The Berryessa CERT August Training was on Search and Rescue Operations.
Berryessa CERT team members trained on honing their search and rescue operations skills at the August monthly training meeting. Light search and rescue is an important skill all CERT teams train on so that they are able to help out first responders in the event of an emergency situation.
The CERT training academy classes teach team members search and rescue best practice operations and cribbing. Cribbing is using blocks of wood or other improvised materials to prop up obstructions safely in order to rescue trapped victims.
Search and rescue operations also entail triaging victims after they have been rescued. Berryessa CERT members refreshed their skills in a presentation about search and rescue operations and then were given a scenario to practice the skills learned.
The scenario was to search a building that had been reported damaged during an earthquake with possible victims trapped at that location. Berryessa CERT team members organized an incident command post, delegated IC positions and deployed a team to search the area. Team members reported back via FRC radios on the status of victims and the status of the building.
It's one thing to learn the skills at the CERT Academy training but it's great to put those skills to the test in a more in depth exercise. The more you practice, the more comfortable you are knowing you've got this. - Julia Moore, Berryessa CERT
Halloween skeletons were used to simulate victims and fake blood pools were used so that team members could learn how to accurately judge blood loss in victims.
Taking Training Seriously
Berryessa CERT members take their training very seriously and it's a big reason why they are so committed to helping in their communities. All members volunteer their time on a regular basis to keep up their skills and training.
With that said, we do have fun while we train and team members were joking that some of the simulated victims looked like they had been there awhile! Eventually we'll get some real training mannequins.
Training in the Dark
Team members trained on proper search techniques in darkened buildings by pairing up and using a perimeter search pattern. Members brought out their flashlights from their gear bags to help facilitate the search. When a victim was found, they assessed her condition and improvised a stretcher to carry her to safety.
Overall it was a great exercise on implementing the skills we have learned in a simulated scenario so that we're more comfortable with the strategies and procedures should we be tasked with a real search and rescue situation.