Volunteers learn how to help others in case of an emergency situation

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- If a disaster were to hit the Valley, there’s a group of volunteers who would jump into action.
“This training actually gives individuals the skills to fight fires, small fires, do search and rescue, actually employ medical skills to take care of somebody, establish an airway, stop major bleedings, treat for shock, all those initial things that could happen before firefighters get to a situation,” said Tempe Firefighter and CERT trainer Mike Reichling.
CERT, or Community Emergency Response Team, is a volunteer division that was created by FEMA after the destruction left behind in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.
Judy Jensen, a cert volunteer, got into the program after becoming a victim herself, in a terrible situation.
“What I have learned now I can put it to use and I think I can be helpful in any situation,” said Jensen.
Jensen first sat through some classes, and now with the help from both the Tempe and Scottsdale Fire Departments, she's physically applying what she learned.

Jessie Robinson also just finished the classroom work.
“Until this class I had never used a fire extinguisher before, so it's been some really good training for myself and to help others,” said Robinson.
CERT classes are free and you don't have to be a Tempe or Scottsdale resident to take part. You do however, have to pre-register and can do so by going to www.scottsdaleaz.gov/emergencies/EMHSTraining/Register.