Nearly 300 of your friends and neighbors are graduates of the Community Emergency Response Team, and yet more participation is needed for when, not if, a disaster situation occurs in the Big Bear Valley. Those in the CERT program, which launched locally in 1998, assist emergency personnel in situations such as fires, flooding, windstorms and earthquakes by fanning out within their neighborhoods to extinguish small fires, turn off natural gas inlets, perform light search and rescue, and administer basic first aid. CERT members also receive ongoing training on a regular basis, and have become an important element in the disaster preparedness plan for Big Bear Valley. If you would like to join this team, CERT training courses will be offered as of June 1st, and at a cost of just $10 for the full series of five classes offered at the Big Bear City Fire Department. Topics to be covered in the evening classes are emergency preparedness, medical aid, fire suppression techniques, light search and rescue, and team building skills. To register for the CERT program, call Bear City Fire at 585-2362. You can also support CERT one taco at a time, as they will be the beneficiaries of Sonora Cantina’s all-day $1 tacos fundraiser on Monday, June 8.