Teens Train To Tackle Disasters Head-On

By Yona Gavino | CBS11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – With dedication and determination, in one week, teens from Sunset High School in Dallas will transform into a life-saving team.

Eduardo Ortiz led classmates in an exercise on how they would move an injured person to safety.

Monday was the first day of training.

“I’m excited to learn more,” says Eduardo Ortiz. “I’ve learned a lot of things already in this first class.”

“CERT” – Community Emergency Response Team training – for teens. And it’s free.

“School’s out. It is summertime,” says ROTC Army Instructor Stephen Edwards. “They volunteered to come out and dedicate themselves to being in the classroom. I’m real proud of them.”

Students will get tools to tackle disaster head on. Their skills can be used in emergencies like fires and terror attacks.

“I actually feel very prepared,” said student Jennifer Villanueva. “I feel like I will be ready for any kind of situation like a natural disaster.”

“We’re trying to make sure they don’t turn out to be the victims,” says CERT instructor Chris Herzog.

Herzog says more CERT classes will be offered this summer.

“Here in Dallas, we’ve trained over 2,600 people so far,” he adds.

And many students plan it forward by passing their training to others.

“Today I was thinking about going home and teaching my brothers about what I learned,” shared Jennifer Villanueva. “Because they’re younger than me, and I want to set an example.”

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