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Fire Department

CERT Rehab Class

An average of 100 U.S. firefighters die annually in the line of duty. 45%-50% of these deaths are due to cardiac related events that are triggered by heat stress associated with fire suppression and the utilization of chemical protective suits. The heat stress impacting firefighters causes massive dehydration, substantially elevated core body temperatures, reductions in cardiac output and changes in the body’s electrolytes and chemical processes. The detrimental effects of heat stress can be minimized through on-scene rehabilitation that focuses on core body temperature cooling, rehydration, medical monitoring, rest and calorie replacement.

In an effort to assist the Fire Department, the Hanover Park Citizen’s Emergency Response Team (CERT) agreed to begin providing on-scene firefighter rehabilitation. CERT members underwent an intensive 24-hour University of Illinois Fire Service Institute training program focused on:

  • The physical and physiological stress of firefighting
  • Working with the Fire Service
  • Techniques for implementing effective on-scene rehabilitation
  • Firefighter protective equipment
  • Experiencing heat stress from the firefighters perspective

CERT members who completed the training will staff a Fire Department Rehab Vehicle and respond to major incidents to assist the department.

Group of CERT members put on protective gear
CERT members assisted by instructors from Hanover Park Fire Department
and the Illinois Fire Service Institute prepare for a day of live fire drills
at the State Fire Academy. Drills were designed to teach members |
how to operate on the fire ground and interact with firefighters.
CERT members dressed in full protective equipment
CERT members dressed in full protective equipment witnessed live fire
demonstrations on fire behavior and tactics and were given the opportunity
to climb ladders, operate hose lines and conduct search and rescue operations.
CERT members and instructors outside building prepare for demonstration.
Members prepare for a “Fire Behavior” demonstration.
CERT members and instructors talking

CERT members and instructors talking
Members debrief after live fire evolutions

CERT members completing the training have a better understanding of the fire ground, how to interact with firefighters, and practical methods of rehabilitation.