The odds are that almost everyone will be in a position to save another person’s life at some point. The clincher is, will they be ready for it?
“Someday one of our students may save a life…and it might be mine,” Matthew Wetmore, volunteer CERT lead, said.
Wetmore has been a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteer for the past six years.
One can never be prepared enough for an emergency, he said.
“Every time I have an emergency, the more prepared I am,” he said.
The city of Redmond organizes several public safety events each year, in addition to various safety events at schools and community centers.
However, this will be the second annual Personal Emergency Preparedness event.
The Redmond Citizen Corps Council (RCCC) supports the greater Redmond area community to be ready, respond and recover from emergencies and disasters. It is the lead sponsor of this event. It’s the umbrella organization to CERT, Amateur Radio Emergency Response (ARES), the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS), and the Neighborhood Watch program.
The upcoming preparedness event focuses on helping the community understand local hazards for the area, potential impacts and duration on services, and how to prepare themselves. Presenters at the fair currently include RCCC with CERT, ARES and MRC, as well as the new emergency manager of Lake Washington School District, FEMA, PSE and others.
“This includes big stuff like earthquakes,” Wetmore said. “It also covers snowstorms, pipelines, wind, hazardous materials and the like.”
The event is free and serves as an opportunity for residents to ask questions and learn how to be prepared for emergencies.
“Last year’s event was pretty awesome,” RCCC member Elizabeth Hansford, said. “It was highly interactive and folks were very interested.”
The event was a success, according to Hansford. She said it was rewarding watching residents participate and learn how to save a life someday.
“I saw people walking away feeling empowered,” she said. “They left with confidence.”
When it comes to personal emergency preparedness training, there’s a fine line between providing needed information and scaring people.
“We’re letting people know how to prepare for risks,” Wetmore said. “There’s risks in everyday living, but they need to know how to prepare for some of the worst ones.”
Additionally, there are other opportunities to register for longer classes that cover these topics and more. One class covers these topics more in depth, plus first aid, CPR and choking response. Another class prepares community members to help their family, coworkers and neighbors in a disaster.
“If they continue ongoing training, they can participate in the city, county, state and federal responses,” Wetmore said. “These responders are very important to the city as some employees do not live in the vicinity and local citizens can augment the response.”
The Personal Emergency Preparedness event will be held from 1-3 p.m. on Jan. 11 at Redmond City Hall, 15670 NE 85th St.