Search and rescue exercises are carried out by Community Emergency Response Teams. Neighbors and friends who volunteer to act as victims help CERT members practice the skills. In the Kansas City area there is a practice of how to respond to a major air crash incident. It takes over 100 people to volunteer to be victims so that emergency responders and CERT personnel can stay proficient.
Nearby, an area CERT team recently practiced finding lost members of a family picnic. Two little girls, their mommy, daddy, aunts, uncles, big sisters, and friends all volunteered to be injured and lost in the woods. Everyone was located and treated. The little ones had an adventure for the day — kind of like Hide and Seek with grownups.
Search and rescue groups recommend that young children be taught to hug a tree. If they stay in one spot they are easier to find. Also, crying out if they hear a search team calling for them helps. Young children usually hide and say nothing.
On a real search, one little boy hid in a log. He was afraid he would be in trouble for getting lost so he kept quiet and hid. The rescuer remembered how he was when he was a child lost in a department store. He asked himself, “What would a little boy do if lost and afraid?”
Note: This article was submitted by CERT trainer Art Madden. For more information about the free CERT training course, contact Saline County Emergency Management Director Tony Day at 660-236-1955 between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.