AAACERT is confident that we can provide you the same level of quality instruction and the right level of safe, inter-personal interaction.  But, as you might expect, we have had to make adjustments to consider the impact of the pandemic.  Here are the changes.  Please read them carefully.

  1. The classroom portion of the instruction has been moved from the Fire Training Academy in Millersville to the training area in the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management (OEM).  Here are the details on this training space and our precautions to make it a safe learning environment:
    1. The building is located at 7480 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd, Glen Burnie, MD 21061.  For those familiar with the area, it is right next to the District Court House, about one block in from Ritchie Highway.
    2. There is free parking in an adjacent parking garage.
    3. The building is secure and visitors have been limited during the pandemic.  The entire building, which also houses the remote 911 call center and the county’s TV studio, is cleaned and disinfected multiple times during the day.  We will be in the back area of the building which has experienced even less people traffic.
    4. The training area is arranged with separate tables.  With the exception of family members attending the class, there will be one person seated at each table.  Chairs will be separated by a physical distance of 6-8’.
  2. General Safety Precautions
    1. You will be asked NOT to show up if you have a fever or other recognized symptoms of the illness.  We will work with you on a way to complete the instruction at a later date.
    2. Your temperature will be taken when you arrive and you will complete a standard 3-question, questionnaire.  Hand sanitizer will be available upon entry.
    3. You may bring but we will supply disposable masks, surgical-type gloves (in small, medium, and large sizes), hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, and face shields.
    4. We will limit the class size to 10 class members or as many as 12 if we have family members who can sit together (we will have 10 tables).
    5. The materials we are providing you (backpack and contents) have been in storage since January and untouched.  You keep and do not share these materials.
    6. You must wear a mask at all times except during eating or drinking.
  3. Personal Interaction – You can’t help someone if you can’t touch them.
    1. Basic CERT includes personal interaction – dressing wounds, setting splints and slings, head-to-toe assessments, doing triage, carrying survivors to safety.
    2. When doing so, you will be asked to wear a mask and a light-weight face shield (note:  you will receive a face shield at the beginning of class and it will be yours) and gloves.
    3. Close interaction will be limited to the exercise and we will strive to do them very efficiently.
  4. Instruction hours
    1. Hours for Friday and Saturday remain the same (6pm-9pm on Friday and 8am-5pm on Saturday).  Sunday’s hour are extended (now 8am-5pm instead of 8am-3pm) to accommodate additional classroom training on that day.
    2. Since it is a secure facility, you must arrive at least 15 minutes before start of class as there is some distance between the front door and the classroom area and we have check-in procedures.
  5. The Major Exercises – fire extinguisher training, triage exercise, and disaster simulation
    1. All major exercises will be conducted on Sunday, August 30th at the Fire Training Academy in Millersville.
    2. We are restricted to the “yard” (that’s the area with the burnt out buildings and overturned cars — conducive to a disaster scenario) and two outside buildings – only 1 is air conditioned.
    3. So…we are moving the class to the morning.  Arrival will be at 8:45am and we should be done just before lunch.  That puts us in the cooler part of the day and avoids the notorious August afternoon thundershowers.
    4. Masks, gloves, and face shields will be required.  Please bring them (but we will have supplies as well).
    5. We anticipate having volunteer victims complete with moulage but, to be honest, they haven’t been asked yet.  However, I have confidence.

THE POSITIVES

  • This is the same quality instruction that we have provided in all of our previous classes and includes the same interpersonal connections (just performed safely and more efficiently).
  • This instruction will be very real world.  AAACERT has been activated since March 20th and has performed over 3,200 volunteer hours between that time and the end of July.  We have worn masks and gloves, have performed real first aid, and have been subjected to real world environments (excessive heat and rain).  So, your major exercises will be even more realistic.
  • This is great timing for better preparedness and response education.