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Front Page » December 6, 2005 » Scene » County residents attend training at Ruby's Inn in Bryce C...
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County residents attend training at Ruby's Inn in Bryce Canyon

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By KAREN SMITH,Green River, and JUDY LANG, Huntington

Realistic looking wounds are applied to the attendees for them to practice on each other.

A school and community disaster preparedness workshop was held at Ruby's Inn at Bryce Canyon Nov. 10-12.

Teen SERT (Student Emergency Readiness Training) is the newest program of the youth Volunteer Corps. This program is based on the community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept with a primary goal to give students the opportunity to learn basic preparedness and response skills for themselves, their family, school and community. Such information will be crucial in times of emergencies or disasters and could save or sustain a life until help arrives.

The workshops and exercise put on those three days were very educational. The teens had a great time and appreciate the people from Emery County that went to the training and workshop. There are plans to start CERT classes next month, so the people that went can take their training to the youth and get them started in the SERT program.

The workshop was presented by SUCCC in partnership with: Utah Citizen Corps Council, Utah Commission on Volunteers, Utah Department of Public Health, Utah State University Extension 4-H Program, Boy Scout Program, Utah Division of Homeland Security Office of Emergency Services, Americorps* VISTA, and the Southern Utah Homeland Security Program

The objectives of the workshop were:

1.Provide and opportunity and venue for the open discussion of school and community disaster preparedness issues, particularly as they may relate to the involvement of youth, and to encourage one another in making our communities and our schools safer, stronger and more secure, both disaster resistant and disaster resilient, through effective and regularly scheduled planning, training and exercise, and through engaging in and fostering individual responsibility and voluntary service;

2.Improve the level of preparedness in our communities and in our schools to respond to and recover from disasters and major emergencies of all types, natural, technological and security;

3.Engage youth more fully in Homeland Security in general, and Community/School Disaster Preparedness in particular, through the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program;

One of the speakers was Stephen Rundquist, Ph.D.

4.Introduce school and community youth leaders to the concepts and programs of YOUTH CERT for community youth organizations (Schools Emergency Response Training) for high schools;

5.Encourage the establishment of the TEEN SERT program in our High Schools as a part of the (health) curriculum or as an extracurricular, after-school activity, by bringing together school personnel and resources with community CERT personnel and resources to begin the program this school year and make it successful;

6.Encourage the establishment of YOUTH CERT as a viable Homeland Security/Community Disaster Preparedness within the State 4H Program, the Scouting Program, and programs of any other community youth organizations for which it would be appropriate, including those of communities of faith; and,

7.Provide an opportunity and venue to experience a joint school/community disaster exercise.

There were 269 from all 13 Southern Utah counties who attended the workshop. Citizens attending from Emery County were:Duane and Maryella Fowler (Huntington, retired teachers); JJ and Cynthia Grant (Orangeville, Emery County School District Secondary Supervisor); Thomas and Shirley Baltzer (Orangeville, Elementary Principal and Librarian);Carolee LarsEn (Huntington, Young Women President/Teacher); Shaun and Laura Jeffs (Orangeville, Juvenile Probation Officer); Steve and Carol Ann Stream (Huntington, Justice Court Judge); John and Joan Healy (Ferron, Boy Scouts District Commissioner); Mark and Nanette Tanner (Orangeville, Boy Scout Trainer, Attorney); Kelly and Cindy Alton (Orangeville, Orangeville City Council and Teacher); Judy and John Lang (Huntington, SUHS Americorps*VISTA Volunteer and husband); Dennis and Shirley Worwood (Ferron, USU 4-H Extension); Pam Boling (Emery, SEU Association of Local Government); Kent and Barbara Peterson (Orangeville, Utah State Dept. Of Workforce Services); Eric and Marie Anderson (Emery, Emery City Council Member); Christine and Chuck Bardsley (Castle Dale, FNP Emery Medical Center); Karen Smith (Green River, City of Green River Emergency Program Manager); Robert Smith (Green River, City of Green River LEPC); and Ken Sah (Green River, Business Owner).

The group attended various breakout sessions which gave them the opportunity to discuss and resolve ways to help implement these programs in their counties and communities. They started with the TEEN CERT demonstration exercise conducted by Janet Lindquist and Deputy Garth White, CERT Program Coordinators, Millard County where TEEN CERTS demonstrated CERT skills.

Haley Rich, Consultant Adjunct Instructor, National Emergency Training Center and Emergency Management Institute explained the TEEN SERT Program. Research has shown that individuals in the pre-teen and young adult age groups are most receptive to basic citizenship-building initiatives. TEEN SERT is rapidly spreading in high schools across the country-generally as an in-class, curriculum-based program.

Participation in the SERT program provides many 4-H opportunities including: 4-H state contests with prizes or savings bonds; portfolios that can be used for Sterling Scholar or entered in competition to attend the National; 4-H Congress held in Atlanta, Ga.; county and state fair exhibits; and scholarships to attend Utah State University.

The instructional material for the TEEN SERT course currently fills the following BSA Merit Badge requirements:first aid, fire safety, emergency preparedness, safety, and wilderness survival.

Other topics for breakout sessions were; Using Disaster Moulage (injury simulation); Using Amateur Radio; and Using the Emergency Management System.

The group then participated in a first ever of its kind School/Community Disaster Exercise by Gary Vetterli (Utah State Director of Disaster Exercise), followed by Exercise De-Brief and "Lessons Learned." The workshop was concluded with a special presentation by Utah's "Humorist Laureate," Robert Kirby.

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