On January 6th, Michael Markovic helped an elderly man who collapsed off a motor cart while shopping at a grocery store in Warwick, Rhode Island. While walking through the aisles, Michael noticed a man on the floor and immediately knew he needed to act. Michael says he knew what to do because of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training he received at the Providence Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). “I went back to the basics, directed an employee to dial 9-1-1, checked the airway to see if he was breathing (which he was), initiated an assessment for other injuries, and positioned the body in the recovery position to keep his airway open,” says Michael. When the gentleman regained consciousness Michael helped him get back into the motor cart, stayed with him to keep him calm, assured him help was on the way and asked questions about what happened. Michael waited with the gentleman until the fire department rescue arrived and then he continued his shopping.
“It starts with you,” Michael stated. He explained that trainings gave him the confidence to feel prepared to handle anything. “I felt no matter the case I was ready.” He shared his experience on Facebook to motivate others to get involved. He wrote, “I am sharing this story because I want people to know what a great job the PEMA CERT program does. It is free lifesaving training.” He then thanked the former PEMA Preparedness Coordinator, Patrick Fitzgerald for teaching him the skills he needed to handle the crisis and encouraged people to check out their local C.E.R.T. Program. “It may just be a family member that needs your help. Train to Prepare for an emergency.”
CERT is a nationally standardized curriculum by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to educate people about disaster preparedness and train them in basic disaster response skills. The CERT program is based on people helping people, readiness, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. The twenty-three-hour course provides classroom and hands-on training in fire safety, search and rescue techniques, team organization and disaster medical operations. CERT plays a key role in preparing communities before a disaster strikes, responding to the disaster, and assisting in recovery efforts. Volunteers build confidence and skills to help themselves, their families and their neighbors in the event of a disaster in their community. For more information, regarding upcoming trainings contact .
“I saw a man that needed help,” Michael said.