A campus safety manager for Flintridge Prep, La Cañadan Michael Lyman saw taking the class as his professional duty. “It’s something fundamental,” he said of disaster preparedness. “Anyone who’s chosen the field should entertain the thought of doing it.”
CERT classes used to be run under FEMA but now are overseen by the Department of Homeland Security. Due to scaled-back budgets, trainers come in on regular shifts or volunteer on their days off to teach sessions, English said.
As classes progress, participants learn about fire suppression, medical treatment, light search and rescue and dealing with hazardous materials. In a demonstration at Saturday’s training, students took turns putting out small fires with an extinguisher. They learned to hold the extinguisher’s nozzle steady and make sweeping motions with it from the base of the fire upward.