Polk Teen CERT

Q: Who can join?
A: Any teen ages 14 – 17 is eligible to join our CERT Program. Parental permission is required. Because you will be representing our program and the Independence Police Department during your activities, we need to know that you are a good student and have potential to become an effective leader. So, you must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and be in good standing with your parents, teachers and coaches.

Q: How long is the training?
A: The Basic CERT Training takes a total of 30 hours. If you choose to attain certification in CPR, First Aid, and AED’s, they take extra time.

Q: What is included in the training?
A: The training consists of 10 units; each unit has goals and learning objectives. The units teach you to keep yourself safe while helping others; to identify and anticipate hazards; reduce fire hazards in the home and workplace; use fire extinguishers to put out small fires; assist emergency responders; conduct light search and rescue; set up medical treatment areas; apply basic first aid techniques; and help reduce survivor stress. At the end of the course, you’ll participate in a disaster drill to reinforce the skills you learn in the training.

Q: Why should I join?
A: In 95% of all emergencies, the victim or a bystander provides the first immediate assistance. Joining a Teen CERT teaches you how to respond when others look to you for help. You’ll learn life skills, fulfill community service requirements, give back to the community, develop leadership skills, and help make your school and community safer.

Q: What can I contribute to my school as a Teen CERT member?
A: As a trained member, you can help when there’s an emergency. And you could also support other activities within the school. You can address safety issues, provide peer mentoring, participate in disaster drills and exercises, assist in preparedness outreach, present fire safety education, and teach home safety. If you enjoy working with elementary age students, perhaps you could deliver an emergency preparedness program to local elementary schools.

Q: Is it safe?
A: This training is about learning to respond safely and responsibly. You will be outfitted in all necessary safety gear and educated on proper safety procedures. Volunteers are taught and constantly reminded that rescuer safety is the most important thing for CERT members. (You cannot help others if you get hurt yourself!) The intent is not to expose you to additional risk; rather, it is to provide you with proper training so you are safely able to help victims during an event when professional responders may be delayed.

Q: What if none of my friends want to take the training with me?
A: Join anyway! The training is a great opportunity to meet new people. You’ll get to know others as you practice vital teamwork skills. And, once your friends see what you’re learning, they may want to join as well.

Q: Can I use this material for fulfilling community service credits for graduation?
A: Yes, and it is encouraged. It is recommended that participants receive 20-30 community service hours toward graduation. Give us a call and we will help you start the conversation with your principal or Senior Project Coordinator.

Q: How do I join?
A: Email or give us a call, or find us on facebook @ Teen CERT, Polk County Oregon