HIGH RIDGE, Mo. – Hundreds of Scouts from the St. Louis area spent the weekend at the Beaumont Scout Reservation preparing for a disaster.
The Mid America Teen Community Emergency Response Team (TEEN CERT) trained around 300 scouts and 200 adult leaders on how to assist their families and emergency responders in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. This was the largest exercise of its kind ever done, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Disaster Strikes: Local scouts receive emergency preparedness training
Over the course of the weekend, participants were trained on fire safety, medical disaster operations, first aid, search and rescue, team organization, and how to assist people with special and functional needs in a disaster situation.
"We hope in real life these scouts never have to use these skills we teach them, but it's a life skill that many of them are going to need to know," Mark Rosenblum, a spokesperson for TEEN CERT, said. "There are first aid situations all the time, there are fires that happen, so we want to make sure they know how to do normal everyday skills that everybody should know."
Over four tons of debris was hauled into the scout reservation to simulate a six-block neighborhood that had been devastated by a F3 tornado. Multiple "victims" were positioned in each area and the freshly trained responders were deployed to "triage, treat, and transport the victims to the treatment area,"
"It makes you prepared for whatever could happen. So if something happens at the school, I can step up if I need to if they need my help," Sam Dean, a 15-year-old scout, said.
Scouts who completed the training program received a state-issued certificate of completion for TEEN CERT, along with the possibility of earning their Emergency Preparedness, First Aid, Fire Safety, Safety, Disabilities Awareness, Search & Rescue, and Wilderness Survival merit badges.
"This is a world now that we need to be prepared in and it is a good idea for everybody to have these skills," Rosenblum said.
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