The Offices of Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense (GHS/OCD) will host a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Rodeo on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 9 a.m. at the GHS/OCD facility, Agana Heights.
A recurring theme among Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) preparedeness and CERT is “You are the help until help arrives.” For Guam, this year’s CERT Rodeo theme is “Yoda Help Until Help Arrives,” with an ode to the date, May 4th and its connection with Star Wars.
Each year, communities across the nation fall victim to some disaster. Emergency events take the form of severe storms, typhoons, earthquakes, floods or man-made disasters. The damage caused by disasters affect all elements of society and government. Catastrophic events severely restrict and often overwhelm emergency response resources, communications, transportation and utilities. In addition, they leave many individuals and neighborhoods cut off from outside support. CERT helps increase capacity to local communities by increasing the number of people who can assist during and after a disaster.
GHS/OCD host CERT and Teen CERT training opportunities throughout the year for various groups and high school students. CERT trainings provide lessons on how to help communities mitigate disasters during the first minutes and up to 72 hours following a disaster when damaged roads, disrupted communications, high call volume, etc., may restrict access by local police, fire and emergency medical services. The purpose of CERT training is to provide citizens with the basic skills that they will need to handle their own needs and then to respond to their communities’ needs in the aftermath of a disaster.
CERT groups from AmeriCorps Sanctuary, AmeriCorps Univerity of Guam, Guahan Charter Academy, Simon Sanchez High School, and St. Paul Christian Academy will compete in the CERT Rodeo. The Rodeo will be a competition in which participants will go through a timed course of activities including light fire suppression, light victim extraction and disaster medical operations with obstacles in between for a chance to win a travelling trophy.
“The CERT program and trainings have been an integral part of Guam’s emergency preparedness system,” stated Charles Esteves, Office of Civil Defense Administrator. “We look to CERT trained people to assist emergency responders during disaster situations. After training, they become qualified volunteers prepared to safely address hazards specific to the community.”
For more information, contact Public Information Officer Jenna Blas at (671) 489-2540 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.