Community Emergency Response Training

emergency servicesThe Talbot County Department of Emergency Services is offering a free emergency planning and response course to county residents.

The CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) course is designed to help citizens prepare for and lessen the effects of a disaster. The 21-hour CERT course includes emergency preparedness, fire safety and suppression, emergency medical treatment, light search and rescue, and disaster psychology. It also includes a final disaster exercise that enables participants to use the skills and knowledge they acquired during the course.

CERT is presented as seven 3-hour classes, each Monday at 6:30 p.m. beginning September 12 and concludes with a disaster simulation exercise on October 24. All class sessions will be held at the Oxford Community Center in Oxford, located at 200 Oxford Street.

“Residents who volunteer their time for CERT training are a great asset to our community,” said Clay Stamp, Talbot County Director of Emergency Services and Assistant County Manager. “The skills taught in CERT are the foundation of emergency preparedness for individuals and families.”

Class participants will receive a training manual and a CERT kit that includes personal protective equipment such as a flashlight, first-aid kit, and high-visibility safety gear.  Participants who complete the course will be awarded a certificate acknowledging their accomplishments.

In a widespread emergency such as a winter storm or hurricane, public safety resources are stretched thin. CERT enables residents to care for themselves, their families, and their neighbors until police, fire, and medical responders are able to reach their neighborhoods.

The curriculum is interactive, with a combination of lecture and “hands-on” activities, and is open to all county residents.  There is no charge for the class, but space is limited.

For more information and to register, contact Jim Bass, Emergency Management Coordinator, at 410-770-8166 or email him at CERT is a Citizen Corps program offered by the Department of Homeland Security.

Talbot CPR Marathon: DES to provide free CPR and AED Training

In recognition of the American Heart Association’s “National Heart Month” Talbot County Emergency Services will be offering free CPR and AED training to the public on February 26, 2014, at the Talbot County Community Center in Easton, Maryland. The CPR classes will begin every hour on the hour beginning at 9:00 am with the last class beginning at 7:00 pm. Classes are approximately one and a half hours in length. Register online or call 410-820-8311.

Heart disease is the nation’s No. 1 killer, claiming more lives than an all forms of cancer combined. It has been noted that cardiovascular disease is responsible for one out of every four deaths in the United States and is the leading cause of death for both men and women. A lethal complication that can develop while having a heart attack is Sudden Cardiac Arrest which is a leading cause of death, claiming nearly 300,000 lives each year. During a sudden cardiac arrest, heart function ceases – abruptly and without warning. When this occurs, the heart is no longer able to pump blood to the rest of the body, and in some 95 percent of victims, death occurs.

Once a cardiac arrest occurs, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation is required within the first several minutes to restore electrical activity to the heart and revive the heart’s pumping function. Availability of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) is critical for rapid response to cardiac arrest.

Mr. Clay Stamp, the Director of Emergency Services for Talbot County explains; “It is critically important in the case of sudden cardiac arrest to access the 9-1-1 system immediately… every second counts. He further explains; “The data is clear, by having a community trained in high performance CPR with access to AEDs and a highly trained and equipped EMS response system the survival rate for Sudden Cardiac Arrest improves significantly, and it is our earnest goal to train as many people as we can to save lives.”

In 2001, Talbot County launched “Operation Save-a-Heart” in an effort to prepare the community to respond to Sudden Cardiac Arrests. It was through the efforts of the Talbot County Paramedic Foundation, Talbot Advanced Life Support, the Talbot County Council, and the businesses throughout the County that AED’s were strategically placed and CPR training provided.

Fast forward…There are now over 170 AED’s located throughout the County in businesses, schools, and in public buildings. Talbot County Emergency Services in a cooperative effort provides support to these AED sites through CPR and AED training. This places Talbot County in a better position to save lives, as evidenced August 18, 2009 when an employee at the Talbot County YMCA used an AED to successfully resuscitate a victim of Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

As a next step, Talbot County Emergency Services with the support of the Talbot County Paramedic Foundation, the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce, Chesapeake Publishing, WCEI/WINX Radio, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, Talbot County Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Talbot County Health Department will be conducting the third annual CPR Marathon. These training sessions will provide the public free bystander CPR training with a goal to train as many people as possible.