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TEEN CERT Preparedness Training May 4-6 in Wentzville

Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 10:07 am

Wentzville School District and City of Wentzville Hosting TEEN CERT Preparedness Training The Wentzville School District and City of Wentzville are once again hosting TEEN CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training. Wentzville was the first district in Missouri to train the nationwide program in their schools. The course will be taught over the weekend of May 4-6, 2018 at Wentzville Holt High School. The class will be Friday from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 8:00 am until 5:00 pm, with 1 hour lunch breaks. All classes will be taught by trained instructors, first responders and other professionals through the Mid America TEEN CERT program, which has been recognized as the No. 1 Emergency Preparedness Program and Youth Program in Missouri and No. 1 Child and Youth Emergency Preparedness Program for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness in America for the last several years.

This class is open to other schools and the public. It is perfect for your service group or organization, i.e. HOSA, NHS, Boy/Girl Scouts, 4-H, etc. Unlike most “adult” CERT programs, Mid America can justifiably and appropriately teach both adult and teen learners – half of the programs’ 1700+ graduates are 18 years and older. Students learn many valuable skills and resources to aid themselves and others in the event of a disaster. They are eager to learn lifesaving skills that will be essential as they venture into the world. The Incident Command scenario is an excellent way to learn organizing skills and leadership.

Students are amazed with their abilities and newly found skills after learning the proper techniques. They experience firsthand satisfaction as they rescue their injured classmates and bring them safely to the treatment area. Students perform tasks they did not believe they could and have an eye-opening experience as they crawl through a dark closet and classroom searching for their fallen peers. Throughout the 22-hour training, students learn how to handle medical emergencies, extinguish live fires and perform extensive student searches.

The course will be held at the high school so the students experience the reality in their most probable environment. The post disaster “hot wash” portion of the training teaches the students what is normal, expected, and abnormal. 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 class culminates with a real-time, life-like simulated disaster exercise that will showcase the newly learned emergency skills of the students.

The district incorporated TEEN CERT when Holt 2015 graduate, Emily Rosenblum, was appointed as the national chairperson of the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Youth Preparedness Council. Rosenblum, now a Corpsman in the U.S. Navy, wanted to bring preparedness to her school as part of her legacy project with FEMA.

“Think about this”, says Rosenblum. “It is a weekday a little before lunchtime – your children are in school, the safest place… you think, right? One minute ago a tornado devastated a residential area, side swiping the local high school! There was severe damage to more than half the school; unfortunately professional first responders are unable to gain access to the damaged areas.”

“Providing TEEN CERT training has proven to be an important program in educating our youth and adult citizens on how to care for themselves and their neighbors”, states Rosenblum. “If the adults are at work or injured during a disaster, who will take care of their children? With an average of 25-40 students per class, this provides an unmanageable ratio. Would your child know what to do in a disaster situation? Could they safely take care of themselves? How would they handle a crisis, much less a major disaster?”

While Wentzville School District was the first to initiate the training through a certified TEEN CERT program, other school districts around the area are requesting the training in their schools. As the training is gaining popularity, TEEN CERT is been requested as a permanent part of the curriculum and education departments are currently reviewing cost and resource impacts.

For more information about this class, TEEN CERT or emergency preparedness, please contact WSD teacher Mrs. Kimberly Voss at kimberlyvoss@wsdr4.org. Seating is limited, so RSVP to reserve your spot in the class.