Rocklin charter school students hold mock disaster

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Maria Montessori students acted as rescuers last week for their staged mock disaster. Seventh- and eighth-grade students at Maria Montessori Charter Academy in Rocklin, held a mock disaster on Oct. 23 as a culminating exercise to their Community Emergency Response Team training. The team of 27 students and two teachers 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. Teen Community Emergency Response Team (Teen CERT) 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. Second- through sixth-grade students posed as victims with the assistance of the Reserve Medical Corps who provided professional medical make-up and help position victims. Staff and parent volunteers as well as volunteers from Citizen Corps, Teen CERT, Sacramento Metro CERT and Sacramento City CERT gave their time as carpenters, make-up artists, guest instructors and evaluators. Rocklin Fire, Rocklin Police, and American Medical Response also supported the program, supplying personnel for encouragement. “This CERT thing has been the single most important thing in Austin’s academic life,” said Christian Kiefer, whose son completed the program last year. “It’s the only school-related function that he’s ever been interested in (at least to this extent). ” “I enjoy CERT because of the camaraderie and the abilities I have now,” said eighth-grader Emlyn Cameron. “Even if only a few of us use this to volunteer someday, it will be good.” “Its fun and it will help me because I plan to be a doctor,” seventh-grader Hema Prabhu said. “It’s a privilege because we are the only school in Placer County to do CERT, and we’re the only elementary school in the whole country to do it.” Maria Montessori Charter Academy was the first kindergarten through eighth-grade elementary school in the U.S. to pilot the program last spring. The Teen CERT program is typically run in high schools and some ninth-grade middle school programs. ~ Staff report