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Katy Texas News
Posted January 14, 2011

Next month, more than 140 students from all six Katy high schools will take part in a hands-on drill that will test their skills in emergency preparedness as part of the district’s Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. This program assists teens in handling disaster situations that can happen during the school day and when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

In October, 2010, Katy ISD introduced the Teen CERT program to its high schools, signing-up 143 students to participate in the 20-hour course. Students learned about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their schools and community, and were trained in basic disaster response skills including fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. The program also educated students on disaster psychology and terrorism from experts in the field, including local first responders and the Katy ISD Police Department.

In order to be certified in Teen CERT, students must participate in one of two final drills held on Friday, Feb. 18, and Friday, Feb. 25. The day-long event will be held at the Harris County Fire & Sheriff’s Training Academy in Atascocita.  Activities include fire suppression, light search in rescue, cribbing to lift victims, collapsed walls or other heavy items and medical triage. Students will receive community service hours for their participation in the program, and senior students in the program can compete for college scholarships.

Students from the Katy ISD Teen CERT program also participated in Katy ISD’s Mock Full-Scale Exercise held on October. There, students saw first-hand the important role that disaster training plays in a large-scale emergency and how they can avoid becoming victims of a disaster.

Katy ISD implemented the Teen CERT program with the assistance of the Harris County Citizen’s Corps and the Harris County Department of Education.

For more information on the Teen CERT program in Katy ISD, contact the Katy ISD Office of Emergency Management at 281-396-2784. For directions to the Harris County Fire and Sheriff’s Training Academy in Atascocita, visit hcfmo.net/images/hcfm_loc.pdf. Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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