the municipality. 

The FD in particular doesn't have much use for us, as they'd rather get overtime for mundane tasks (babysitting downed wires, roping off dangerous areas, going door to door to check on people, etc.) than risk losing some hours/$$$ to a bunch of volunteers.  On the flip side, one of the founders of the group is a Lieutenant in the local PD.  They've been happy to have our assistance for things like parades, festivals, and other community events.  They're stretched pretty thin and having to require everyone to work an event, regardless of planned vacations or normal work schedule, sucks.  When we can step in to take some of the load off them, they're quite grateful!

Thus far we've only had one true call-out, which was to assist with a missing person search about 6 years ago.  There are about 12-15 relatively active members and another 10-15 who might show up on occasion.  We're hoping to do another training class in March to try and get some new folks for the group. 
Information - it’s all a battle for information. You have to know what’s happening if you’re going to do anything about it. - Tom Clancy, Patriot Games

Offline EBuff75

  • No, I'm the other one.
  • Paid Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 258
  • Karma: +12/-0
  • Does anyone really read these?
  • Reactions:
Re: Ideas for local CERT training
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2022, 04:24:27 PM »
Back with ZS I organized a few mock disasters.  We would set up a scenario and split the team into 3.

First group is the people affected by the disaster.  Each get a card with an injury or condition and how they should react and a card for the best treatment.  Maybe it's just lost glasses or a jammed thumb or maybe it's a person showing symptoms of shock or with a serious injury. 

Second group is the observers.  They watch, witness and take notes.

Third group is the CERT team. 

We would roll the scenario 3 times (time providing) so each person gets to play each roll.  It was always very interesting and full of learning.  Having someone wise in the ways of medical care is helpful in creating the cards and helping with evaluation.  By adding things like dark basements, mandatory PPE (cheap goggles fog over fast!), fake blood, maybe even a smoke machine or strobe light, can really up the level of stress.  Have you ever tried to find a source of bleeding and use a tourniquet in the dark by flashlight with fogged over goggles while wearing gloves?  It brings a level of stress that classroom training doesn't.  It's not real world experience, but it's a fun exercise that can really bond a team.

The disaster itself could be anything likely in your AO- tornado, earthquake, snowstorm, power outage, alien invasion- you can go as deep or as light as you want.  I found one could learn a lot no matter what group they end up in if you can only run through once or twice.  You get dirty and sweaty and all have a good laugh at the end, but you'll always remember that sometimes that person who can't breath is just an asthma attack that is easily treatable on site if you think to ask and other such lessons.

Our CERT isn't really large enough to do something like this - we had 6 people at our meeting last night.  We might be able to get 15-20 at the high end right now, with enough advance notice and enough interest from our members.  We're trying to add some more members with a training class next month though - fingers crossed!

A few years ago there was a regional training event which drew in several hundred CERT members from the Detroit area.  DHS, FEMA, local law enforcement, and the Red Cross were all involved.  Part of the exercise was to help train the Red Cross medical corps members who were present.  So between each of the exercises that day, everyone was cycled through the medical people for a general check (pulse, BP, breathing), just to give them some training in large-scale events.  There was also a medical exercise similar to what you described, but I wasn't able to take part in it (each CERT had to decide which of the various training events to participate in that day). 

CERT medical training is mainly in triage.  Anyone who is injured to the point of needing CPR is considered to be dead - just black tag them and move on.  Training is limited to assessing injuries, applying pressure to wounds, or simple first aid like bandages / bandaids / water for dehydration / etc.  We're not supposed to be, and aren't trained as, actual medical personnel.  Now, most of the group has CPR and First Aid certifications, and we do have several nurses who are members, but we aren't all that likely to need those skills as part of a CERT call-out.  Michigan doesn't have a lot of natural disasters which are likely to cause injuries - no earthquakes, hurricanes, and very few (and lower powered) tornadoes.
Information - it’s all a battle for information. You have to know what’s happening if you’re going to do anything about it. - Tom Clancy, Patriot Games

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk