Be prepared to save a life

The Martha’s Vineyard Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is holding free first aid training at the Aquinnah Town Hall on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 9 am to 1 pm. 

The class will be led by Aquinnah emergency manager Gary Robinson, using hands-on strategies that are fun to learn and effective in the event of an emergency. 

Noli Taylor, a member of CERT, said that while looking at a plan for the future of emergency preparedness here on the Island, Robinson noticed the lack of people trained for emergency response. 

“If there were to be a hurricane on the Island during the summertime, we would need to have enough people prepared to deal with these major weather events,” Taylor said.

She explained that CERT has three branches, each with different goals. The first focuses on training and education, the second focuses on shelter and infrastructure preparedness, and the third focuses on communication.

The work of the CERT group was instigated by the knowledge that the changing climate will cause more frequent and extreme weather events that the current state of the Island is not prepared to deal with. “We need to be able to come together as a community and take care of each other when these situations arise,” Taylor said. 

The initial training session will focus on breathing and circulation, stopping bleeding, and broken bones. 

A second training session will take place on Oct. 26 at the same time and location, and will focus on heat stroke, frostbite, geriatric and infant care, head injuries, Narcan administration, and winter storm preparation.