Channahon readies residents for disasters
By Jeanne Millsap Correspondent November 13, 2012 9:28PM
Updated: December 19, 2012 11:35AM
CHANNAHON — Another batch of residents now is ready to lend a hand to their neighbors in the case of a disaster, whether the source is nearby chemical or nuclear plants, a tornado or severe flooding at the center of the confluence of three major rivers, such as occurred in the Channahon flood of 1996.
The second class of the C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) volunteers graduated last month, led by Channahon police Lt. Mark Fisher in partnership with the Will County Emergency Management Agency.
Among subjects taught during the 20-hour training class were firefighting, search and rescue, medical operations including triage, and disaster psychology. Students also learned how to turn off gas and water supplies to houses and how to spot potential terrorists in the very hands-on training.
“If disasters arise,” Fisher explained, “they will mobilize and provide immediate care for their families, neighbors and neighborhoods.”
It takes 24-72 hours for state and federal disaster teams to arrive at the scene of a disaster, he said, and in the meantime, local CERT teams can make a huge difference. Fisher said an immediate goal is to begin a local search group, combining both classes of volunteers.