CHICO, Calif. – A handful of people in Butte County now have a new set of skills thanks to a weekend training program offered by the Chico Fire Department and the Butte County Sheriff’s Office.
A two-and-a-half day training program put ordinary citizens into the role of first responders, during a C.E.R.T. program. That stands for Community Emergency Response Team.
The hands-on course gives individuals potentially life-saving skills for situations such as fires, earthquakes or how to respond in a mass casualty incident or other natural disasters.
The weekend course was the first such C.E.R.T. training for Chico Fire Department volunteers.
The classroom training culminated with a real-life, action-packed scenario in which volunteers put what they learned into practice; how to respond to an earthquake with several people injured.
The C.E.O. for the Butte County C.E.R.T. team, Grant Hunsicker says volunteers learn in-depth training on medical, triage, transportation and how to put out small fires. He says when an event happens, C.E.R.T. volunteers are often the first people on scene, even before first responders can show up. He describes the works as the elementary step in getting people the resources they need until help arrives.
Additional C.E.R.T. programs will be offered throughout the year through the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. As Chico Fire develops its program, the department anticipates offering additional learning opportunities as well.