East Manatee Fire Rescue Lieutenant Chad Gamble instructs new Lakewood Ranch CERT
member Lucy Bricker in the proper use of a dry chemical fire extinguisher. (provided photo)
The Manatee County Department of Emergency Management sponsored a training course recently for new members of area community emergency response teams (CERT). Residents from Lakewood Ranch, Heritage Harbour and University Park participated in the training that was held over two evenings and two Saturdays.
Part of a nationwide program started by the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA, volunteer CERT teams in the county provide search and rescue and emergency first aid in response to hurricanes and other disasters until trained emergency personnel are able to reach the scene.
The November training was hosted by the Lakewood Ranch Community Emergency Response Team and held at East Manatee Fire Rescue fire stations and meeting space donated by Gold Coast Eagle Distributing. Certified instructors from East Manatee Fire Rescue, Manatee County Emergency Medical services, and Lakewood Ranch CERT conducted skills training in emergency first aid, search and rescue, fire safety and disaster preparedness.
The Lakewood Ranch CERT has almost 200 members and is one of the largest CERT organizations in the state. Heritage Harbour is one of the newest CERT programs in the county and graduated their first five members during this class.
Lakewood Ranch CERT Paramedic Nina McCabe and Manatee County Paramedic Lt. Dave Byington demonstrate backboard procedures for neck and back injuries on new CERT member Robert McCabe.