Upper Schoolers Undergo Teen CERT Disaster Preparedness Training

Fourteen MICDS Upper School students participated in Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a national training program for teen volunteers interested in disaster preparedness and emergency response. Over the course of two weekends, students learned about the effects of natural and man-made disasters, including the emotional, social and economic impacts. They were trained in basic disaster response skills, such as fire suppression, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. The 22-hour training culminated in a disaster scenario simulation that tested the students’ emergency response skills. This is the fourth time this training has been offered at MICDS in the past five years.

Student leaders Paige Naughton ’22 and Ria Patil ’22 recruited students for this training at an Upper School assembly this past winter and helped to facilitate the training on campus with emergency response experts from the Mid American Teen CERT organization.

Naughton reflected on her experience, «I was there all 22 hours, and I learned so much from this experience. I was really nervous about the scenario because if I’ve learned anything about disasters, anything can happen. We started by choosing our roles, where I was voted to be the team leader. My role consisted of telling everyone where they needed to be and letting everyone know when we were switching from search and rescue to medical. It was really nerve-wracking to be in charge of 10 responders that had to get to 22 victims because I had to be everywhere at once. I had to make sure my team had what they needed but I also had to jump in and provide medical help every once in a while. In fact, I had to take over as medical for our first victim because she was deaf, and I was the only one who knew any sign language. That was incredibly scary seeing as this person was relying on me to help them communicate and get medical attention. This experience really opened my mind on how we have to be prepared for any scenario. Overall, I really enjoyed all 22 hours of training to be prepared and to help others. I’m so glad that we had many others who were there for the same purpose, and I encourage everyone else to take these classes to help them (and their families) prepare for the world.»