The SSIO has a long history of involvement in post-disaster relief efforts around the world, which has led in the past few years to a concerted effort to establish disaster relief work as a key component of service activities both at the international and national levels. About 14 SSIO volunteers participated in training courses in late January 2018 to become part of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in Southeast Denver, Colorado. CERT allows community members to be trained as volunteers to assist professional first-responders during disasters, whether natural or human caused. The volunteers received key information on the characteristics of various types of disasters, such as fires, floods, hurricanes, severe snowstorms and terrorism. They learned basic preparedness and a variety of hands-on response skills, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid, fire safety and suppression, medical processes, basic search-and-rescue efforts, setting up of emergency shelters, disaster psychology and team organisation. All in all, the training session left participants fulfilled and gratified, with confidence in their preparedness to deal with emergency situations.
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