This CERT Spotlight interviews three former CERT students, Dr. Larry Herman, Angela Benz, and Carole Alexander. They make up the capable staff at Herman & Herman Dental in Lexington, Kentucky. These graduates share their experiences and advice for those considering completing CERT training.
Dr. Herman completed CERT training in the spring of 2016. His experience led to several changes in the office, including solar-powered cell phone chargers and water filters. Herman’s enthusiasm about the training led to Benz and Alexander attending the training as well. Benz completed CERT training in the spring of 2022. Her goal was to learn more information about emergency response in country or rural settings. Alexander recently graduated in the fall of 2023. She has always been interested in community involvement and loves learning new information.
The qualified and interesting instructors quickly became a fan favorite of the CERT training experience. Different perspectives kept the course material engaging and easily applied to real-life scenarios. For instance, Benz used her fire extinguisher training just last week. The bacon cooking in the oven bubbled over, filling the space with smoke and flames. Thanks to her CERT training, Benz swiftly covered the bacon, put out the fire, and took the bacon outside to cool. She explained, “The [CERT] training made me more confident in my response time and actions.”
When asked if they would recommend CERT to others, there was a resounding “yes!” Alexander shared that the course taught essential skills, such as not to panic during an emergency.
Herman remarked, “One of the good things about CERT is most people don’t have the opportunity to experience a crisis. So they don’t know how to stay calm. When you do something repetitively, it kicks in automatically – like with CPR. And if you do something like CERT and you have confidence, if there is an emergency, you’re going to be more in control of the situation.”
About Lexington’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
Lexington Emergency Management, in conjunction with the Division of Fire and Emergency Services, sponsors Lexington’s CERT program. CERT is a national initiative developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The program aims to develop neighborhood teams equipped with the skills they need to help themselves and their neighbors if a disaster occurs. During a disaster, police, fire, and emergency medical personnel are likely to be overwhelmed with requests for help. CERT teams use their knowledge and skills to help people in their neighborhoods until professional responders can reach them. For more information on Lexington’s CERT program, click here.