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Westport Community Response Team Wants You

Are you confident you could safely guide your family through an emergency such as a flood or fire? If not, let Westport Police Sgt. Richard Frazier and other instructors of the Westport Community Emergency Response Team help you to help your family.

A division of the Westport Police Department, the team is offering a free basic training course to Fairfield County residents interested in becoming better equipped to handle emergencies both small and large.

"In the basic training class, we start with an introduction to emergency preparedness, teaching participants how to prepare themselves for natural or manmade disasters," said Frazier, the team coordinator. "We talk about how to put together disaster kits and stocking up the food pantry."

Although some of the material may seem like common sense, Frazier said it's important to stress the fact that people need to take care of themselves first before helping others during an emergency. "It's like when you're on an airplane and [the flight attendants] tell you to secure your own mask first before securing those of others," he said.

During the course, participants are taught how to put out a fire as well as how to recognize what types of fire they can't extinguish on their own.

Though the course focuses on how to prepare your household for an emergency, participants will also learn what they can do to help in case of a large-scale emergency. "We teach light search-and-rescue methods, how to assist EMS treat large amounts of people and some components of terrorism, like what to look for," Frazier said. "We also go over disaster psychology, giving participants an insight into how disaster affects people."

Although participants receive training on a variety of emergency topics, Frazier said the course will not teach people how to be a police officer, firefighter or EMS. The course, limited to 25 people, will be held March 18 to 20. Participants must be 18 or older. For more information or to sign up, visit the Community Emergency Response Team website .

Have you taken a basic training course in the past? Do you feel better prepared for an emergency? Tell us below!

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