Orland Fire District to recognize CERT Graduates Tuesday Nov. 28

Orland Fire District to recognize CERT Graduates Tuesday Nov. 28

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Orland Fire District to recognize CERT Graduates Tuesday Nov. 28

A new class of community residents who are trained in basic emergency response procedures will be recognized by the Orland Fire Protection District at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, November 28.

The graduates are everyday citizens who participate in the Fire District’s nationally recognized CERT Program (Community Emergency Response Team) which educates district residents about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area. CERT instruction trains attendees in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

OFPD Fire Chief Michael Schofield said the CERT program, a 10-week training program open to adults in the community, gives member participants “hands-on experience in dealing with emergencies” that they might face in everyday life.

CERT trainees take instruction from Lt. Bill Leddin and Engineer Tom Rafferty on how to properly apply a tourniquet to an injured limb in a 2016 training. Photo courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District

CERT trainees take instruction from Lt. Bill Leddin and Engineer Tom Rafferty on how to properly apply a tourniquet to an injured limb in a 2016 training. Photo courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District

“We have seen many instances where the fast action of people who have emergency response training can make a difference in saving lives,” Schofield said.

“The CERT program provides the basic training citizens might need to deal with emergency situations that may occur. They help increase the likelihood victims in emergencies will survive by giving them support while waiting for emergency medical technicians, EMTs, to arrive.”

Schofield said EMTs arrive in minutes following a 9-1-1 emergency calls, but he noted that what takes place during those first few minutes can improve the chances of survival and recovery.

Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

Lt. Bill Leddin instructs CERT trainees on how to properly use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to make it possible to respond to a medical emergency where defibrillation is required. Photo courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District

Lt. Bill Leddin instructs CERT trainees on how to properly use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to make it possible to respond to a medical emergency where defibrillation is required. Photo courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District

CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

The nearly 10-week program was taught by Lieutenant William Leddin at the district’s main headquarters and the final class was held at the district’s training center at 10728 W. 163rd Place.

Leddin said that the training provided during the final class included CPR, extinguishing small fires and the proper and effective use of fire extinguishers, helping individuals who may have a wide range of injuries including heart attacks and injuries, and effective responses to severe weather crisis including tornadoes.

“Our goal is to train as many volunteer responders in the district that we can and during our next emergency 9-1-1 call, dispatch our CERT team to respond and be on the scene offering emergency assistance,” Leddin said.

“Those first few seconds of an emergency can make a significant difference in saving someone’s life. The sooner emergency response is started, the better the chances someone in an emergency situation will survive,” added Leddin.

The district is planning to offer a new class for all district residents 18 and older beginning in January 2018. The next scheduled class will begin on January 22, every Monday from 6:30 PM until 8:30 PM for eight weeks.

The graduation will take place at the regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 beginning at 5:00 PM at the OFPD Administrative headquarters located at 9790 W. 151st Street in Orland Park.

For more information on the CERT Program, visit the Orland Fire Protection District website at www.OrlandFire.org.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

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