Ashland, Ore. – The two week training on disaster preparedness for CERT (Certified Emergency Response Team) is coming to an end tonight. But, that means that the Ashland Community Emergency Response Team now has 23 new members.
Their final test today was a mock disaster with fake victims from local schools to save.
Today, those screams and cries for help from the victims weren’t real but the CERT team trainees were preparing for when they could be.
That preparation is part of a two week program that is four weeknights and two weekends worth of drills.
For new Ashland resident Gordon Seeley that commitment is well worth it.
“It’s a desire to help people. Some way to give back and honestly just to be prepared for myself and my family and my friends and neighbors,” Seeley explains.
Seeley says his practice of preparedness goes way back. He wrote a paper on it in college.
Now, Gordon Seeley is putting that information to good use through the CERT program as he and the twenty three other participants have learned a variety of skills during the two week training process.
Seeley says there are three key things he’s taken away from the training, “Staying calm, gathering facts, and assessing the situation before you rush in.”
However, there’s one thing that Seeley says is the most important of all.
“You want to make sure that you account for your safety first because you need help be part of the solution and not be part of the problem.”
Gordon Seeley advises that other people in Ashland should consider going through the CERT program, before disaster strikes.
“Unless you’ve done this, you think you’re prepared, you’re not prepared,” Seeley warns.