As of last Saturday afternoon, there are about 30 more people in Grays Harbor who now possess the basic knowledge and skill to save your life. That’s the result of the area’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and its Ocean Shores team training around 30 area residents in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in a pair of sessions held at Ocean Shores Elementary School.
The two-hour training classes were taught primarily by Tammy Fairley, who is a Basic Life Support instructor, CERT Team Leader for Ocean Shores and assistant program manager under Heather Worley, for Grays Harbor CERT. Worley and Ocean Shores CERT member Chris McCaughan, both BLS instructors, also were on hand.
Worley said that “CERT has been doing a lot of inroads in bringing preparedness to the Ocean Shores community.” Fairley said that ongoing outreach and awareness efforts are fueling growth in the group, which has more than doubled in size in the past two years. Recent public meetings on tsunami evacuation have also spurred interest.
“So much fear and talk of worst case scenarios sometimes scares people away from doing something,” Fairley said. One of the ideas driving CERT is “enabling the average citizen to think, ‘Yes, I can do something.’
“Knowledge is power… the more power each of us has to help one another… In our day to day lives, we can save a life, we can make a difference.”
Participants were asked for a $10 donation, and the training session also concluded with drawing the winner in a raffle of an original work of art glass donated by Bad Wulf Studios in Moclips. Thus, the event was a fund raiser as well.
Instead of getting a meal and maybe some music, Fairley explained, people learn and practice a life-saving skill. “They walk away with the idea
that, in an emergency, ‘I could do that; I could make a difference.’”
CERT is active throughout the county, with around 110 active members in seven local teams. In addition to offering education and training, members actively support area first responders. Fairley said six Ocean Shores members logged dozens of hours aiding the Ocean Shores Fire Department during the recent July 4th holiday.
They also do public awareness activities at a number of Ocean Shores Convention Center events and conduct school visits as well.
Several events are upcoming. A three-day training session is planned for August 23-25 at the Ocosta Rec Hall. Starting at 9 a.m. each day, those sessions will cover a wide range of topics including rescuer safety, disaster first aid, light search and rescue, fire extinguishers, decision making and team organization, and disaster psychology.
This year’s version of the popular emergency cooking class will be offered at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the LDS Church at 228 Albatross St. NE in Ocean Shores.
Grays Harbor CERT will again participate in the County’s Emergency Preparedness Expo, on Saturday, October 6, at the Rotary Log Pavilion in Aberdeen.
More information is available online at www.graysharborcert.com.