Laguna is CERT-ainly better prepared for emergencies since the graduation of 31 members from Laguna's first Community Emergency Response Team training program.
The City Council honored at the June 5 meeting the graduates of the program, which helps train volunteers to respond to emergency situations in their communities.
"When emergencies happen, CERT members can give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site," said Sue Kempf, one of the graduates and co-chair of the city's Disaster Preparedness Committee. "CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the community."
Kempf's co-chair, David Sanford of Doctor's Ambulance, pledged $2,500 toward a future CERT class.
The 25-hour CERT course was taught by a lead instructor and a team of first responders, who have completed a CERT course for trainers, conducted by the state Office of Emergency Management.
Classes met on six Wednesday evenings and concluded with a Saturday drill.
The classes were taught by Police Department dispatchers Jordan Villwock and Yvette Barbari, Cpls. Andy Peck and Robert Gifford, Officer Rod McDonald and Lt. Darin Lenyi; Marine Safety Department Lt. Kai Bond; Fire Department Deputy Chief Jeff LaTendresse, engineers Crissy Teichmann and Rob Abijay and Firefighter Jarett Jensen.
Training included disaster preparedness, fire suppression, basic medical treatment, light search and rescue operations and terrorism awareness.
"The goal of CERT is the greatest good for the greatest number," Kempf said.
Participants also included Ramona Loucks, Victor Opincar, Matt Lawson, Juliett Chesley, Stephen Dotorotos, Erik Ranabargar, Sandra Cain, Louis Carson, Susan Becker, Kenneth Steele, John Kountz, James Conway, Gary Beverage, Victoria Strombom, Annette Garcia, Julian McIntryre, Lorene Auger, Christopher Tomlin, Chadwick Pohle, Bradley Emerson, David Kubik, Randall Miller, James Lawson, Kathleen Rosenberger, Anna Driggs, Monika Yen, Timothy O'Neal, Michael, Nancy and, Ashleigh Harrington.