http://www.citizencorps.fema.gov/cert/IS317/ It's a start but the in-person training includes hands on training, more unites, and the opportunity to ask question, meet current CERT members and professional members of the community brought in to teach many of the NINE units. Not to mention that local CERT organizations don't recognize the on-line training and one would need to take the in-person class to become active. But it's interesting and better than nothing. The goal is to teach individuals how to prepare for and take care of themselves, their families and their neighbors after a disaster until professional first responders can arrive. It also provides you the opportunity to assist first responders in a large scale event or disaster as well. Most of the material is REALLY interesting.
I've also been pulling together Radio Operators to assist Race Organizers before and during the Lone Star Races in Arlington on April 26th. This is the second year I've had the opportunity to do so. Last year we used 8 operators. This year will be 16 or more. Last year Start/Finish was at The Ballpark (Texas Rangers), now formally called Globe Life Park. This year Start Finish starts in front of City Hall. The 5K and 10K have routes through Central Arlington, particularly through the large UTArlington campus. The Half-Marathon heads east, past Cowboy AT&T stadium, past The Ballpark, the back just the other side of The Ballpark, within 1 block of where Mother lies in rest, 2 blocks from my church and 2 blocks the other direct from I grew up, south for a bit over a mile then west almost to my neighborhood, then back east, cutting behind UTA's Maverick Stadium, down Greek Row, 3 blocks back north then a short distance east to City Hall. Although I did all this successfully by myself last year, this time the OEM asked the guy who was my mentor, then walked out, then came back after I had no choice but to ask for technical help, to also assist. I'm still doing most of the actual recruitment, correspondence and document preparation - that's mostly because I did it last year and still have the forms and info on my computer. :D This year I'm keeping time records!
As for the seminar, it was a 26.1 mile, 30 to 55 minute drive depending on traffic and route. All this on only 7 hours sleep the entire 3 days. That CERTAINLY was NOT my intention!!! I just couldn't get to sleep after I got home in good measure because of all the other stuff I was already working on here. Saturday night the only sleep I got was sitting at the computer (we had to do a teach-back which I learned would not be acceptable in the form we'd planned until after my teaching partner had already left and it was after 5:30. Since he was staying at hotel because his commute was slightly longer, it was up to me to put together all the props for the demonstrations then figured out what I THOUGHT would work, wouldn't. So I had to decide what to do on my own and didn't have the opportunity to tell him until we got to class the next morning. He wasn't happy. I don't blame him. I was a severely anxious nervous wreck. I don't know why. I've presented court cases and taught college, but this time I could barely function. We only had to go 5 minuets, nothing for someone who had 75 minute classes. Or so you'd think. I swear I only talked (barely) for 90 second when the instructor called time. I also swear that other teams had FAR longer than just 5 minutes each. I think some others did as well because looks started being made. My poor teaching partner hadn't had time to rehearse with the props at all, couldn't get his protective gloves on, etc. I felt badly for him and quite guilty because the center prop we were going to use that really didn't work, he tried to use anyway. But we both passed. Maybe one day we'll laugh about it. At the time I was mortified re myself and felt very VERY badly for him. Thankfully I had 2 micro naps just before the review for the final test (which I was also very anxious about but turned out just fine. I missed one question, probably everyone else made 100.
I'm sure all this is so fascinating (NOT), but I'll end here by stating emphatically: I WISH I HAD HAD THE TRAINING I TOOK THIS PAST WEEKEND BEFORE I TAUGHT AT THE COLLEGE LEVEL!! No idea whether I'll ever teach a CERT class, or any other class for that matter, but I now know MUCH better how to do so.
No, I haven't done any stitching in 3 or 4 months. I'm thinking about stitching but I never get around to picking up a project or a needle.
Everyone have a great week!