Community Emergency Response Team program teaches students potentially life-saving skills

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The seniors of the Medical Careers Academy and their teacher Kathleen Loggins have once again teamed up with the Alhambra Fire Department to continue the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program.

Certified professionals from the fire department took time from their day to help the students at San Gabriel High School as part of CERT.

“The program was implemented to give us a hands-on experience with professionals,” senior Jenny Lam said. “We learn basic essential skills and how to [apply] them.”

Disasters can occur at any given time; the skills that CERT teaches students can minimize the bystander effect and prevent unnecessary injuries.

“Anything can happen; we’ve seen it in the past, from 9/11 to high school shootings nowadays,” senior Eric Avina said. “It prepares you for different accidents. It goes from simple injuries to natural disasters.”

Students are taught several ways to treat patients in times of need. They learn the basics, such as CPR, first aid, and how to identify and analyze multiple situations.

“We learn about many things from how to use a tourniquet to how to treat a fractured bone,” senior Cindy Tan said. “It all has to do with different scenarios and how to react when a disaster occurs.”

Senior Wilson Tran thinks CERT is a great program for students to be involved in because being well-prepared as they enter the real world is something that resonates well with him.

“Because my future major is going to be in the medical field, this is essential to me,” Tran said.

However, the program expands beyond students of medical interest. The lessons and experiences the students gain from CERT are ones they can take beyond the field and apply in the real world.

“Whether it involves family, friends, or strangers, it’s better to take initiative because there is a high chance you can save someone’s life,” Lam said.

The program began in early September and ended with a visit to the fire department on Nov. 6, where they learned life-saving skills.

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