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County Offers Free Basic Training In Disaster Preparedness

Residents take part in emergency training with officials from the Rockland Community Emergency Response Team.
Residents take part in emergency training with officials from the Rockland Community Emergency Response Team. Photo Credit: Rockland County Government/Facebook

CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. -- Residents interested in learning or training to take part in emergency response, will want to attend two free upcoming training classes that will focus on the psychology of working during disasters and light search and rescue.

Offered by the Rockland County Office of Fire and Emergency Services and the Rockland County Youth  Bureau, the classes are designed to provide basic training in disaster preparedness for residents, which increases the ability of citizens to manage an extreme situation until first responders or other assistance arrives.

The two classes include the following:

  • Disaster Psychology - Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 6 p.m. -- The class will explore and discuss the psychological impact of a disaster on rescuers and survivors and how to provide "psychological first aid." It will also talk about the steps one can take  before, immediately following, and after a disaster.
  • Light Search and Rescue - Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. -- Will cover three primary areas: 1) How to size up the situation in which the search and rescue teams will operate, 2) how to systematically search for disaster survivors and 3) safe techniques for lifting, leveraging, cribbing, and survivor removal.

Both classes are available to people at least 14 years old who live or work in Rockland County. Classes are held at the Fire Training Center, 35 Firemen's Memorial Drive, Pomona.

"Our residents who volunteer their time to become RCERT (Rockland Community Emergency Response Team) members are a true asset to our community," said County Executive Ed Day. "We are proud to continue this important program and train our people to step up and support their neighbors when needed most."

In addition, students will be trained to provide services such as supply distribution, fire safety, damage assessment, shelter assembly, neighbor well-checks, light search and rescue and disaster medical operations. In non-crisis times, volunteers will educate the community about disaster preparedness through coordination of public education campaigns and events. Classes are offered as part of the RCERT curriculum, and are available to those who wish to complete the entire course, or for those who would like to take only classes of interest.

The full RCERT curriculum is a 25 to 30 hour FEMA-based training module comprised of eight classes, and completed over a course of approximately eight months to a year.

For more information, email rcamericorps@co.rockland.ny.us or call 845-708-7307.

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