Pg-3-Group-shotIf disaster were to strike during school hours, would you know what to do?

Members of the La Quinta High School Medical Health Academy (MHA) sophomore class are now more prepared to help themselves and their friends after taking a national disaster training program offered by FEMA called Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

In January, MHA students took the 20-hour course which certifies volunteers throughout the country in disaster preparedness and emergency response. Taught by Jerry D. Hagen, Shane Reichart and Eric Cadden, emergency services coordinators with the Riverside County Fire Department Office of Emergency Services, the training included information about the potential disasters that could affect this area and how to safely and responsibly respond to them in an effort to help students protect themselves, their family, and their friends.

After a disaster, professional responders are needed everywhere. In the chaotic aftermath of an emergency, Teen Cert responders can help until professional responders arrive.

LQ Medical Health Academy students working toward CERT certification.

LQ Medical Health Academy students working toward CERT certification.

The MHA students learned critical skills such as extinguishing small fires, conducting light search and rescue, disaster medical operations, assisting those who are injured, setting up medical treatment areas and triage, assisting emergency responders, identifying and anticipating hazards, cribbing, reducing fire hazards in the home and workplace, and how to help reduce survivor stress. These students will play a vital role as the student emergency response team for the La Quinta High School campus.

Now residing in its new campus facility, the medical health academy at La Quinta High School is a
three-year program focused on medical health careers. There are seven health academy programs in the Coachella Valley helping to prepare the next generation of health care workforce in our region.

For more information contact Kathryn Pedersen, lead teacher of La Quinta High School Medical Health Academy, at [email protected]. La Quinta High School is located at 79255 Blackhawk Way in La Quinta (760) 772.4150.

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