The training teaches HOSA members how to help people in case of disaster. If the students pass the test at the end of the program they are then certified as CERT and are able to assist during emergencies when professionals are not readily available.
“This program gives an opportunity to help people and communities to be prepared for an emergency,” HOSA photographer Brittny Mikhaiel said. “This can relate to anyone, young or old, in school or out of school, even people who have no interest in the medical field. Having knowledge and being prepared for an emergency to help yourself and others is something that will benefit everyone.”
During a demonstration on how to transport an unconscious patient, junior Jeanny Varela lays on the sheet waiting for the demonstration to start. Some of the transportation devices required more people while others needed less. "Learning how to transport patients was really fun and educational," Varela said. "We got to work with other students and learn the various ways to transport patients."
While learning how to transport patients from the disaster scene, junior Anja Jovasevic lays down on a sheet playing the role of a patient. The students practiced these techniques over and over again with different material cloth so there are no surprises when a real disaster happens. "I really enjoyed having practice with the transportation devices during CERT," Jovasevic said. "I found it to be very fun and also scary when you are the one being carried. It is scary to think that if you were injured you will feel pain while being carried and you must trust the individuals carrying you."
At the CERT program, students use many different type of equipment to learn how each device functions. It was important to master each piece of equipment because they will never know what will be available during a disaster.
Junior Tray-Shauna Mack-Pope pulls out the carrying device from under the patient. The goal was to be as gentle as possible when adjusting the device so the patient doesn't get injured. "CERT was a memorable experience," Pope said. "I believe it could eventually prepare me for an unexpected tragedy or disaster."
While listening to a presentation on what cloth not to use, sophomore Aubriana Coddington prepares to pull the blanket. The second day of CERT was very hands on and taught students how to put their skills to work. "My favorite part about CERT was when we made a practice situation where a disaster had occurred," Coddington said. "No matter what our job was, we all had to apply what we learned the previous days in order to be successful. I was in the medical area that we made and was assigned to those in a condition that requires immediate care. It was really fun and interesting to have the opportunity to apply what we learned in the disaster, though it was fictional."
HOSA members will be able to use these learned skills at their state competition in Reno on March 19-22.
The program started after the National Terrorism Act was passed. Its purpose is to give normal citizens a chance to be able to help out in times of emergencies.
“There are community programs available for any other students who would like to take this course,” Smith said. “They can go to the CERT website for Las Vegas and sign up and attend. Students also move to the adult team upon graduation.”