Thirteen people will graduate this week from Basic CERT Training in Caldwell County. They did a great job yesterday evening on their search and rescue module that includes cribbing and rescuing 2 victims. They admirably filled the roles of incident commander, record-keeper, safety officer, medical officer, lever operators, and cribbers. Tonight they will learn to use fire extinguishers and utility controls.
Monday, October 16, 2017, will be the last meeting of the CERT Basic Class in Caldwell County. We have 8 attendees including all ages and physical abilities. They have been a motivated class with a variety of qualifications and experiences.
Here are pictures of the class during different activities. Our instructors look forward to their attendance at future, advanced classes. Our instructors for this class are Rosemary Hall, Shirley Kanode, Kenny Hall, and Mark Barrera. REACT members Curt and Maria Hiller attended and assisted at some of the classes.
Congratulations to our new CERT members Nancy Green, Hunter Mise, Helen Pylant, Linda Watson, and Dale Woodruff. Three people have already taken CERT Basic Training but are making up missed classes or returning for a refresher–Barbara Busch, Sherri Bogdan, and Steve Bogdan.
A group of CERT volunteers who are members of Caldwell County REACT, spent Saturday morning, October 7, 2017 managing traffic during the Used Tires Collection event.
Earlier this year our members were trained on the deployment of the county’s new M.E.R.T. (Multiple Event Response Trailer) to manage traffic and pedestrian traffic during events or disasters. The trailer is stocked with various traffic control equipment including cones, dragons teeth that can be filled with water, barricades, and directional signs.
We put this training into practice Saturday morning when we assisted the Lenoir Rotary Club with the collection of used tires from the community. Our REACT members arrived before 7 am when it was still dark to set up the traffic flow and two drop-off lanes for vehicles. Throughout the morning we managed traffic and kept the lanes running smoothly. A semi-trailer of used tires was collected in four hours. People brought from one tire in their trunk to 50 tires on a trailer. There were many pick-ups with their beds loaded. As one resident stated, getting rid of the pick-up load of tires out of his yard would reduce the mosquito population significantly. It also reduces illegal dumping.
Our team members enjoyed working with Lenoir Rotary who worked very hard to fill the semi-trailer. Another trailer was in reserve, if needed. Using the M.E.R.T. equipment and directing traffic was good experience and training. For example, it became obvious why the CERT POD (Points of Distribution) training directs you to have vehicles make a turn into the entrance lane to slow them down. We had a few cars squeal through the turn and may have been a hazard to the workers unloading tires if not forced to slow down. We also learned that many drivers do not follow directions and must be monitored very closely to avoid being hit. One man started in one lane after difficulty, then halfway down the lane decided to drive through the cones and swerve around the semi to the other lane for no apparent reason.
We had only one disappointed customer. The driver of a pickup loaded with a used mattress, old wheelchair, and other debris, but no tires, was told, no, we could not unload and recycle his material.
Kenneth Teague, Emergency Management Coordinator, will present part 2 of his class on map and compass reading on Thursday, May 25, at 6:00 pm. This is a free class offered to CERT-trained residents. This class will include an outdoor exercise to practice our skills. Please wear comfortable shoes and bring a compass, if you have one.
The class will be held at the Caldwell County Health and Human Services Building, 2345 Morganton Blvd, SW, Lenoir. Enter at the rear at the employee entrance. Please arrive by 6:00. If you must be late, call or text Shirley at 828-729-5223 so we can have someone at the door to let you in.
This class is part of the meeting of Caldwell County REACT, but you need not be a member to attend.
Today Kenneth Teague, Caldwell County’s Emergency Management Coordinator, taught a group of CERT-trained members of the Caldwell County REACT team some wilderness survival skills.
Today we learned how to build a tarp shelter in the woods, and how to read a compass and map including an exercise orienteering through a field, across a stream and through the woods. It was helpful to get to practice and a lot of fun! Kenneth also gave us some local history of the area and woodcraft.
We had a beautiful day and enjoyed a great lunch of pulled pork, chili, slaw, chips, and dessert provided by Trina Teague. We plan on having additional classes and exercises of this nature.