It’s been an hour since the earthquake hit. Cell phone service is down and neighbors are starting to panic. No one can get through to report injuries to police or fire departments and it may be unsafe to stay indoors.
What would you do?
In an effort to find meaningful answers to that horrifying hypothetical, 42 local residents came to La Cañada Flintridge City Hall Saturday for the first of three free Community Emergency Response Training classes offered by the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The training is designed to prepare citizens to assume the role of ad-hoc block captains and organizers in the event of a large-scale emergency or natural disaster.
“When there’s a major disaster, we’re going to be overwhelmed,” firefighter and CERT coordinator Steven Harper told participants. “That’s why we’re here in this class, so you can prepare yourself in case of an event.”
As introductions were made around the room, students were asked to share a talent or skill they could bring to bear in the event of an emergency. One man mentioned being fluent in Italian, while another admitted having experience building movie sets.