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Free training for disaster preparedness


BARSTOW • Being prepared for a major disaster is something former Fire Chief Dale Milligan stresses in Community Emergency Response Training (CERT).

“In the event of a major disaster, if we have one, we are going to be on our own for at least 72 hours,” Milligan said. “Meaning we will not receive any assistance from emergency services until they get their own houses in order, and go to the potential loss of life first.”

The CERT program is designed to teach regular citizens practical and effective emergency response, and to avoid placing themselves in unnecessary danger, according to the Los Angeles CERT website, where the program originated.

The free training is offered in conjunction with the City of Barstow, Barstow Fire Protection District and San Bernardino County Office of Emergency Service, and covers the basics of fire safety, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, terrorism and CERT, and disaster simulation.

According to Milligan, Barstow is in Phase 1 of the CERT program which is the recruitment phase.

The next series of training is scheduled for Feb. 2, 9 and 23 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participants are required to be fingerprinted, attend at least 21 hours of the 24-hour series of classes, and complete a free background check with the city.

Last year, in its initiation, 74 members were trained.

For more information contact: Dale Milligan at (760) 985-5513 or Barstow Fire Protection District Headquarters at (760) 256- 2254.

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