Wednesday, May 8, 2013

On Being a NERT

Scene: Sirens blaring up and down the street, four fire trucks rushing to the apartment building two doors down. Me rustling through the closet for coat and blankets. Mr. P and Oliver craning their heads out our window.

Me: Oh man, if I had graduated, I would have my hard hat and vest!
Mr. P: I wouldn't let you out of the house in that.

End Scene.

I am one class away from graduating as a Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) member.  NERT is a volunteer organization that assists emergency responders in light search and rescue after a catastrophic event.  The event would have to be overwhelming to professional emergency responders, and here in the Bay Area, that means the BIG ONE.

The six week class session covered utility shut offs, emergency first aid, medical triage and a few drills to practice our knowledge.  If you're civic minded and have a helper mentality, you might really enjoy this.  Around the country the organization is called Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), but it's the same idea.  The little bit of extra training is just enough so that the natural helpers can most effectively engage in response efforts and not hinder professional responders.

Last night, I gathered a blanket and walked down to the street ready to help if needed. Though I was sans my hard hat and vest, I wanted to volunteer if needed.  Several neighbors waited on the sidewalk to hear the news.  The news was anti-climatic as it turns out, thankfully.  Just a false alarm.

One more class and I can add my hard hat and vest to my emergency go bag, ready for the real alarm.

1 comment:

  1. That's really great! What a cool thing to join and great skills to know for your own personal safety as well.