Day Two of CERT Train-the-Trainer and more Native culture

Thanks for coming back.  We’re having another great day in training here in Reno, Nevada, and I’m happy you are part of it.

Before I get to today’s classroom activity, I wanted to mention an article I just came across that appeared in today’s “Emergency Management” newsletter (Emergency Management magazine).  The title of the article is “How to Include Diverse, Vulnerable Populations in Emergency Preparedness”.  While the article is good, and I encourage you to read it, I want to draw your attention to a website that was referenced within the article.  The website is for the National Resource Center on Advancing Emergency Preparedness for Culturally Diverse Communities.   The site looks to be a terrific resource asset that you’ll want to reference often.

In the classroom today

Earlier this morning we jumped right back into our training with a discussion about disaster medical operations.  In the basic CERT course this unit teaches students about public health considerations, disaster medical operations and medical treatment areas and how to set them up, how to do a head-to-toe assessment, and how to treat specific kinds of injuries (ie. fractures, sprains, burns, bleeding, and cuts).  For the purposes of our class this week, our students are learning that they (instructors) should be experienced.  They should know their audience and their physical abilities and comfort level.  Instructors are encouraged not to deviate from the material, and to be prepared to deal with questions about different techniques.  Additionally, our new instructors are encouraged to follow state, local, and tribal protocols, to reinforce the concept of CERT size up and the use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE; gloves, goggles, helmet, etc).

We then spent time talking about the importance of teaching organizational issues including on scene management, CERT mobilization, CERT tasks, and the importance of documentation tools.

The remainder of the day was spent with students working on their “teach backs”.  As part of a learning activity, using a ‘teach back’ is a great way to help students learn more deeply and remember information. As Instructors, we find teach backs useful in an effort to check for understanding and to identify if and what kind of learning has occurred.  For our teach backs, students were broken up into groups and then further broken up into pairs.  Each pair prepared and delivered a five-minute presentation covering a CERT related topic.  Each presentation pair is then critiqued by the instructors as well as their fellow students.  Everyone seemed to really enjoy the teach backs.

I’m including some of the class pictures of students doing their teach backs …

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Oh yeah … we also had time for lots of picture-taking … hopefully to remember great experiences with great friends.


More on Native American culture

Just as our class was getting started this morning we had a bit of a medical emergency with one of our students.  Fortunately, it didn’t sound as though it was very serious, but did require medical attention.  As we got underway, we began by offering a prayer for ”our brother”.  One of our fellow students offered to lead us in prayer.  Again, the prayer was directed toward our “Grandfather” who is the creator of everything.  As he asked Grandfather for protection and healing for our brother, he was also making “swirling movements with his hands and arms.  The motions were in a clockwise and counterclockwise direction starting in the front of his body then over his head and then back in front.  It was explained to me that this motion represented wind which is an energy for all of us.  The wind starts to over our heads and then moves slowly down our body to our feet, and then moves upward again over our head cleaning our body of negative (bad) energy.  He then closed the prayer asking for protection for all of our “relations” which includes all living things (animals, plants, trees, fish, etc) the land, water, and air.  As he was saying these things he was pointing forward in three or four different directions in front of him in an effort to direct the spirit.

Later in the day I had a chance to sit in on a conversation with a couple of the students in class about the importance that plants, roots, and herbs have with Native Americans for medicines and healing.  It was interesting to hear how from a preparedness aspect, that despite whatever bad things may happen in the world, by having the knowledge of how to use plants, roots, and herbs to heal, Native Americans can be self-sufficient and continue to care for, and heal, themselves.

And to wrap up for today, I was given a brochure titled “Indian Territory” produced by Travel Nevada.  If you’d like to learn more visit Nevada Indian Territory.

Tomorrow we’ll be wrapping up the Train-the-Trainer class, but I look forward to learning more about the great people I have the pleasure and honor to be working with this week.  I am very fortunate to have this opportunity and be able to share it with you.  Please come back again tomorrow.


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