Local teens trained as North Delta’s latest emergency response team

Twenty-four local youths took part in Delta's first teen community emergency response team (CERT) training program.

Twenty-four North Delta youths show off their certificates following completion of Delta’s first teen community emergency response team (CERT) training on Sept. 23.

North Deltans can breathe a little bit easier this week knowing that two dozen local teens are ready in case disaster strikes.

Twenty-four local youths spent the first pro-d day of the school year (Sept. 23) at the North Delta Public Safety Building taking part in teen community emergency response team (CERT) training.

The free course taught the grade 10-to-12 students how to protect themselves, their families and their friends in case of a disaster, earning each a first aid certificate from St. John ambulance and seven volunteer hours towards their high school graduation in the process.

St. John Ambulance were on hand to teach CPR and first aid to Delta’s first teen community emergency response team (CERT) training class on Sept. 23.

St. John Ambulance were on hand to teach CPR and first aid to Delta’s first teen community emergency response team (CERT) training class on Sept. 23. Image credit: Sylvia Hampton

The teen CERT training course was a partnership between Fraser Valley Regional Library, Delta Police, Delta Emergency Services, Delta Fire, St. John Ambulance, Delta School District and Delta Amateur Radio Society, and the first of its kind for the municipality.

Sylvia Hampton of the FVRL said the idea for the program came to her when she came across a story about an American library that partnered with Federal Emergency Management Agency to train teens in case of emergencies.

“The idea with this was sort of a non-typical library program that brings together all of the community as one,” Hampton said. “These are the young people in the community, so hopefully they’ll be here and get to use those skills for some time.”

The course filled up quickly, with at least a dozen people on the waitlist and lots of people still phoning to try and get a spot the day before the course started. Hampton said she hopes that the course becomes at least an annual activity for the community, and that the FVRL plans to organize more of the teen CERT courses in the future, beginning with one in South Delta in the new year.