Carbon County holds free disaster preparedness training course

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NESQUEHONING, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Being prepared during an emergency is invaluable. A special training course in Carbon County taught people how to do it.

“There’s nothing more basic in this country than neighbors helping neighbors in times of crisis,” Community Emergency Response Team instructor David Fenton said.

Knowing the basic skills to be able to help yourself and your neighbor in a disaster could be the difference between life and death. In Carbon County, a 20-hour Community Emergency Response Training course taught ordinary citizens how to aid their community in the midst of a disaster, and in the aftermath.

Instructor David Fenton was a paramedic for 30 years in New York City before moving to the Poconos. He shared his expertise in multi-casualty response and emergency medicine.

“When working for the New York City Fire Department I was an EMS captain and I worked at Ground Zero from September 11th, I was a dedicated duty down there,” Fenton said.

The Carbon County disaster preparedness free training took place this weekend at the county’s emergency management agency. Training included basic first aid, putting out fires, and search and rescue.

“How to help people stay alive in the aftermath of a disaster and that’s because there aren’t enough of the traditional emergency services to be everywhere at the same time when a disaster happens,” Carbon County Emergency Management Agency director Mark Nalesnik said.

Nalesnik says they spend about as much time teaching people what not to do for their own safety.

“We tell them never enter a smoke-filled room. If they want to go into a building to search for victims, they do not go into buildings with major damage, or if there’s fire in there or if it’s smoke-filled,” Nalesnik said.

Nalesnik says CERT volunteers are a huge asset to the county. They stepped up to the plate during the pandemic, helping with testing sites and clinics. They also help with emergency shelters in a disaster.

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