Feature Story                                                   Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Heroes Wanted

Disaster response classes put the fun into fear

Staff/Voice photos


Citizens got personal instruction on things like how to properly use a fire extinguisher Saturday as part of emergency response.


hey say that in the event of an emergency, people only use 50 per cent of their ability to function—the other half is in a flap.


Tremaine Feit knows exactly what to do. Through his company, TTF Education Inc., he aims to increase that percentage by training citizens in disaster response.


On Saturday, Feit, accompanied by Lisa Axelson, City of Chilliwack Fire Department liaison, and experienced firefighter Jon Van Huigenbos, led a dozen people through life-saving exercises in an empty lot downtown. 


A small blaze was created to give students a chance to get the feel of how to correctly use an extinguisher. Someone would yell "fire" and one of the students and students got personal instruction.


There wasn't really any advertising done about the class.


"We got people here just through word of mouth," Feit told The Voice when asked.


Feit says the next training session will likely be in mid-May or late June, but dates are not yet set. In the meantime, he says his company is available for classes if needed.


"We'd be happy to do informational talks by request," he said.


One of the elements of the day-long class is called H.E.A.T., which stands for Hotzone Emergency Aid Team, a brand new volunteer program that is made up of people who are trained in disaster response. Not only are they trained in disaster response they are also outstanding members of the community, who want to give back to their community if and when needed.

"H.E.A.T. members serve their local communities in various ways, including: public information sessions on disasters, participating in events like Emergency Preparedness Week, and providing on-site first-aid for local events, in addition to standing ready to assist in the event of actual disasters," said Feit in an e-mail to The Voice.


For those people who want to do more, the program is designed to expand on the one-day class.


"Anyone can take part and join H.E.A.T., but they must have taken at least the one-day Basic Disaster Response Training class, and can expect to take part in at least one training day per year, participating in 20 hours of community service, and be prepared for deployment in the event of an actual disaster," explained Feit.


Disaster Response Training Classes
The first pilot class for the Disaster Response Training 1.2, was a two-day class last October, where participants learned how to identify disasters and how to prepare for them at home with their families.

The next pilot program will be for the Disaster Response Training 3.6, which will be a six-day course where participants will learn higher skills, including working as a team to respond to emergency disasters and practicing in simulated disaster scenarios.


"We are currently aiming for mid-May or early June (dates subject to change). Successful participants of this program may be invited to join us for our third year at the Citizens' Emergency Response Team Expo in Washington state where teams across the Pacific Northwest come together for further training and skills competitions."

For more information, or to book a class for your team, call Tremaine at 604 703 9316 visit www.ttfeducationinc.com


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