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BOTTOMLINE: CERT… Become A Potential Hero, Or Potentially Have to Wait for One

Publisher’s Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

Who is coming to help your neighborhood after the earthquake, fire, flood, or mudslide?  Trained ‘first responders’ will start where they stand!  If there are trained ‘first responders’ in your neighborhood during or immediately after a disaster, your neighborhood will be in better hands than those neighborhoods that do not!               

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members are trained to put out small fires, assess buildings, and help with first aid to family, friends and neighbors, as well as provide leadership during a time of crisis. During a disaster, CERT members often become regarded as heroes and superheroes to those people that need immediate help!

The City of Rialto Fire Department is hosting its final scheduled 2017 CERT training session, covering 20 hours over three days on October 27, 28 and November 4. The classes are FREE and all materials are provided! You too can train to become a ‘super hero’! I highly recommend the classes to everyone who has the time available. The Friday, October 27, class is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and the other classes, October 28 and November 4, are on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Classes are held at Rialto Fire Station 203, 1550 Ayala Dr.  The classes are sponsored by the Rialto Fire department and the Advanced CERT Volunteers.

Register for the classes on line at rialtocert@gmail.com leaving your contact information or by calling the Rialto CERT hotline at (909) 421-4964.

We do not look forward to having a disaster, but that does not mean one will not occur!  In California, we can be sure it is coming, but not when. We need to be prepared at home, in the car and at work! We all need to store extra water, food, blankets, flashlights, a first aid kit, fire starter, etc. Our choice is either to prepare, or, depend on being near a super hero when surprised by disaster!

 

Bottomline: Key to Emergency Preparedness… Human Kindness!

Publishers Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

As we are mesmerized by the video visuals of the tragedy in Texas, we are also driven to tears of pride as we witness the heroic response from plain folk volunteers.  The expected first responders are needed and extremely appreciated; however, the truth is that the real first responders are often potential victims that were prepared for an unexpected emergency. The clean water and plastic bags for personal waste go a long way when strangers are herded to a safe-from-danger-spot that has room, but no accommodations for a large gathering of people. Shelters are temporary spaces, such as churches, schools and stadiums that are seldom, if ever, able to accommodate at any level of comfort.

We have seen the Texas tragedy cause people to open their homes to strangers! That is a great storyline that will probably soon be countered by stories exemplifying the other side of human nature.  There will be examples of real looting, not just the “emergency borrowing” that some did survive. There will be stories about folks who were ridiculed by people who could have helped. 

The rain is moving out of Texas into neighboring states where it will eventually normalize. Texans and the nation will feel the ripple effect of the human toll of death and property loss for years! Recovery from the coming health issues will be countered by “economic opportunity”. There will be growth and development, but the memories of pain will remain throughout the lives of some.

I pray that this evidence of unexpected devastation will cause more people to realize the importance of each other! There may come a time of tragedy when the people that you disagree with will be the same people that you will be depending on for help.

We do not have to agree with each other about how we got here, but we do need to respect the fact that we are here together!  Friends do not have to agree, they should only be friendly!

Bottomline: Preparing for And Responding to Tragedy

Publishers Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

Some believe that we are defined not by the tragedies of life, but how we respond to them.  Tragedy is most often rendered quickly; however, its echo is multi-level and infinite to those directly and indirectly affected.  The response to tragedy is variable. It can range from numbness to heroic!

The beauty of living in San Bernardino Valley, ‘Beneath The Arrowhead’, is often challenged by the ugliness of tragedy… Steel Mill and Air Base Closing killing 20,000 jobs and uprooting families… fires destroying homes and businesses… City bankruptcy, terrorism and most recently, the school shooting!

The shooting at North Park Elementary School leaves a teacher and one of her students dead, another student wounded and a classroom of students traumatized for life based on what they directly witnessed.

The joy of the parents, who found that their children were not the shooting victims, was immediately replaced with pain, empathy and sympathy for the victims and their families.

The response from police agencies was only matched by the quick reaction of religious and community leaders, who quickly descended on the scene of the shooting, and dispersed with parents to CSUSB, and with students to Cajon High School where they were reunited with their parents.

The best medical and social resources for physical and mental recovery are available in the Inland Empire. The prospects for a family recovering from untimely and tragic death are very slim and we pray that it occurs. Our prospects of preventing or avoiding future tragedies, is even slimmer! Tragedy is going to occur. We must be prepared for it.

Our natural response is to sooth the pain, as best we can… I am suggesting that we improve our level of “best we can” to help in an emergency. Tragedies and emergencies are predictably unpredictable! We are all potential “first responders”! More critically, we are all subject to needing a “first responder”! I need for you to know how to help me just as you need me to know how to help you!

I am proposing that we, the residents, business owners, and visitors to the City of San Bernardino, take the leadership position in emergency preparedness! Our access to life in one of the most beautiful places on the planet demands that we meet the challenge to stay here! If not for the regular unexpected catastrophe, surely for the expected!  We know that we shall have an earthquake and that it will be inconvenient and unpredictable, but it will not be unexpected… So we should not be unprepared.

Becoming a certified emergency response team member is a highly-trained status that we all should aspire, but for practical reasons, cannot. But, becoming certified in CPR is attainable, and is one of the most important tools of a first responder.

I propose that we organize ourselves to reject the nation’s exposure to our tragedy as the symbol and image of our being… That we organize ourselves to demonstrate our resilience and determination to define and achieve the All-American Lifestyle that represents the beauty of “Living Beneath the Arrowhead” in beautiful San Bernardino Valley.

Our proposed campaign to learn CPR, though symbolic, is a very practical asset. CPR has value at home, work and play, in private and public places. Our campaign describes our passion and compassion for each other, as well as our arrogant love of life beneath the Arrowhead.

Will you join our campaign to learn and teach CPR?