Elle Wheeler, a drama student from Ironwood Ridge High School, is staged as an injured civilian for a Community Emergency Response (CERT) training drill.

Hannah McLeod/Special to The Explorer

For the second year in a row, Community Emergency Response Training hosted a drill session for 20 trained CERT civilians on Saturday, Sept. 22, at CASAS church.

CERT is a nationwide organization that trains and certifies people to be able to respond to emergency situations.  This could be as small as a car accident or as big as a natural disaster.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency requires people to take a 20-hour training course in order to be certified.

Scott Ingram has headed up training classes for the past two years since taking the head director position at CERT.

“These classes will provide you with the confidence to save a life,” said Ingram. “The more people trained the more resilient our community will be.”

On Saturday, trained CERT civilians teamed up and analyzed different emergency situations.  One was a staged car accident in which drama students from Ironwood High School played the victims.  Teams were required to check on each victim to see whether they needed immediate medical attention or not.

“There are three things that need to be checked before anything else is really done,” said Ingram. “They have to check a person’s airway, if they’re bleeding, or if they’re in shock.” 

Once those three are checked, a team will call in for more help.

Diane Gurr is in her second year of being involved with CERT.  Her reason for joining was because she likes to help people.

“You know how some people just want to help others?  That’s how I am,” said Gurr. “It helps to train us to help our neighbors and help the community.”

From Nov. 7-8 and Nov. 14-15, CERT will hold another set of classes at Oro Valley Police Department at the Tangerine substation.  For those who are CERT certified, an upcoming event that involves all the CERT teams of Tucson competing against one another, will take place on Saturday, Nov. 3.

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