The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department, in cooperation with the County Office of Homeland Security, is currently conducting training for teenagers to be certified as members of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). The curriculum for Teen CERT is the standard national CERT training with an emphasis on student service and on hazards unique to the Fire/EMS Department and disaster management. Eleven Prince George’s County teenagers consisting of Fire/EMS Department Explorers and members of the County Summer Youth Program are participating in the Teen CERT training curriculum.
Teen CERT is a National Training Initiative that prepares youth to “mitigate, prepare, respond and recover” themselves, their families and their school in the event of a disaster. The program covers the areas of fire safety and basic fire combating techniques; recognizing injuries and basic first aid, CPR, basic team building and emergency communications systems.
Certificates will be provided upon completion of the three day course. After receiving their certification for Teen CERT, students are enabled to assist members of their community in an event where public safety officials are responding and are able to assist in various volunteer roles.
The training has been administered by instructors from the Fire/EMS Training Academy and held at the Fire Services Building in Landover Hills.
Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones, a CERT advocate and organizer for Fire/EMS Explorers program, stated, “Students will learn life skills, fulfill community service requirements, give back to the community, build self esteem and receive the satisfaction that comes from helping others.” He summarized the program saying, “The teaching and the training of our youth will have a tremendous impact on how well we mitigate, prepare, respond to, and recover from technical and natural disasters both today and in the years to come.”
For more information and anyone interested in participating in the CERT training and becoming certified should contact the Prince George’s County Office of Homeland Security, Ernest E. Walker, at 301-883-3300.