Teens learn emergency response tactics to help in disasters

Teens learn how to respond to disaster situations with the Hall County Emergency Manager.

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - When a disaster strikes, it is best to be ready and trained for the worst. A group of Grand Island kids are getting ready for anything that could be thrown at them.

A tornado, floods, car wreck, and any number of disasters could strike at any minute and preparations are all part of the Teen Community Emergency Responder Team training.

“I either want to be an EMT, a firefighter, or a cop once I grow up so I decided maybe I can go to this class,” 6th Grader Alex Lammers said.

Starting at age eleven, kids can take lessons from the Hall County Emergency Manager in how to handle fires, prepare for storms, and dress wounds. Students learned how to put a broken arm in a sling and bind an injured leg.

“When you're educated, when you're prepared you have less reason to fear and less reason to be worried,” Hall County Emergency Manager Jon Rosenlund said. “We want to build not just skills and capabilities but also confidence.”

These kids know how to wrap a bleeding head, deal with amputations, and stop a major bleeding injury. These lessons may seem scary for just eleven years old, but members of CERT said these skills can be vital.

“It's not a perfect sunshine and rainbows,” Teen CERT President Jacob Walker-Wade said. “It's better to get a kid accustomed to something like this at a much lower kind of elementary level so that their more prepared for the large scale bad things that can happen.”

The Teen CERT has been called to assist with flood waters and have been part of search parties. They add that extra pair of hands when first responders are swamped and the kids said they encourage more people to know these skills.

“I think that they'll have a lot of fun and be able to help other people and we will help with disaster in Hall County and even other places we might be able to help with disasters around Nebraska,” Lammers said.