Screams filled the hallway off of the Peter Kirk Room in Kirkland City Hall last week. A major earthquake had hit the area and left the building without power. The sounds of the injured echoed off the walls as Kirkland’s 24th Community Emergency Response Team organized and got to work, conducting search and rescue efforts for the wounded.
This was the scene Nov. 18 during the CERT disaster drill, which was the final activity of the fall CERT program.
About 30 CERT members worked together throughout the morning and early afternoon to rescue roughly 28 survivors of a major earthquake.
A team of moulage artists created realistic injuries on those survivors, from simple bruises to impalements and compound fractures, for the CERTs to triage and treat.
The fall CERT program kicked off Sept. 20. Throughout the nine-week disaster training course, CERTs met once a week on Wednesdays to learn basic preparedness, search-and-rescue techniques and medical treatment. They also learned how to put out small fires, how to operate under the incident command system and how to work in teams.
Instructors Christina Brugman, Alex Koloskov, Janice Christian, Janet Merriam, Tricia Paker and Jen Mahan took turns leading the weekly meetings. Kirkland firefighter Kevin Grimstad also taught students how to put out small fires, other fire safety tips and basic medical techniques.
The next Kirkland CERT class will be offered starting March 1, 2018. The group will meet Thursday evenings. Registration begins January 2018. Sign up for the Kirkland CERT newsletter at www.KirklandCERT.com to be notified when registration opens and to hear about other classes and workshops.
This batch of CERTs officially graduated from the program on Tuesday with a small ceremony in Kirkland City Hall at 7 p.m.
Kirkland Reporter writer Megan Campbell took the course and participated in the disaster drill Nov. 18. For her firsthand account of the course and disaster drill, see the opinion section.