Free Disaster Preparedness Classes on Molokai

CERT Grads 1

Maui Civil Defense Agency News Release

Following a major disaster, the number and scope of emergencies increases dramatically, and first responders who provide fire and medical services may not be able to meet the immediate needs in all areas. Factors such as number of victims, communication failures and road blockages will prevent people from accessing emergency services. People will have to rely on each other for help in order to meet their immediate life saving and life sustaining needs. To help prepare for such emergencies, training is available, which will be provided on Molokai through a series of free classes.

During disasters, 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.

A nationwide program called CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) readies citizens for disasters.  CERT educates citizens about their responsibility for mitigation and preparedness before disaster strikes and what to expect following a major disaster.  The training teaches basic disaster response skills such as fire safety and small fire suppression, light search and rescue, basic medical aid and disaster medical operations, and team organization to keep members safe and to effectively help victims until professional services arrive.  People are trained in needed life saving skills with emphasis on decision making skills, rescuer safety and doing the greatest good for the greatest number.

CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can make a difference.  Four classes will be held on Molokai every Saturday in May: on May 3, May 10, May 17 and May 31. All classes will be held at the Molokai High School Cafeteria from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Participants must register to attend the training, and must attend all four classes to become certified.  Class size is limited and registration will be on a first come, first served basis.  To register, please contact Maui Civil Defense at (808) 270-7285 or email cert@mauicounty.gov.

CERT training is free to Molokai residents, sponsored by Maui Civil Defense Agency and taught by professional first responders from the Maui Fire Department.  The 28-hour course consists of classroom instruction, hands-on training and field exercises.  A Certificate of Completion is awarded on the last day of class.

CERT training is open to people of all abilities, age 18 and older, no previous experience needed.  Ages 14-17 may attend with a parent or legal guardian.


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