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Online CERT classes prepare Ojai residents for disasters

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Grant Phillips, Ojai Valley News reporter

In an emergency, are you ready to provide first aid, rescue trapped victims, and engage in limited firefighting? To be prepared, the community is encouraged to sign up for free, bilingual courses from the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

The hybrid courses are an alternative to the in-person sessions and will cover several topics: disaster response skills, fire safety, team organization, environmental hazards and disaster medical operations. 

The program is a collaboration between the Ventura County Fire Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

Through the new online hybrid course, participants will receive 12 hours of online independent study with in-person skills training and disaster simulations.   

After completing the online training, participants will follow up with a local Community Emergency Response Team coordinator,  participants will complete a 16-hour hands-on practical course, which will result in official CERT credentials. 

In certain emergencies, first responders may not be able to meet the demand for fire and medical services. The CERT program increases the response capability of residents in the event of a major disaster. 

Community members can register for the free online course by visiting: www.vcfd.org/register-for-a-class and selecting the city they live in. 

To learn more about the Ventura County CERT program, visit: www.vcfd.org/certor contact the VCFD CERT Program Manager, Captain Robert Ashby at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..