Firefighters train Lehi residents to assist during emergencies

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LEHI, Utah -- Citizens in Lehi are learning how to save lives during a disaster courtesy of the local fire department.

Residents are learning skills like first aid and how to triage as part of a Community Emergency Response Team, and about 30 residents came for the CERT training.

“I’d like to learn how to be better prepared in my own home for my family, and also how to help my neighbors and community,” resident Marinda Wilson said.

CERT training is done in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and it’s meant to train citizens in light rescue techniques so they can assist first responders during an emergency.

Rick Howard, Battalion Chief for the Lehi Fire Department, said the program is an important one.

“A CERT team is invaluable,” he said. “We can’t perform our job during a large-scale incident without using CERT.”

Howard said the crew that teaches the class is very advanced and knows how to train the citizens in proper first aid skills. Crews used stuffed animals instead of real victims, with labels on them to indicate their condition—and trainees used color-coded tags to assign the “victims” to different categories depending on their condition.

Howard said anybody can take the course.

“Most of the people that take CERT are housewives, and just the general white-collar, blue-collar workers who want to have a basic understanding and basic knowledge because they want to do something,” he said.

The class also helped residents assess their current skill level.

“I think we could be better, and we will be in time,” Wilson said. “I think we have a few who would have been dead.”

Howard said he appreciates the way the Lehi team has been operating.

“There are other programs that emulate our program, and I think imitation is the best form of flattery,” he said.

CERT training has been offered in Lehi for about 8 years. For more information, click here.