The Wenatchee Valley Fire Department (WVFD) will begin a series of courses on community emergency preparedness tomorrow (Thursday, Jan. 18).

"Our deputy chief fire marshal is teaching these classes," says WVFD Chief Brian Brett. "This is the first of six classes he will be teaching and we're excited to be engaging the community and offering them some public education."

Brett says the courses could also serve as a springboard for the development of a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

"This is a preview of the training that is the CERT curriculum, and depending on interest and feedback, we might use this as our launching pad to implement a full-blown community emergency response team right here in the Wenatchee Valley."

The CERT program is recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Act and allows communities to utilize volunteer firefighters and citizens to create volunteer emergency response teams of their own.

Thursday's class will focus on in-home survival and emergency preparedness kits.

Future courses will also focus on subjects like fire safety and detection, escape planning, and creating defensible spaces with wildland urban interface.

The courses will take place on the third Thursday of the month through June from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Wenatchee Valley Fire Station, 377 Eastmont Avenue in East Wenatchee.

Those interested can register online by clicking here.

The courses are being conducted in partnership with the American Red Cross.

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