Tribal Government & News
34 become CERT certified
By Ron Karten
Smoke Signals staff writer
On Saturday, Feb. 28, the Tribe’s Community Emergency Response Team participated in the eighth of nine classes from Yamhill County CERT, the first time the training has been held at the Tribe.
Thirty-four people attended the current series of classes. Seventy-five to 100 individuals take the class every year countywide.
All nine classes are held three-times-a-year, said Sue Lamb, Yamhill County Emergency manager, and there is a shorter training monthly for volunteer trainers and community members in an ongoing effort to be prepared for potential natural or man-made disasters.
In addition to the trainings, Yamhill County CERT addresses church and youth groups, and has a booth at Tribal powwows, Lamb said. About 250 to 300 people receive information about CERT during each powwow.
The eighth class involved a drill that gave participants actual practice in responding to a mass casualty event affecting the area.
Previous classes dealt with preparedness, fire safety and suppression, disaster medical emergencies, terrorism, light search and rescue, CERT organization, disaster psychology and, finally, a review and exam held Tuesday, March 3.
The largest threat to Grand Ronde, Jamie Baxter, CERT coordinator for the Tribe, has said is an earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone that runs along the Pacific Coast from British Columbia south to northern California.
“It will be the worst catastrophe when it happens, but we don’t know when that will be,” said Lamb. “Meanwhile, there will also be snow storms, flooding and landslides in the area requiring CERT knowledge and experience.”
Trains and trucks transporting dangerous chemicals also are potential threats in the event of accidents and cargo leaks.
Tribal members attending the CERT training came from Salem, Dallas, Willamina, Sheridan and further afield, Lamb said.
The program comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency with Yamhill County, for the last 10 years, facilitating the class.
“Basically,” Baxter has said, “it’s about how to keep us safe in a disaster.”
Those who were certified included Roger Asbahr, Patrick Dempsey, Violet Folden, Jerry George, Tribal Council member Tonya Gleason-Shepek, Annette Haller, Gladys Hobbs, Mel Holmes, Richard and Scarlett Holtz, Ronald Johnson, Duke Kimsey, Deborah Kroeker, John Mercier, Marion Mercier, Patricia Mercier, Candice Olsen, Carmen Parren, Greg Patton, Raymond Petite, Sally Petite, Delores Pinder and Dorothy Piper.