This past weekend, after eighteen hours of training, that began on Friday morning at 9 A.M. sharp at Eugene’s Fire Department Training Facility in Eugene – twenty plus students all veteran CERT Trainers except for two of us myself and a friend from the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Unit and Commander of Central Aid Agency, all came together as an entire unit of instructors taking FEMA’s Train The Trainer (TTT) Course for the Eugene-Springfield Community Emergency Response Team.
What was interesting was the instructors that taught the class were from Polk County, Oregon, CERT Team just outside of Salem, Oregon. The four, Kimber, Dell, Dave and Wendy all threw their knowledge, experience and awesome instruction on how CERT Trainers should be teaching the basic CERT Training to their students.
We all learned the right and wrongs and what to improve during our training and learned about ourselves along the way, as well..
For some of us, we’ve never taught a CERT class full of students, but we learned in front of our own peers and colleagues along the way – that there was no easy way out, we all had to learn how to trust our own instincts and fears – at the end we actually found out, “we could actually do this!” I said to myself, late Sunday night after getting some much needed sleep from three days of eight to nine hours for a total of 18 hours of classroom lecture and lab work with the two “teach-backs” as they are called – I came out learning from the best that have been traveling the state teaching other CERT Teams around the state of Oregon the same things they were teaching us in Eugene-Springfield CERT.
It could get any better than that. It was awesome and a lot of fun – I’m actually looking forward in teaching those in the community what it’s like to a prepared member of CERT and what they can do to help their communities, neighbors and family in the event of a disaster or emergency.