Fifteen EMS ISD JROTC cadets, along with teacher and parent volunteers, spent a week in July training to respond to future emergencies. The Fort Worth Police Department’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainers taught cadets the basics of disaster preparedness, fire safety, medical support, search and rescue, and the psychology of crisis.
While the classroom instruction established the fundamentals of crisis response, each lesson also had hands-on elements or simulations to reinforce key concepts and test the students' ability to respond. The week of training culminated in a capstone exercise with students assisting in search and rescue operations after a tornado devastated a school. The use of FWPD’s “training village” and actors established the necessary realism to test participants on their new skills.
Saginaw High School’s Charles Kilgore noted that the “scenarios pushed students, teachers, and parents to work together to overcome emergencies that can happen in our schools at any time—we all need to be ready.”
FWPD’s CERT Coordinator, Officer Thomas DeLong, agreed and praised the efforts of all the EMS ISD trainees.
“The cadets were great students and great representatives for their schools," DeLong said. "I’m confident they’ll be ready to be part of the solution during future crises.”