Certified Emergency Response Team Training

(Part 2.)

Staci and I were victims.

Victims of something terrible. An earthquake, a fire, a bomb, the apocalypse. The meeting room was in shambles, tables overturned, chairs strewn about, and moaning employees trapped in the dark. Well, we were supposed to act like we were trapped and really moan like the end of the world was near.

September 2007 083We even had makeup done. Clearly, you can see that my injuries looked legit: a burned forearm and a broken femur.

The femur was the injury that usually killed me.

At the time, I had been with my company for about two years and was in my second position. Staci and I were working on the same project together, which felt like glorified data entry, aliasing assays in a code set.

Because that makes sense to you. And because you are impressed with our skills to accomplish this task!

We took a break from the grueling project to take part in onsite CERT training. The company always had a team of CERT folks around, in case of emergency. Those who passed received coveted hard hats and fluorescent vests.

Here’s how the training went down:

  • With supervisor permission, employees were chosen to help out as victims for CERT training
  • We had makeup done for our injuries
  • The meeting room was turned into a disaster area
  • Usually, the disaster was an earthquake
  • Each victim found a place in the disaster area, then the lights went off
  • CERT trainees came in, the room was dark, and people were screaming
  • CERT trainees had to find the screamers and get them out
  • Once assembled in the other meeting room, victims were triaged by other trainees
  • Some survived, others died, according to how trainees handled them and severity of injuries
  • How did I die? The time my broken leg was straightened out before being secured for my journey to the other meeting room.
  • The time I survived? A trainee tied my leg up, in a bent position, to the overturned chair I was trapped on, and I was carried to the safe zone with the chair.

The best part? Getting paid to do something other than work tasks for an hour.

And those were not MY ripped pants. I didn’t sacrifice my own wardrobe for the cause.

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