Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services...
One also expects that under these kinds of conditions, family members, fellow employees, and neighbors will spontaneously try to help each other. This was the case following the Mexico City earthquake where untrained, spontaneous volunteers saved 800 people. However, 100 people lost their lives while attempting to save others. This is a high price to pay and is preventable through training.
...What can government do to prepare citizens for this eventuality?
First, present citizens the facts about what to expect following a major disaster in terms of immediate services. Second, give the message about their responsibility for mitigation and preparedness. Third, train them in needed life saving skills with emphasis on decision making skills, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. Fourth, organize teams so that they are an extension of first responder services offering immediate help to victims until professional services arrive. ---Community Emergency Response Team
After you go through the training you go through a practice disaster. Friends and family are invited to come and be victims of the disaster. Krista, Gavin and I participated. I know that disasters are not a fun thing, but in this case acting like a victim was fun. I thought I did well when afterward a man told me, "You scared me!"
Rex is glad he went through the training because it gave him an opportunity to think about and through emergency scenarios in a way he hadn't. He feels it has made him better prepared to respond and help others than he was before.
We just discovered that training classes will start on Thursday (5/6/10). We know it's late notice, but some of you may be able to do it if you get in right away. Normally there are 7 classes and a separate practice disaster announced after. The Unified Fire Authority has started something new. You can do your first 3 classes online and then just attend 4 classes plus disaster. You NEED to start these right away to get the online portion in by Thursday. Register for classes here.
I'm going to start the classes this week. I'd love to have someone join me. If you can't get to them then most of the cities in the county have them in some form or another or there will be some taught next fall. One other options is to some extent you can mix the classes within the different cities and times. For example you can attend a class in Herriman if you miss a class here. You can also pick up the classes you missed next fall. Just call 801-743-7150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure you are attending the right make up classes.