Next month, Scottsdale starts training a volunteer force how to respond to catastrophe — whether man-made or natural.
As of last week, 10 slots were still open in the city’s first Community Emergency Response Team class, said Gary White with the city’s emergency services.
The free once-a-week class will meet on Tuesdays starting Nov. 11 for eight weeks. Subsequent classes start Feb. 4 and April 15.
Participants will learn first aid; basic fire suppression; search-and-rescue techniques; medical triage, or how to determine which injuries need immediate attention; light rescue work, such as how to pull someone from a collapsed building; and how to respond in terrorist attacks.
"The whole premise behind CERT is to teach people how to take care of themselves and the people around them until trained emergency personnel arrive," said Mike Clark, spokesman for the Rural/ Metro Fire Department.
In Chandler, where the city started team training more than a year ago, more than 350 people have gone through the training.
The team has been around for years — beginning in California to train people how to help themselves and others during earthquakes. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, it gained national appeal and federal backing.
Dee Taylor, Scottsdale’s executive assistant police chief, said the city has spent about $6,700 in federal money for team manuals and equipment, such as helmets, goggles, vests and gloves. Additional federal funding will pay part of the training costs, she said.
The classes are a joint venture between Scottsdale’s fire and police departments. Earlier this year, the city’s team coordinators underwent training by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Now, t h ey are halfway through teaching it to 30 to 40 Scottsdale employees designated as safety officers, Clark said.
Residents must complete registration packets to participate. The class is restricted to people 18 years or older who live, work or own a business in Scottsdale.
To register for classes, contact the Scottsdale Police Department at (480) 312-5315.