Giving Compass’ Take:
· Governing Magazine explains how the CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) program is training thousands of individuals around the county to be volunteer responders for natural disasters.
· How is this training helping prepare communities in the case of an emergency? How do volunteers assist professional emergency responders?
Wearing goggles and a bright green vest, Brenda Burke approached the 3-foot-tall flame in a crouched position, holding a fire extinguisher at the ready.
The flame radiated heat in the cool morning air, its reflection dancing across Burke’s goggles. She got within a few feet of the flame and pressed the lever on the extinguisher, sweeping the hose back and forth until the retardant snuffed out the fire.
“Clear — coming out!” Burke yelled, and began inching away from the pluming smoke.
The fire wasn’t real — at least, it wasn’t a true emergency.
It was started in the parking lot of Napa Valley College as part of a final test for the county’s most recent class of volunteer emergency responders, who are themselves part of a growing movement across the United States. As climate change brings ever more costly and deadly natural disasters, emergency response experts say deploying thousands of trained civilians will ease the pressure on the professionals during the chaos of an earthquake, a wildfire, a flood or a blizzard.
Read the full article about volunteer responders for natural disasters by Scott Rodd at Governing Magazine.
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