I'm a volunteer Emergency Responder for the city of Hillsboro, so I signed up for this years CERT Rodeo, which was this past Saturday. What a blast! I had a really great time. We had a really good turnout, with probably 80+ responders, plus plenty of "victims" and amateur radio operators to play along with.
It was a great chance to refresh our skills and meet people from different teams. There were teams from all over NW Oregon and SW Washington, and they mixed us all up into different teams for the Rodeo.
We got to spend the day searching for victims in the Portland Fire department's training tower (6 stories), doing triage, disaster medical care and transport of some really gruesomely made up victims, putting out fires, and extricating dummies from under some really #(@*$ing HEAVY actual concrete rubble.
We also got some great support from the community, with lots of firefighters volunteering to train and help out, and the Red Cross providing snacks and drinks.
Check out some pictures and videos of the event here. The rodeos only happen every other year, and I'm already looking forward to the next one.
<Community service plug>If you're interested in learning how to protect yourself, your family and your neighbors in the event of a disaster or other emergency, check out CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) programs in your area. NW Oregon has tons of programs, as do many other parts of the country. In the City of Hillsboro, you can get a free 24 hour training course open to anyone who lives or works in Western Washington County. It's a great training program conducted by local police, fire and EMS professionals. It's a great way to feel more secure about yourself and your family in the event of an emergency, and a great community service opportunity. CERT teams also get to help out with things like airshows, marathons, and other events where EMS coverage is desirable, which is a lot of fun. FEMA also has some online training materials you can check out.</Community service plug>