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Mid-America Teen CERT Plans National PrepareAthon! Day Event

Since America’s PrepareAthon! first began in 2013, Mid-America Teen CERT (MATC) has regularly organized activities or events to promote preparedness as part of the campaign. This month for America’s PrepareAthon!, MATC will be providing Community Emergency Response Team training to a large class of high and middle school students that will include a full-scale earthquake disaster simulation.  In September, they plan to work with the Greater St. Louis Area Council Boy Scouts of America (BSA) again to plan an even bigger exercise for up to 5,000 scouts and members of the public from throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area.

These activities build on the success of a large-scale fire suppression training last year, which was organized by Emily Rosenblum, an MATC member and the chair of the FEMA Youth Preparedness Council. Working together with the Greater St. Louis Area Council BSA, MATC planned an event at the Beaumont Scout Reservation in High Ridge, MO:

  • More than 1,300 scouts, adult leaders, parents and observers participated in sessions throughout the day that focused on fire safety and the proper use of fire extinguishers;
  • MATC volunteers taught participants about the variety of dangers posed by fires, donned protective gear (goggles, helmet, gloves, and vest), and demonstrated proper fire extinguisher technique using the PASS (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep) method;
  • After the demonstration, volunteers invited participants to try on the protective gear and practice the PASS method themselves with the fire extinguishers MATC brought with them; and
  • MATC received excellent feedback on the event and the Greater St. Louis Area Council BSA invited them to provide similar training in the future.

Mid America Teen CERT program manager Mark Rosenblum says that thanks to their previous successes and word of mouth, increasing numbers of groups are requesting assistance and training from MATC.

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