“Tornado” gives emergency training opportunity

Roger LaLonde Staff
Volunteer Vance Johnson shows his severe injury he incurred when a tornado hit  Marco Island as part of CERT training on Wednesday. Johnson, 15, was one of many Winterberry Christian students that assisted as 'victims' for CERT certifications for 25 city employees.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde Staff Volunteer Vance Johnson shows his severe injury he incurred when a tornado hit Marco Island as part of CERT training on Wednesday. Johnson, 15, was one of many Winterberry Christian students that assisted as "victims" for CERT certifications for 25 city employees.

Roger LaLonde Staff
Community Emergency Response Team members Amber Prange, left, Mike Gee and Jim Nee at emergency command center, discuss the next step in treating victims of a tornado that ripped through Farmers' Market at Veterans Community Park on Wednesday. Prange, Parks & Rec, and Gee, City Utilities, were among city employees involved in CERT training. A total of 25 employees became certified.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde Staff Community Emergency Response Team members Amber Prange, left, Mike Gee and Jim Nee at emergency command center, discuss the next step in treating victims of a tornado that ripped through Farmers' Market at Veterans Community Park on Wednesday. Prange, Parks & Rec, and Gee, City Utilities, were among city employees involved in CERT training. A total of 25 employees became certified.

Tornado victim Patrick Schinella waits for treatment as CERT member Ken Ouellette in back background comes to his assistance. The night before Ouellette used his CERT training for real to assist those injured in a four-car accident off the island.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Tornado victim Patrick Schinella waits for treatment as CERT member Ken Ouellette in back background comes to his assistance. The night before Ouellette used his CERT training for real to assist those injured in a four-car accident off the island.

Roger LaLonde Staff
Tornado victims are brought to Veterans Community Park for treatment after a tornado tore through the Marco area.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde Staff Tornado victims are brought to Veterans Community Park for treatment after a tornado tore through the Marco area.

Volunteer Pam Cote is relieved as CERT member Richard Peets readies to care for her after a tornado ripped through Marco Island on Wednesday as part of a CERT training certification drill.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Volunteer Pam Cote is relieved as CERT member Richard Peets readies to care for her after a tornado ripped through Marco Island on Wednesday as part of a CERT training certification drill.

Tents, food, flowers ... and bodies.. flew when a tornado ripped through Veterans Community Park during Farmers’ Market on Wednesday.

Well, not really.

It was a mock disaster for 25 city employees to gain Community Emergency Response Teams certification.

Many employees and residents who were CERT certified played key roles when Hurricane Wilma played havoc with the Island is 2005.

CERT Coordinator Steve Fickling, a Marco Fire Rescue driver engineer, spoke of the importance of employees being trained to help in any emergency. Each employee and one volunteer took 20 hours of classes and four hours of drills to earn certification.

CERT member Ken Ouellette, in the Utilities Maintenance Department, used his training on Tuesday night after a four-car accident off the island near Rookery Bay Bridge on Collier Boulevard.

““When I became certified I wasn’t even sure when I would use what I learned in class,” he said. “Then I am doing it in a real live incident, helping those injured.”

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