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Local organizations strengthen the Wentzville community

Posted on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 2:27 pm

Participants in the Mid America TEEN Cert program.

By Nick Guccione, Mayor of Wentzville

Our community is full of great organizations that impact our residents on a regular basis, such as the Green Lantern Senior Center. Other community-based organizations work behind the scenes and are only in operation on an as-needed basis – such as Mid America TEEN CERT. Today, I’d like to tell you a little about the impact both of these groups are making in the Wentzville area.

Did you know you can help our Wentzville senior community, simply by rounding up your utility bill to the nearest dollar? If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to participate in this program. When Wentzville residents sign up, their monthly bills will be rounded up to the next highest dollar. For example, if a bill is $44.25, the bill will be rounded up to $45.00, making the contribution 75 cents. The funds raised are then donated to Wentzville’s Meals on Wheels program, which is administered through the Green Lantern Senior Center. This simple act will help our senior community all year round. To sign up, please call (636) 639-2155 or (636) 327-5101.

Now I’d like to take some time to introduce you to the Mid America Teen Community Emergency Response Team, which is proudly based in Wentzville.

Mid America TEEN CERT started in 2003 and was established under FEMA in 2007. In 2015, the City began collaborating with Mid America TEEN CERT, in order to offer the community more options for citizen awareness and emergency preparation training – thus helping Wentzville strengthen its overall community preparedness initiative.

The program has been recognized as the number one Emergency Preparedness Program and Youth Program in Missouri for seven straight years and as the top Emergency Preparedness Training Program and Outstanding Youth Training Program in the nation for the fourth year.

During training, participants learn how to assist in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. Students must be at least 12 years old to participate in the training. The program averages seven to eight classes annually and currently has classes lined up for the next five years.

The TEEN CERT program educates individuals about planning and preparing for hazards that may impact their community, while training them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the knowledge learned in the classroom and during exercises, these trained volunteers can assist others in their community following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

Students learn how to handle medical emergencies, extinguish live fires and perform extensive student searches. Most importantly, students learn to manage stress, assist with peers and people with special and functional physical needs, and recognize signs and symptoms of disaster-related psychological issues. The course concludes with a full-scale, real-time, life-like simulated disaster exercise that applies the students’ newly learned emergency skills.

To learn more information about the program, please contact TEEN CERT director Mark Rosenblum at mark.rosenblum@outlook.com.