BY JENNIFER SOLIS
---- — WEST NEWBURY — If disaster strikes, are you ready to help? Would your neighborhood be self-sufficient for at least three days after a catastrophic event if it needed to be? Can you aid and transport the injured or trapped if emergency personnel are not immediately available?
A free Community Emergency Response Team training session this month is designed to insure local teens are equipped with the critical tools necessary in an emergency.
The three-day program open to teens ages 14 to 17 wil be held April 16 and 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and April 18 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. It will be led by experienced first responder Captain Ben Jennell of the West Newbury Fire Department.
A similar training program for adults will be held over a three-week period from April 23 to May 8. It will meet Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Teens must have parental permission to attend.
All classes are held in the training room at the West Newbury Public Safety Complex, 401 Main St.
Working with the Northern Essex Regional Planning Committee, CERT trainees are taught how to minimize injuries and increase disaster preparedness within families and local business. They learn how to organize and function as a team with other CERT-trained members in their community to offer basic disaster response when professional responders are not immediately available.
The training includes fire safety, light search and rescue and disaster medical operations such as how to prioritize multiple patients in order to manage airway obstructions, excessive bleeding and other treatments of wounds and shock in disaster victims. Identifying and relieving post-disaster emotional stressors in rescuers and survivors will also be discussed.
For more information on the training, visit www.wnema or contact emergency management agency director Lee Ann Delp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-363-1103.