C.E.R.T (Community Emergency Response Team) is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where a local group can activate while first responders are on their way.
It is common for C.E.R.T teams to activate to assist with search and rescue missions. In 2011 in Southern Marin, California a team assembled to help the Sheriff’s office search for an elderly woman with dementia who had wandered from home and become lost. These members actively searched alongside professional search and rescue responders well into the night and the woman was spotted the next day.
Another example was in 2008 in Douglas County, GA where a local woman was reported missing. The search area over land and water was so extensive that it required much more resources than the traditional first responders could give. Ten CERT members, some of whom also volunteer on a rescue dive team, activated and reported to incident command, where they were assigned an area to search. Within 30 minutes, the CERT and rescue dive team volunteers located the body of the missing woman. This incident ended in tragedy; however the response from the C.E.R.T members provided valuable assistance in resolving the case which could have otherwise taken a great deal more time and risk to those searching.
During emergencies, local people are always willing to help their communities, however they often will often put themselves or others at risk. C.E.R.T members are everyday citizens who undergo training that allows them to assist during emergency situations while maintaining a level of personal safety. As a part of this training, C.E.R.T members learn to assess situations and help victims in light search and rescue covering three key areas:
- Creating a safe environment
- Triaging or stabilizing victims
- Removing victims
Specifically these people have training in assessing structural damage, marking structures that have been searched, search techniques, as well as rescue techniques. All of these skills are instrumental in saving lives and have proven to be effective when working alongside professional first responders. Make sure your C.E.R.T group has access to the right tools in order to be as effective as possible when you need them the most.
Browse our kits now to see what will best suit your needs, from a single person starter kit to a more comprehensive deluxe four person kit:
One of the most important steps in search and rescue missions is to ensure the rescuer remains safe at all times. For example rescuers working in events where a structure has collapsed often results in breathing complaints or injury themselves when navigating areas full of storm debris. Therefore having the correct gear is an absolute necessity, the basics of which are:
Our C.E.R.T Search and Rescue kits include all of this vital safety equipment to allow your team to do their job while keeping themselves as safe as possible.
One of the major roles of C.E.R.T group during search and rescue is to create and maintain a safe environment. Disasters create a vast array of unexpected obstacles and teams needs to be able to expertly handle structure damage ranging from broken windows or fallen plaster to partial or total collapse of a building. They also need to be able to clear blocked roads, dig out cars or other vehicle or help authorities gain access to infrastructure like fire hydrants. During such missions, the C.E.R.T members will have to remove victims as well as secure a perimeter around the building as a warning to others of the lurking dangers. Our Search and Rescue kits provide the tools necessary to carry out these functions. Caution tape is useful to creating a visible cordon to warn people against entering a dangerous site as well as blocking entry ways and creating safe paths.
As electricity often fails during an emergency, the kits also include 12 hour light sticks that will help draw attention to the cordons during night-time hours and prevent rescuers stumbling upon hazardous zones. Light sticks can also be used to alert first responders to priority areas which would be otherwise impossible in the dark.
Once a general safety zone is created, C.E.R.T members are the required to remove potential dangers. This could include turning off water and gas to the affected areas. The Search and Rescue Kits provide a range of tools helpful for these kinds of tasks like pliers, vice grips and screwdrivers.
During rescue missions, the C.E.R.T team may remove victims who have become trapped in a partially or fully collapsed structure. In this case debris will have to be removed in order to reach the victims, to create safer escape routes or to stabilize the structure. They do so by employing the leveraging and cribbing techniques – leveraging refers to wedging a level under the object that needs to be removed with a stationary object that acts as a pivot. Cribbing refers to creating a wooden framework for support or strengthening purposes. The Search and Rescue kits include basic tools like a folding shovel, a saw, a pry bar and a steel pulley to assist in them such actions.
Purchasing a specific Search and Rescue kit means your Community Emergency Response Team will not waste any precious time collecting the tools and safety gear they require. They will have all the essential items on hand so they can activate at the moment’s notice whenever disaster strikes.