Free disaster preparedness training dates set in Lahaina

Local government prepares for everyday emergencies, however during a disaster, professional first responders may not be immediately available in all areas.

The Community Emergency Response Team program helps people to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities.

This course trains them in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations.

When emergencies happen, CERT members can give critical support to the professional first responders by providing immediate assistance to victims at a disaster site.

CERT basic training is a six-day 30-hour program of classroom instruction and field exercises. Sponsored by the Maui Civil Defense Agency, CERT is taught by Maui Fire Department instructors and is provided free of charge under a Department of Homeland Security grant. CERT classes are scheduled in the evenings and on Saturdays.

The Lahaina class session will be held this month at Princess Nahienaena Elementary School at the following times:

* 6-9:30 p.m. Tuesday

* 6-9:30 p.m. Thursday

* 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday

* 6-9:30 p.m. March 12

* 6:-9:30 p.m. March 14

* 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. March 16

Training sessions are scheduled in Kihei in May, Pukalani in July and Kahului in September.

For further information and to register for a CERT course, call Maui Civil Defense at 270-7285 or email