Monday Apr 13 2009
In case of fire, Maria Montessori students are prepared
By: Staff report
First elementary school certified in disaster response
Maria Montessori students are ready if disaster strikes. Seventh- and eighth-grade students at Maria Montessori Charter Academy in Rocklin have been training three hours per day every Friday for the last two months to respond to natural disasters and other emergencies in their school. The Teen Community Emergency Response Team educates students in disaster preparedness for hazards that could affect their school and trains them in basic response skills including fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, triage and first aid. CERT students learn how to be first responders at a school disaster scene and then transfer commands over to better-trained authorities when they arrive. The program culminated in a student exercise of a mock disaster last Thursday. Maria Montessori Charter Academy is the first kindergarten through eighth-grade elementary school in the U.S. to pilot the program, according to a school news release. The Teen CERT program is typically run in high schools and some ninth-grade middle school programs. There are several high schools in Sacramento County currently running the Teen CERT program and MMCA is the first school to run the program in Placer County.