LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles County Fire Department’s CERT Training Program is helping one elderly community in Compton to prepare for a disaster.

Ella Boswell is among residents at Seasons senior apartments who spent the month of August learning life-saving lessons with a Community Emergency Response Team.

“The entire 20 hours was informative, eye-opening and I think that things you never thought of were given to us,” Boswell, 73, told CBS2’s Stephanie Simmons.

Graduates learned about triage and how to properly treat a wound, among other skills.

“People were laid out on different colored mats. I didn’t even know what it was called until I took the class and learning how to do it… it is very easy,” Boswell said.

The septuagenarian and other graduates are now prepared and able to assist those in need.

“It actually gave me confidence. And should anything happen, I can at least help. I can do something,” Boswell added.

Fellow CERT training graduate Resurreccion Anderson agreed.

“To know what I can to for the other residents… I feel that myself – I am able more than the others. And so I will be able to help,” she said.

LaCoFD describes the CERT program as a “17-and-a-half hour disaster preparedness course designed for business and community organizations” throughout the Los Angeles County Operational Area developed to “create a well-trained civilian emergency work force.”

Training is offered free of charge within the jurisdiction.

The event was part of the LA County’s 2013 National Preparedness Month. For a full list of events and activities taking place through Oct. 8, click here.

To learn more about CERT training, visit the LaCoFD website.


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